Sensitive skin is a common concern that affects millions of people worldwide and something we see every day in the clinic. Sensitive skin is characterised by heightened reactivity to various environmental factors, skincare and hair care products, food and drink and even certain fabrics. Those with sensitive skin, know how challenging it can be to find suitable products and establish a skincare routine that doesn't cause irritation or discomfort. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of sensitive skin, its causes, and effective ways to care for it.
UNDERSTANDING SENSITIVE SKIN
"Sensitive skin" comes in many forms and the term encompasses a range of conditions, including rosacea, eczema, and contact dermatitis. It is essential to differentiate between sensitive skin and skin conditions, as they may require different approaches to care. Sensitive skin is characterized by a weakened skin barrier, making it more prone to irritation, redness, dryness, and allergic reactions.
CAUSES OF SENSATIVE SKIN
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of sensitive skin. These include genetic predisposition, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and the use of harsh skincare products. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as hormonal imbalances and autoimmune disorders, can also contribute to skin sensitivity.
Here at the Ultimate Skin & Body clinic we have been caring for sensitive skin since 1996 and over the years we have refined our protocols and practices to adapt to new technology and new ingredients.
I also spent my teenage years through to my 50's suffering from sensitive skin and rosacea, so I know first-hand the frustration of it. It is no co-incidence that I now also own Issada Cosmeceuticals and that my son Jacques became a skincare formulator - we share a passion for finding solutions for all skin problems.
CARING FOR SENSITIVE SKIN - PRODUCTS & SKINCARE
Gentle Cleansing: Start your skincare routine with a mild, fragrance-free
cleanser specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Avoid using hot water, as
it can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate sensitivity. Instead,
opt for lukewarm water and pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
We recommend Issada Daily Gentle Cleanser
2. Use a Gentle Serum: Serums are the holy grail of skincare being able to penetrate the skin and deposit active ingredients where they need to go. Fpr sensitive skin choose from Niacinamide + B5 Serum which has soothing, calming and anti-inflammatory properties, or a HA Serum which is non-irritating and will increase hydration.
We recommend Issada Niacinamide + B5 Serum
3. Moisturize Regularly: Moisturising is crucial for sensitive skin, as it helps
to restore and maintain the skin's natural barrier function. Look for
moisturisers that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and formulated for
sensitive skin. Ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin are
beneficial for providing hydration and soothing the skin.
We recommend Issada's new Synbiotic Moisturiser which restores the skins Microbiome within 30 minutes due to its unique formula containing 1.8 Billion live probiotics. It also contains Epidermal Groth Factors to assist in normalising and healing the skin.
Sun Protection: Sensitive skin is more susceptible to sunburn and damage from
UV rays. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ or higher
before heading outdoors.
We recommend Issada Sheer Defence SPF 50+ which also doubles as a makeup primer and has 4 hours water resistance.
4. Patch Test New Products: When introducing new skincare or cosmetic products into your routine, it is crucial to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the product to a small area of your skin and wait for 24-48 hours to observe any adverse reactions. If your skin shows signs of redness, itching, or irritation, it's best to avoid using that product.
5. Avoid Harsh Ingredients: Avoid retinol and high concentrations of Vitamin C which can be irritating to sensitive skin. However, over time and with the right products and treatments it is possible to build skin tolerance.
6. Identify your triggers. It's easy to say "stay away from XYZ" but in reality, most people are only sensitive to certain products. Depending on who you speak to "all fragrances are bad", or "natural fragrances are good" etc but the reality is we are all individuals and we each react differently to various ingredients or products.
If you have a reaction, check the ingredients in the product that you used and by a process of elimination identify your trigger and discuss these with your therapist prior to any treatment.
6. Be Mindful of Your Diet: Certain foods and beverages can trigger skin sensitivity and inflammation. Pay attention to your diet and avoid known triggers like spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods. Instead, focus on consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help promote healthy skin.
7. Hair products are often responsible for sensitive skin and even acne. Gels, waxes and hairspray end up on your pillowcase and transfer to your skin so be mindful about those products too.
Rather surprisingly in my 20's I discovered that the metal in earrings was part of my rosacea problem. Whenever I wore earrings, I would see a rash extend from the side of my face to my cheeks. At first I tried changing from pierced earrings to clip-ons but that didn't help - It turned out that nickel was irritating my skin but even gold earrings still have that same effect now.
CARING FOR SENSITIVE SKIN - TREATMENTS
There are many treatments at the clinic that are suitable for sensitive skin and some will also help to build skin strength. Conditions such as Rosacea and Acne Rosacea will never be completely cured but they can be brought under control and maintained relatively easily.
Treatments for sensitive skin and rosacea
- Issada Sensitive Skin Pack (Calming, Soothing for barrier impaired skin)
- IPL/Laser for general redness (reduces redness and strengthens skin)
- B Boost Micro peel (calming and soothing)
- Luminess Facial / Micro peel (strengthening)
- Fractional RF (Strengthening)
- NeoGen Evo Low Energy (General redness and strengthening)
- LED Light Therapy (Soothing and Healing)
Caring for sensitive skin requires a gentle and mindful approach. By understanding the causes and triggers of sensitivity, you can make informed choices when it comes to skincare products and lifestyle habits. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so it's essential to listen to your skin and tailor your routine accordingly. With the right care and attention, you can keep your sensitive skin healthy, calm, and radiant.