What is sensitive skin.
No other skin condition is more misunderstood that sensitive skin. In fact, almost 90% of the population report having sensitive skin at one time or another! To understand whether you have sensitive skin, you first have to understand what causes it.
Sensitive skin is a genetically-inherited condition that predominantly affects very fair-skinned individuals, usually of Northern European ancestry. Someone with truly sensitive skin is highly prone to blushing, has a very fine complexion and may experience bad hay fever, allergies or asthma.
What most people suffer from is in fact sensitive skin. Rather than a result of genetics, sensitivity is a reflection of your environment, lifestyle and physiology. Pollution, stress, hormonal imbalance, cosmetic allergies, alcohol, a poor diet and over-exfoliation can all trigger the sensitive skin condition.
The good news is that sensitive skin can be treated. The bad news is that, left untreated, the skin’s response can actually result in permanent cellular damage, which can lead to premature aging.
How can I avoid trigger factors?
A few lifestyle modifications can usually solve most people’s skin sensitisation. Maintaining the skins barrier function is vital, so remember to apply your Dermalogica moisturizer after every cleansing and whenever your skin feels tight or dry – our Barrier Repair was developed with this specific goal in mind. Also, always avoid over-exfoliating your skin – remember, more exfoliation is not better! If you notice redness or tightness that lasts more than a few hours, you should discontinue the use of your exfoliant for a few days.
Sun protection is also critical because sensitive skin is even more vulnerable to UV damage. A chemical-free sun shield that is developed specifically for sensitive skin.
Lastly, avoiding trigger factors such as hot drinks, spicy foods, MSG, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can help your skin recover and rebuild its normal resistance.
What can I do for my skin when it’s sensitive?
We all know the discomfort of an attack of sensitisation – the skin feels tight, red and swollen, and it seems like everything you do just makes it worse! The first step is to avoid all trigger factors. Then, you need to follow a special regimen to help your skin recover.
How is rosacea different from sensitive skin?
Rosacea is a skin condition as misunderstood as sensitive skin, and as frequently misdiagnosed. In its early stages, Rosacea exhibits the same symptoms as skin sensitization – redness, blushing and tightness – as well as the same trigger factors. However, the similarity ends there. A disorder of the facial blood vessels, Rosacea is a progressive inflammatory disorder that, when left untreated, develops additional complications that include burst capillaries, facial swelling and spots on the face that look like acne breakouts, causing people to confuse Rosacea with acne.
One in twenty people – mostly women – are affected by this misunderstood disease. See your professional skin care therapist and receive a Face Mapping to determine if you are experiencing Rosacea or a sensitive skin condition.
Fortunately, Rosacea is manageable. Avoiding trigger factors is critical, as a Rosacea attack begins the same way skin sensitisation does. For milder Rosacea, we recommend our sensitive skin care regimen of Ultra Calming products.