A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Caring for Sensitive Skin

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Sensitive skin is a common concern that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. If you're one of the many individuals grappling with sensitive skin, you understand the challenges that come with finding the right skincare routine. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of sensitive skin, exploring its causes, identifying common triggers, and offering practical tips on how to care for and soothe sensitive skin.


What is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is a condition characterized by heightened reactivity to environmental factors, skincare products, and even certain fabrics. Individuals with sensitive skin may experience redness, itching, burning, or dryness more easily than those with normal skin and they may have one or more of the following skin physiological changes: increased neurosensory input, enhanced immune responses, and/or reduced barrier function. The pathophysiology of sensitive skin has long been suboptimal; the most common symptom is impaired barrier function, possibly resulting in changes in the nervous system and/or epidermal structure. Cosmetics, climate changes and skin barrier impairment are the main factors that contribute for skin hyperreactivity. Cosmetics are the main triggering factors of sensitive skin, especially in women, due to overuse and sometimes inappropriate use. Presence of potentially irritating substances in its composition (alpha-hydroxy acids, propylene glycol, alcohol, fragrances, etc.) increases the possibility of symptoms..


Causes of Sensitivity:

  • Genetics: Some people are genetically predisposed to sensitive skin.
  • Environmental Factors: Harsh weather conditions, pollution, and UV radiation can exacerbate sensitivity.
  • Skin Conditions: Conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis can contribute to skin sensitivity.
  • Allergens and Irritants: Certain ingredients in skincare products, such as fragrances and preservatives, can trigger sensitivity.

Patch Testing

  • Before incorporating new skincare products into your routine, perform patch tests to identify potential allergens or irritants. Apply a small amount to a discreet area and monitor for any adverse reactions.


Avoiding Common Culprits:

  • Fragrances: Opt for fragrance-free products to minimise the risk of irritation.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Choose products with gentle, hypoallergenic formulations.
  • Alcohol: Avoid products with high alcohol content, as they can be drying and irritating.
  • Creating a Sensitive Skin Care Routine:


Gentle Cleansing:

  • Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils.
  • Consider micellar water or cream cleansers for a soothing cleanse.


Moisturise Regularly:

  • Hydration is crucial for sensitive skin. Choose a hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic moisturiser to lock in moisture.
  • Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides for added hydration.


Sun Protection:

  • Shield your skin from harmful UV rays by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Opt for physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they tend to be gentler.


Careful Product Selection:

  • Choose skincare products with a short and simple ingredient list.
  • Consult with a dermatologist for product recommendations tailored to sensitive skin.




Caring for sensitive skin requires a thoughtful and tailored approach. By understanding the causes, identifying triggers, and adopting a gentle skincare routine, you can nurture your sensitive skin and promote a healthier complexion. Remember, consistency is key, and consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized guidance for your unique skin needs. Embrace the journey of self-care and empower yourself to make informed choices that contribute to the well-being of your sensitive skin.

Reference: Sensitive skin: review of an ascending concept

National Library of Medicine 

Duarte I, Silveira JEPS, Hafner MFS, Toyota R, Pedroso DMM. Sensitive skin: review of an ascending concept. An Bras Dermatol. 2017 Jul-Aug;92(4):521-525. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.201756111. PMID: 28954102; PMCID: PMC5595600.

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