If you have sensitive skin, symptoms may include redness, burning and stinging4 caused by contact with specific ingredients found in skin care and other products. Additionally, environmental factors or skin conditions such as eczema can cause symptoms. But regardless of the trigger, one cause of sensitive skin can be a weakened skin barrier that allows moisture to escape and irritants to penetrate your skin.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
About 70% of people report having sensitive skin that reacts when it comes into contact with a skin care product, chemicals or environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold. Skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis can lead to sensitive skin and cause symptoms such as stinging and burning. Some may have sensitive skin prone to bumps or acne. Care for sensitive skin must be particularly gentle and it is important to avoid excessive exfoliation. Sensitive skin is not limited to the face, and the symptoms can also appear on the body.
WHAT TO AVOID WHEN YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN
- Highly scented skin care products
- Excessive sun exposure
- Long, hot showers or baths
- Coarse and synthetic fabrics
- Harsh detergents and soaps
- Abrasive exfoliators and chemical peels
What is sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin is characterized by an increased tendency to react to environmental factors, which can be caused by genetic factors or various skin diseases. If you have sensitive skin, your symptoms may also be triggered by contact with specific products or ingredients. A common underlying factor in the most sensitive skin may be a weakened skin barrier. Ceramides are an important component of the skin barrier, and although they are naturally produced by the skin, their levels can be depleted by a number of internal and external factors
How to know if you have sensitive skin
If you experience redness, itching, burning and stinging – especially when you apply skin care products – you may have sensitive skin. Other symptoms of sensitive skin include frequent rashes, itching, dry patches, facial redness, reactions to extreme weather conditions, and more. If you experience skin irritation and are unable to identify the source, it is best to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
What causes sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin on the face and body can react to a wide range of irritants. Skin reactions to detergent are among the most common, so it is best to use detergents that do not contain fragrances and dyes. Other common causes of sensitive skin include harsh soaps (especially those used to wash dishes), household cleaners, harsh fabrics (such as wool), heat, latex, and more. Certain ingredients found in skin care and makeup products can also cause reactions.