Lets start by saying that any skin type can experience sensitivity. If your skin is easily irritated, itchy, red or dry & flaky on a regular basis, chances are, you may have sensitive or sensitised skin, this could be temporary or permanent. But don't stress, with more that 60% of the Australian population being effected by skin sensitivities at some point in their life and 55% of the cause coming from ingredients within skincare products, skin sensitivities are becoming more common and much more manageable. 

What causes sensitive skin? 

Sensitive skin is the occurrence of unpleasant sensations in the skin due to factors that are usually well tolerated by normal skin. 

Sensitive skin can stem from various factors, resulting in heightened reactivity and susceptibility to irritation. Often, it arises from a compromised skin barrier that is not doing it's job properly and in sensitive skin, this can leave the skin vulnerable to environmental aggressors, such as harsh weather conditions, pollution, or certain skincare products which can cause the skin to react, leading to flushing, burning and stinging. Genetic predisposition can also contribute to increased skin sensitivity, making individuals more prone to allergic reactions and inflammation. Furthermore, the use of abrasive exfoliants, fragrances, or certain chemicals in skincare and cosmetic products can trigger adverse reactions in sensitive skin types. Additionally, underlying medical conditions, like eczema or rosacea, can further exacerbate skin sensitivity, leading to redness, itchiness, and discomfort. Understanding these triggers can aid in the development of tailored skincare regimens aimed at soothing and protecting sensitive skin.

The most common factors include: 

Environmental: changes in temperature or humidity can often cause discomfort, as well as sun exposure, pollen or pollution. 

Skincare products: you may have overdone it on certain actives or other ingredients which has resulted in an impaired skin barrier. This may not mean you permanently have sensitive skin, it's more than likely to be sensitised skin, which can be temporary and it's generally best to dial back on those ingredients and seek out products the are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. You may only need to use them short-term, or at at least until your skin barrier has recovered. If you have a more permanent situation, being mindful of common irritants like fragrance or colourants to name a few would be good place to start and seeking out products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Just to be clear, we don't advocate a blanket rule of avoiding certain ingredients, but understanding which formulas work for your skin and sticking to those. 

Psychological Stress: certain lifestyle choices, even the food and drink such and alcohol spicy food can lead to flushing, redness and inflammation. Alcohol also has the additional effect of acting as a diuretic which can dry your skin out, increasing the vulnerability of you skin. 

What can you do?

This is an essential and critical step to get right, regardless of your routine. You'll want to avoid cleansing with harsh formulas that can leave your skin feeling tight and dry. Instead, choose a light-weigh cleanser with a calming formula. If you can tolerate fragrance, go for it. But if not, our gel cleanser could be a great starting point. 

Locking in moisture helps to keep your skin hydrated and calm. Choosing a formula that also strengthen and protects the skins barrier will do wonders for managing skin sensitivities. 

Sensitive skin or not, it's always a good idea to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, rain or shine, and reapply every 2 hours. This will help to protect your skin from damaging UVA and UBB radiation. 

Managing skin sensitivities can be a challenge, but taking the right steps can make it a whole lot easier. A positive step froward is choosing a skincare brand dedicated to sensitive skin wether it's for the short-term or long-term.