Sensitive skin can mean a lot of things, and it’s a term that certainly gets thrown around a lot.
This phrase is so overused, that most of the people that assume that they have sensitive skin… don't. In fact, overusing skincare products and the change in temperatures can really do a number on your skin BUT don’t let that fool you into thinking you have ‘super-sensitive’ skin
There are a number of super sensitive skin causes, including external environmental factors… and even your genetics have a part to play. While ‘sensitive skin’ isn’t actually a clinical term, it generally refers to skin that is easily irritated.
We’ve all been in a situation where we’re excited to try out a new beauty product, only for it to result in red, stringing or swollen skin – not ideal. Before you try and solve your sensitive skin issues with a new skincare routine, you need to truly understand whether or not you have sensitive skin and what the actual cause is.
Look out for the following internal and external symptoms:
- You’re prone to lumps, bumps and rashes
- Certain cosmetics cause burning, stinging, itching or redness
- General discomfort of the skin
- Fragranced products trigger flare-ups
- Sensitive to UV rays
- Dry skin including tightness to peeling and flaking
If you’re still pining for a healthy-looking glow to no avail, keep reading here to find out more about super sensitive skin and the causes of your unwanted symptoms.
With the help of Innoxa, you'll be on the right path to the beautiful skin that you’ve always wanted
Underlying Skin Conditions
While it’s definitely possible to have generally sensitive skin that doesn’t react well to beauty and skincare products, continual and persistent sensitivity could be a sign that you have an undiagnosed skin condition. Look out for the following:
- Atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema): This condition affects the skin’s ability to protect itself from irritants such as cosmetics, washing detergent and even germs in the air. Although the symptoms of eczema differ from person to person, symptoms can include dry, itchy, raw, cracked and inflamed skin.
- Rosacea: Characterised by redness of the face, ears, chest or back, Rosacea is a common skin disease that causes extreme sensitivity. Often, certain products can lead to burning, small bumps, pimples and a sunburnt appearance.
- Psoriasis: This autoimmune skin condition can cause red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. The build-up of skin cells starts to cause scaling on the skin’s surface, causing red and inflamed patches on the skin, as well as dry, scaly skin that cracks.
Note that if you put a product on your skin which causes stinging or redness, then that’s more likely to be general sensitivity rather than an actual skin condition. Make sure that you speak to a doctor or a dermatologist in order to figure out the next steps.
An Impaired Skin Barrier
If you’ve got super-sensitive skin, one of the causes could be down to an impaired skin barrier – but how do you tell if this is actually the cause of yours?
Well, skin sensitivity has a lot to do with the ‘fatty’ layer on the outside of your skin, something that we all have. Known as the lipid barrier, its role is to provide protection from damaging irritants such as chemicals, UV rays, harsh weather conditions as well as to provide optimum water retention. When people have sensitive skin, their skin barrier is weaker and thinner, which means that irritants are able to penetrate the skin easier and cause inflammation. If you’re finding that you’re particularly reactive to skincare ingredients, then this could be why.
Don’t fear – there are a number of topical treatments known to encourage a stronger skin barrier.
BUT… once an irritant is absorbed through a weak lipid barrier, your immune system may react with an inflammatory response, causing more flare-ups.
Essentially, your immune system goes into ‘overdrive’ after being ‘attacked’. Anything from scaling, itching, inflammation and other similar symptoms could be signs that your body is having a reaction. When it comes to skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and just generally sensitive skin, if your immune system is weakened, you’re much more likely to experience a flare-up. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be taken into consideration.
Ever experienced red rashes, severe itchiness, hives and oozing blisters to dry scaly skin and general discomfort? Your skin could be reacting to something in particular. Annoyingly, your symptoms can develop up to 48 hours after exposure. Not ideal, since it could end up being a little tricky working out what it is that’s causing your allergic reaction. Allergic contact dermatitis (simply, a skin allergy) can develop over time if you’re repeatedly exposed to something in particular. From fragranced products and detergents to nickel and more, look out for certain irritants and remove them from your life – ASAP!
Believe it or not, if you have sensitive skin, the cause could lie in your ethnicity.
Yep, every skin tone has its own ‘Achilles heel’ as such, and your ethnicity can determine predisposing factors to certain skin conditions. While your skincare and makeup collection doesn’t need to consist of products created solely for your ethnic group, it makes sense to choose products that focus on the various concerns you’re more likely to have due to your race. While 40% of South-East Asian women are affected by melasma, Middle Eastern women are more likely to be affected by hyperpigmentation. If you’re wondering how to tell if you have sensitive skin, consider that different ethnicities can have different skincare needs, and start working on your complexion issues from there.
At Innoxa, we’re here to help you with all your sensitive skincare needs.
No more letting nasty flare-ups stop you from going to your weekly brunch with the girls. Learn how to take care of your skin with our range of soothing, dermatologically tested skincare and makeup products today.