Article 07

Sensitive skin

Do you have sensitive skin? This might be why.

Many people struggle with sensitive skin, which is prone to irritation and inflammation. Understanding the underlying causes is crucial for achieving healthy, balanced skin. Sensitive skin can be influenced by various factors that

compromise its natural protective mechanisms. In this Skin Academy article, we will explore the common triggers of compromised skin barriers and sensitivities and how to nurture sensitive skin.

Compromised Skin Barrier:
• When the physical and lipid components of the skin barrier are compromised, irritants can easily penetrate the skin, leading to inflammation. External factors such as harsh weather conditions, excessive cleansing, or the use of certain skincare products/ingredients can all contribute.

• Both internal and external allergens can trigger inflammatory tendencies or cause direct inflammation of the skin.

• Certain medications can contribute to skin sensitivity. It is important to be aware of any potential skin reactions associated with medications and consult your GP if necessary.

Neurobiological Factors:
• In some cases, individuals may have a higher density of nerve endings in their skin or experience abnormal nerve behaviour, which can contribute to heightened sensitivity and discomfort.

Topical Ingredients and Abrasion:
• Certain topical ingredients, such as retinols or strong concentrations of actives, can cause skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Similarly, physical abrasion from rough exfoliants or harsh scrubbing can aggravate sensitive skin.

External Aggressors:
• External factors like ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can trigger inflammation and worsen skin sensitivity. Always wear an SPF and look for products with antioxidant protection.

To address sensitive skin, it is essential to adopt a two-pronged approach:

1. Reduce aggravation and fortify the skin barrier.

Work in harmony with your skin by avoiding harsh cleansers, toners, or any products that leave your skin feeling tight, raw, or aggravated. Pay attention to individual sensitivities and avoid ingredients or strengths that your skin cannot tolerate. Breaking the cycle of inflammation and irritation requires patience and fortification of the skin barrier.

2. Look for products containing ceramides, which help strengthen and repair the skin's natural barrier.

In some cases you may want to seek professional advice. If you are struggling with persistent sensitivity issues, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or skincare professional.

Remember, patience and consistency are key on this journey towards happier, healthier skin.

Next article