Sensitivity can vary from person to person and mean different things. One person might be sensitive due to dryness, while another has blemishes, flaky, itchy or inflamed skin. This means that there is not just one treatment for sensitive skin. Sensitivity can be genetic in origin, induced via the use of harsh products, or due to environmental conditions.
Sensitive skin is a genetic condition, whereas sensitized is due to your environment, lifestyle, or the way your body processes what it’s exposed to, e.g., pollution, stress, and chemicals. A person with genetically sensitive skin blushes easily, suffers from asthma, allergies, or demonstrates pink or red skin.
Sensitized skin can be caused by numerous factors. Certain ingredients found in department and drugstore cleansers and toners can cause over-processed or exfoliated skin, which leads to sensitization. This skin condition can usually be corrected with the regular use of quality home care products.
Photosensitive, also known as sun-allergy, is often hereditary or medication-induced. Signs and symptoms include itchy red bumps on sun-exposed areas and facial acne. Your best option for preventing photosensitivity is liberal use of sunscreen, especially one that contains zinc. Our SPF 30 sunscreen contains 13.5% zinc oxide to block both UVA and UVB rays. Although UVA is less damaging to skin cell DNA than UVB, the most common photosensitivity is to UVA. Our sunscreen also contains red algae extract which helps to further absorb UVA/UVB rays. It is also rich in Gamma Linoleic Acid, an essential fatty acid which helps to reduce skin irritation.
Typical Sensitive Skin Conditions
Rosacea: Persistent redness of the face (especially over the cheeks and nose) with acne-like pustules (small pink bumps).
Eczema: Intensely dry, itchy skin and pink in color with a raised feel.
Psoriasis: Typically looks like thickened patches of dry red skin.
Keratosis Pilaris: Spiny pink papules (small solid bumps) typically affecting arms, thighs, and cheeks.
Allergic Reaction Types
Histamine Reactions (a.k.a. Hives): Slightly raised white or pink bumps that are itchy and have fluid inside.
Rash: Many of the previously mentioned symptoms present with swelling or irritation. They can be itchy or non-itchy and may include bumps, sores, scaly or red skin, and itchy or burning sensation.
Dermatitis: Inflammation of skin, often caused by allergic reaction or skin damage.
Process of Elimination
The process of elimination is the best approach to determine what your skin is reacting to. Some allergic reactions may result in immediate symptoms. For example, if you buy several new products and begin using them all at once, you may be allergic to one ingredient in one of the products. Many people will return the entire line assuming that they’re all problematic. However, there are approximately 25 ingredients in every formula, and you could be allergic to just a single ingredient or a particular combination.
It Comes in Three’s
We recommend that you stop using any new products and begin the process of elimination to identify the irritating product. Start by using one of the new products for three days, and if you do not have an allergic reaction, you may introduce a second product for three more days. You would continue this approach until you experience the reaction and then discontinue use of that one product.
Keep a smile on your face! Finding the product or combination of products that are right for you may take a little time, but the effort will reap great rewards in achieving beautiful skin!