What is sensitive skin and how do you hydrate it?

Sensitive skin manifests in a number of ways, causing a range of reactions. We explore what sensitive skin is, what are the best ways to treat it and how you can keep it hydrated.

Have you always wondered if you suffer from sensitive skin? The first thing to know is that it’s not a skin type, but rather a skin condition. It is commonly described as skin that is more susceptible or vulnerable to different factors, resulting in a reaction that can manifest in a number of different ways.

How to know if I have sensitive skin?

The easiest way to identify if your skin is sensitive is by watching how it reacts. Sensitive skin reactions are usually short-term, with varying intensity, but this can depend entirely on your skin. It can present as one of the following sensations or a combination of:

  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Warmness/burning
  • Redness
  • Stinging(1)

How does sensitive skin differ from allergic skin?

Normal skin can become sensitive when the skin barrier function is damaged- which can lead to a decrease in skin’s tolerance. This occurs when the skin barrier is dried out, resulting in a loss of water and a higher prevalence of sensitive skin(1). 

Sensitive skin can manifest as an inflammatory reaction without being set-off by a specific substance. In contrast, an allergy is an abnormal reaction that is dependent on the body coming into contact with a foreign substance or an allergen. For someone who is non-allergic, this contact would not cause a reaction. Many skincare products are therefore formulated to be hypoallergenic, in order to reduce the possibility of allergic reactions. However, a label on hypoallergenic skin care products does not necessarily mean it won’t react with your sensitive skin. 

When do sensitivity reactions occur?

Sensitive skin has a naturally higher reactivity threshold when it comes to external stimuli or environmental changes in comparison to non-sensitive skin. These can include:

  • Temperature changes (especially excess wind, cold or heat)
  • Pollution
  • An incorrect skincare/beauty routine (such as using the wrong products)
  • Stress
  • Dry skin types

How to reduce the sensitivity of your skin and what to use for sensitive skin?

The best way to reduce your skin’s sensitivity is by treating it with good sensitive skin care products. This may mean updating your skincare routine to contain:

Only neutral skin care products

These skin care products should contain minimal ingredients.

Soothing active ingredients

Such as thermal water. It’s important to maintain the skin barrier that protects your skin against external factors. This can be achieved by choosing moisturizers and nourishing skin care products that comfort and soothe skin immediately. The sensitive skin treatment must strike the correct balance between tolerance and effectiveness.

A mild cleansing skin care routine

Avoid using any skin care products that contain b detergents or irritants and make sure to apply your products gently on the skin.

Formulas that are tested on sensitive skin

The Aqualia Thermal skin care line is suitable for sensitive skin as it’s formulated with ingredients that are respectful of skin that is more reactive. Studies have been conducted on those with sensitive skin to monitor their tolerability under dermatological control, and in external clinical research centers. 97% of Aqualia Thermal skin care line composition come from a natural origin, and contains only 20 ingredients, making it the ideal solution to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin.

SOURCES:

    1. Misery, L. et al, "Sensitive skin" in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 30.1 (2016) pp. 2-8

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