What is sensitive skin, and do I have it?
No other skin condition is more misunderstood than sensitized skin. In fact, almost 90% of the population report having sensitized skin at one time or another! To understand whether you have it, you first have to understand what causes it.
Sensitive skin is a genetically-inherited condition that predominantly affects very fair-skinned individuals, usually of Northern European ancestry. Someone with truly sensitized skin condition is highly prone to blushing, has a very fine complexion and may experience bad hay fever, allergies or asthma.
What most people suffer from sensitive skin is in fact rather than a result of genetics, it is a reflection of your environment, lifestyle and physiology. Pollution, stress, hormonal imbalance, cosmetic allergies, alcohol, a poor diet and over-exfoliation can all trigger the sensitized skin condition.
The good news is that sensitive skin can be treated. The bad news is that, if left untreated, the skin’s response can actually result in permanent cellular damage, which can lead to premature aging. How can I avoid trigger factors?
A few lifestyle modifications can usually solve most people’s problems. Maintaining the skin’s barrier function is vital, so remember to always apply your Dermalogica moisturizer after cleansing, and whenever your skin feels tight or dry – our Barrier Repair was developed with this specific goal in mind. Skin Hydrating Booster is the ideal addition to your skin care regimen to optimize the water level of your skin. Also, always avoid over-exfoliating your skin – remember, more exfoliation is not better! If you notice redness or tightness that lasts more than a few hours, you should discontinue the use of your exfoliant for a few days.
Sun protection is also critical because sensitive skin is even more vulnerable to UV damage. Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive FaceBlock SPF25 is a chemical-free sun shield that was developed specifically for this type of skin condition. Lastly, avoiding trigger factors such as hot drinks, spicy foods. msg, alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes can help your skin recover and rebuild its normal resistance.
What can I do for my skin when it’s sensitized?
The skin feels tight, red and swollen, and it seems like everything you do just makes it worse! The first step is to avoid all trigger factors. Then, you need to follow a special regimen to help your skin recover. Cleansing with Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser an extremely gentle gel/cream and tissue-off formula, will remove all irritants from the skin’s surface. Follow with Soothing Protection Spray to mist on anti-ozonate protection that’ll help shield the skin from further assault. Barrier Repair provides the last step, creating an invisible silicone barrier against the outside world. Your Environmental Control regimen doesn’t replace your existing skin care routine – think of it as an emergency response.
How is rosacea different from sensitized skin?
Rosacea is a skin condition as misunderstood as sensitive skin, and as frequently misdiagnosed. In its early stages, Rosacea exhibits the same symptoms – redness, blushing and tightness – as well as the same trigger factors. However, the similarity ends there. A disorder of the facial blood vessels, Rosacea is a progressive inflammatory disorder that, when untreated, develops additional complications that include burst capillaries, facial swelling and spots on the face that look like acne breakouts, causing people to confuse Rosacea with acne.
One in twenty people – mostly women – are affected by this misunderstood disease. See your professional skin care therapist and receive a FaceMapping to determine if you are experiencing Rosacea or a sensitized skin condition.
Fortunately, Rosacea is manageable. Avoiding trigger factors is critical, as a Rosacea attack begins the same way skin sensitization does. For milder Rosacea, we recommend our sensitized skin care regimen of Environmental Control products. There are also an increasing number of prescription medications recommended by your dermatologist that can halt the progression of this disorder.