Some of us are born with sensitive skin, others develop sensitized skin over time. Being born with sensitive skin means there is often little we can do to prevent it. Yet, there is a lot we can do to prevent, heal and reverse sensitized skin.
Sensitive skin is a genetic condition where there is a family history of sensitive skin. This is especially prevalent in lightly pigmented skin, where the fatty outer layer of skin is poor at keeping water in and damaging things out. The sufferer usually has other allergies, asthma or facial blushing and a thinner epidermis with blood vessels closer to the surface. Without a thick protective epidermal lipid barrier, damaging irritants, allergens, UV rays, wind heat and bacteria are able to penetrate the skin more easily and cause inflammation like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Sensitized skin often masquerades as sensitive skin but is the result of lifestyle, environment, harsh skincare products and internal hormonal changes. Anyone can be prone to sensitized skin. Factors such as pollution, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, medications or hormonal fluctuations can cause skin to become sensitized.
However, by far the greatest cause of sensitized skin is the over use harsh topical skincare products, such as:
- Harsh exfoliants such as crushed nuts, shells, fruit pits or coffee
- Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid, found in acne products
- Alcohol based products such as methanol, benzyl, denature, isopropyl, SD and ethanol
- Sulphates, found in many soaps, cleansers, body wash and toothpaste
- Artificial colours and dyes
- Artificial fragrances, the number 1 cause of dermatitis
- Propylene glycol, found in shampoo, deodorants and baby products
- AHA and Retinoids for already sensitized skin can really cause skin irritation.
Symptoms of Sensitive Skin
Symptoms of Sensitized Skin
o Tight skin
o Itchy skin
o Burning skin
o Dry skin patches
o Chapped skin
o Red skin patches
o Easily sunburn
o Alcohol, Coffee or Spicy food make your skin flush
o Irritated by soap, detergents or perfume
o Feeling of tightness after washing your face
o Broken and red capillaries
o Rash skin appearance
o Bumps that aren’t acne
o Sensitivity triggered by change of scene, weather or travel
o A sunburn sensation
Dermatologists have stated that it’s common for your skin to become more sensitive as you age. As we age, the lipid barrier breaks down and is less able to replace itself. Your skin becomes dryer, water is no longer well retained and you may start to experience irritation with products you’ve never had a problem with before.
For me, my skin changed after my children were born. Products that I had never had a second thought about using, suddenly reacted with my skin. I spent one entire January with a horrible, blistery and painful red rash all around my eyes after using a make-up cleanser. My skin had reacted to ingredients found in a common drug store make-up removal brand and I was desperate for a solution. This is when I first turned to natural plant based healing for my skin. I never took my skin for granted again.
When you discover you skin is sensitized, it’s important to:
- Avoid known irritants like artificial colours, artificial fragrances, alcohol based products, propylene glycol and sulphates.
- Take patch test seriously when trying new products.
- Avoid over exposing your skin to multiple active ingredients at once, like AHAs, prescription acne products, retinoids, salicylic acids or benzoyl peroxide.
Healing sensitized skin comes down to nourishing and repairing the lipid skin barrier.
- Restoring damaged skin with antioxidant plant based oils, such as Jojoba Oil, support the increase in ceramide production need in healthy skin barriers.
- Hydrating continually with Kadee Botanicals Hydrating Day & Night Cream or Kadee Botanicals Body Lotion helps protect the skin and improve elasticity.
- Give your skin a break from irritating topical acne creams, retinoids or products containing artificial colours and fragrances, and help repair using calming ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, a natural anti-irritant.
- Heal from the inside with adding essential fatty acids or omega-3 foods to your diet, and
- Minimise exposure to UVA and UVB rays to bring your skin back from the pain of sensitization.
Kadee Botanicals Skincare is free of artificial fragrances, artificial colours or sulphates. Natural clean beauty skincare that works using potent Australian Plants, like Kakadu Plum, Lilly Pilly and Jojoba Oil. Found in the Botanical Wellness treatment at Essana Beauty Salon.