What does having Sensitive Skin mean?
What is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is a growing concern for so many people and can be notoriously difficult to treat. If you suffer with the characteristics you may notice yourself becoming wary of trying alternative solutions. It’s important to recognise there are different types of sensitivity: touch sensitivity, stress, product sensitivity and hereditary sensitivity.
What causes Sensitive Skin?
Sensitivity can be caused by many external factors such as; cold, heat, humidity, wind, air conditioning and central heating. Even small changes like going from a hot room outside can cause sensitive skin to react by becoming flushed and warm to the touch. Your skincare plays a key role too. Poor or incorrect skin care and even mild allergies to one specific ingredient that your skin doesn’t like can cause flare ups for sensitive skin.
Internal factors which can impact the skin can be; hormonal changes, stress and emotions (which can often manifest in the skin and break out later), nerves and sweating.
You may see external conditions such as flaky skin, eczema or dermatitis or the skin simply looking fragile due to a damaged or thin top layer. You are likely to experience redness in the skin, heat flushes, hives, irritations, stress spots, skin feeling generally uncomfortable and changes in the skin throughout the day.
Being sensitive to the needs of Sensitive Skin
One thing at a time! Focus on your number one priority for now, everything else can wait. Your skin is already working hard to combat daily aggressions so focus all your skincare attention on strengthening and reducing irritations before you work on anything else. We would recommend to steer away from products that could cause extra flare ups in the skin such as high percentage retinols or peels and highly stimulating anti-ageing products.
Our Therapist's Top Tips
- Should I be using a cleansing milk or water?A simple daily tip would be to try and limit the amount of tap water that goes on to the skin as it contains chemicals such as chlorine which dries the skin out. Try switching facial wash to a caring cleansing milk that can clean and feed the skin simultaneously. If you do love a water feel, try a micellar water which will not only remove make-up and impurities really well but will also respect the skin.
- Become an expert on youIf you find that you are reacting and feeling sensitive from the use of certain products, look at the common ingredients present. From here you can rule out and can stay away from products including that specific ingredient. Think about how ingredients work and how they can change the skin. For example, ingredients such as Rose Essential Oil can strengthen a weakened skin and reduces irritations. Find a repairing lipid rich moisturiser that works for you and make sure you use it every day, not just to keep the skin hydrated but also well protected from the environmental, external aggressions.
- Don’t over exfoliateLimit yourself to exfoliating once a week. We can often be tempted to over exfoliate when the skins feels dry as we crave that silky smooth result, however due to the top layer of skin being weakened we don’t want to overdo it. If you do like a scrub, dampen the skin first to dilute the action so it doesn’t feel too stimulating.
- SPF. SPF. SPF.For all skin types SPF is a must as UV rays cause inflammation in many layers of our skin. Even on the over cast days make sure to finish you skin care regime with a layer of SPF. We would also recommend a daily repair serum to sit under the SPF. Our skin’s barrier is extremely fragile (no matter the skin type) so try to applying a product that will rebuild and strengthen daily so your skin can focus on healing from within.
Living with sensitive skin shouldn’t mean you have to feel like you can’t have an exciting skin care regime. It is all about knowing what your skin likes and doesn’t like, listening to it, and building a strong, protective routine that will soothe your skin and give it what it needs. Top tip when searching for your skincare is to go for natural or organic products that avoid the ingredients that may irritate your skin.