Sensitive vs Sensitised Skin

We all experience some kind of skin irritation at some point. This may range from redness, itching, burning or even peeling and flakey skin. None of which feel great! A lot of people confuse a skin condition (sensitised) for a skin type (sensitive).

A lot of people may experience dry and irritated skin and think that they simply have sensitive skin, often I have often found that isn't the case and it is my job to identify the root causes so that I can  treat and transform the skin back to an optimal level. There are many factors to consider: lifestyle changes, skin care products and even pollution can contribute to sensitised skin conditions. It is essential to understand how to manage your skin and distinguish between sensitive and sensitised skin.

SENSITIVE SKIN

There is a lot more to sensitive skin than easily irritable skin. We must consider environmental factors that may cause your skin to get red and itchy or occasionally even break out. It is also important to understand that both sensitive and sensitised can present symptoms of itching, swelling and irritation but someone with sensitive skin will present these issues consistently throughout their lives and won't necessarily present as a 'flare up'.

Skin sensitivity is deeply rooted in genetics and is often connected to non skin related sensitivities like allergies, asthma and blushing (1). These symptoms are usually experienced all of their life. These issues can even be related to hormones for example a stress rash on the face. Those will a sensitive skin type also tend to have less pigment in their skin. This lack of pigment means that sensitive skin has less of a protective barrier (2) which in turns makes it more easily affected by environmental factors.

Sensitive skin cannot be simply 'fixed'. However, we can manage, support and address it. By developing a gentle skincare routine and provide that extra layer of protection that is lacking. Investing in quality skin care products like our Native Milk Cleanser, we can hydrate your skin and keep it feeling calm and balanced.

SENSITISED SKIN

Similar to sensitive skin, sensitised skin can present as blotchy with visible dryness and irritation. These similarities is what makes it difficult and confusing to distinguish between the two. The most important fact to take away though is that sensitised skin is not a skin type, it is a skin condition that is triggered by external or internal factors; like medication reactions, poor diet, too much exposure to UV or extreme weather conditions and as a reaction to skincare products or ingredients that are synthetic or harsh on the skin. Unlike sensitive skin, sensitised skin can be treated and resolved.

OVER LOADING OF SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

More often than not, incorrect skin care regimes are a leading root cause of sensitised skin. Harsh or synthetic ingredients might be causing dryness and irritation. Our skin is really clever and produces natural oils that create barriers that work to keep environmental irritants out. Harsh cleansers can strip the skin of those natural oils which can lead to an increase in break outs, redness, inflammation and irritation. Introducing a gentle cleanser into skin care routine will remove makeup and pore clogging oils while helping to maintain the skin's natural pH and moisture barrier.

Serums are a great way to address sensitised skin issues. Our Collagen Serum contains Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid and plant based seaweed Collagen. The benefits of these naturally derived active ingredients include:

  • Hyaluronic Acid - contains 87% Hyaluronic Acid, this 87% is a 1% solution which smooths the skin and has anti ageing properties.

  • Collagen - plant based collagen from seaweed will help build back up natural collagen stores, helps renew skin cells which helps to firm, plump and promote more youthful skin.

  • Vitamin C - Anti-ageing and brightening of dull complexion. Promotes collagen production to reduce fine line and wrinkles. Has potential to thicken the dermis. Anti-inflammatory, prevents redness and reduces hyperpigmentation levels of 5%+.

ALLERGIES

Another leading root cause of sensitised skin is allergies. It is important to note that you can develop adverse skin reactions to a skin care ingredient at any time. When selecting new products for your skin care routine, it is important to be informed about what ingredients may trigger a reaction. Fragrances are a major adverse skin reaction trigger. Our range of products are free from synthetic fragrances but instead use beneficial essential oils are a percentage that is tolerable for your dermal limits.

IS YOUR SKIN SENSITIVE OR SENSITISED?

I hope that I have managed to provide you with a better understanding of the differences between sensitive and sensitised skin. Now it's time to best determine which skin care products are best for you. If sensitive skin runs in your family or you experience non related skin allergies then chances are you have sensitive skin which will require us to personalise your skin care products and routine. Take our Skin Care Quiz and we can help recommend the right products for you.

However, if your skin is newly sensitised, then this might be due to too many skin care products, environmental irritants or an allergic reaction to an ingredient. It is important that we identify what product/irritant is causing irritation and discomfort to your skin type and find a gentle alternative.

It is also important to note that our skin changes over time and with age and you may need to switch your skin care routine seasonally to create a method that works perfectly for your skin.

If you have any questions please reach out and we will be more than happy to help!

Sources:

1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3519246/

2.https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-14-597