When it comes to sensitive skin, it's not as easy to define as you may think.
In some derm circles, acne, rosacea, stinging and burning, and contact dermatitis are all considered sensitive. The common core to all of these conditions is the dreaded inflammation.
So what is at the root of your sensitivity?
In acne, inflammation is a result of overactive oil glands producing sebum that mixes with dead skin cells and other debris, clogging the pores. This creates an optimum growth opportunity for bacteria. The body’s defense system wages a war against the bacteria resulting in an inflamed pimple.
Rosacea is a skin condition with no clear cause; however, there are known triggers such as sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, spicy food and heavy exercise, just to name a few. Rosacea symptoms can vary by type and can appear as flushing, persistent redness, bumps/pimples and visible blood vessels.
Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory response that happens when something comes in contact with your skin that causes irritation or an allergic reaction. Common culprits are jewelry, cosmetics, personal care products, fabric softeners or plants (i.e. poison ivy).
Burning and Stinging
This is the inflammation response when something hits your skin and causes your skin to burn or sting (like an acid or strong retinol).
While I can’t provide a cure for sensitive skin, I can suggest products that have been designed specifically to make skincare more tolerable.
Cleansers for Sensitive Skin
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash: The high level of PEGs in this formulation is a plus because they have what is called an anesthetizing effect on mucous membranes. In other words, it can desensitize the sensitive tissue or compromised skin, making the cleansing process more pleasurable.
Olay Foaming Face Wash: The primary cleansing agent in this cleanser helps reduce the discomfort that many sensitive skins experience. Sodium myristoyl sarcosinate contains a fatty acid section on the molecule that helps keep it on the surface of the skin. This helps reduce irritation because it doesn’t penetrate into the skin bringing along any ingredients that can potentially cause irritation.
Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin
These moisturizers were created as an answer to the skin sensitivity caused by the after-effects of chemotherapy. Skin becomes much more fragile during such harsh treatments and typically requires formulations with heavy duty moisturizers and healing agents to help soothe the skin without causing additional discomfort.
3Rx Skin Therapy Targeted Serum: This product contains the HylaSponge System, a matrix of three different types of hyaluronic acid that forms a moisture barrier on the skin’s surface. This continuously provides hydration relief to compromised skin without further irritation.
CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray: When skin is too sensitive to even touch, this spray can provide relief. A cocktail of potent anti-inflammatories such as bisabolol, ginger root extract and tumeric work with the soothing effects of oat kernel and aloe while the beta glucan goes right to work healing the skin.
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