Sensitive skin is a widespread ailment that makes the skin overreact to non-toxic products or external factors that are harmless in normal conditions. These skin reactions make the person feel discomfort or pain in the affected area. Although skin sensitivity does not always come with visible signs, it can trigger inflammation or redness, among other manifestations.
If it is true that anyone can have genetically sensitive skin, it is also true that it often becomes sensitive for using ill-suited products. Also, if the number of people affected by this condition has spiked over the last years, it may be due to the increasing air pollution, exposure to stronger UV rays, and abusive use of soaps and cosmetics. It is estimated that about 50% of the global population has sensitive skin nowadays.
HOW TO IDENTIFY SENSITIVE SKIN?
Sensitive skin reacts to most stimuli that can be whether external or internal.
Cold weather, wind, hot or cold water, the intake of medications, contact with most cosmetic products, soaps, chemical substances, certain fabrics or jewelry, etc.
Stress, hormonal imbalance (menstruation, pregnancy, etc.).
We can classify the signs of sensitive skin into subjective or objective. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, most signs are subjective and not always accompanied by physical manifestations.
Subjective or sensory symptoms
- Burning sensation
- Stinging sensation
- Tightness and dryness
Objective or visual signs
- Blushing and flushing
Skin sensitivity can affect any body area. However, it is more common in the face, as the skin in this area is thinner and more exposed to environmental stressors.
CAUSES OF SENSITIVE SKIN
All bodies are different, and so is the skin. Some people’s skin may react faster to stressors simply because their skin is thinner and external stressors penetrate more easily.
Additionally, the nervous system also plays a crucial role in skin hyperreactivity. Some people have nerve endings that react more to any stimulus, causing discomfort or triggering inflammation.
Fair-skinner people are generally more affected by this condition, as their skin is slightly thinner than those with dark skin tones.
DISRUPTED SKIN BARRIER FUNCTION
The skin barrier is the protective film on the top of the skin that impedes the penetration of substances. Therefore, a disrupted skin barrier function facilitates the penetration of irritants and leaves the nerve endings poorly protected, which ultimately leads to skin hyperreactivity and sensitivity.
Considering that lipids are essential structural content of the skin barrier, keeping the skin well moisturized is crucial for sensitive-prone skin.
STRESS AND HORMONES
Stress triggers a chemical response that makes your skin more sensitive and reactive.
Indeed, stress makes keratinocytes (the most common type of skin cells) produce a hormone called Cortisol which promotes inflammation.
Furthermore, the fluctuation of estrogen throughout the women’s monthly cycle makes the skin more sensitive and reactive. Hormonal imbalance can down- or up-regulate sebum production with all the implications it may have on skin health and the integrity of the skin barrier.
HOW TO DEAL WITH SENSITIVE SKIN?
Sensitive skin may be chronic or improve with time. It may get better or worse at times. It depends if it is a natural disposition or triggered by an underlying problem, like stress.
GOOD HABITS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Some habits in your daily routine can help you cope better with sensitive skin or even make it disappear with time.
- Avoid hot showers. Switch to lukewarm or cool water instead to avoid skin dryness.
- Moisturize often.
- Wash your skin with soft cleansers or syndets instead of soaps.
- Protect your skin from the sun and pollution.
- Use specific cosmetics for sensitive skin.
- Avoid contact with any chemical product
- Avoid the use of products that contain fragrances
ONLY USE ADAPTED SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
Choose skin care products adapted to your condition, like INNO-DERMA® SENSITIVE CREAM, a specific face moisturizer that helps to restore the acid mantle, while also nourishing and soothing the skin.
And if not enough, CONSULT YOUR DERMATOLOGIST
In addition to INNO-DERMA® SENSITIVE CREAM, the laboratory offers an in-office treatment in 4 sessions that combines a chemical peel and a transdermal solution.
- INNO-EXFO® SENSITIVE PEEL: A soft chemical peel specific for sensitive skin that promotes the regeneration and strengthening of the skin barrier.
- INNO-TDS® SENSITIVE-ID: Transdermal solution that boosts the skin barrier function and skin defenses, effectively preventing skin hyperreactivity.