Most of us lean towards a particular skin type, usually oily, normal, combination. But did you know you can have sensitive skin on top of your usual type, for example dry and sensitive or oily and sensitive? Sensitive skin can be a type that some people experience consistently, but we can all have skin reactions sometimes that take our skin into the sensitive zone.
Common Signs of Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin can flare up at any point in our lives, it’s linked to stress, allergies and environmental factors. Symptoms include:
• Stinging after applying skincare
• Redness or flushing
• Rashes of any type
• Burning feeling
• Dry or flaky patches
• Itchy skin
You might also suffer from conditions such as rosacea, eczema or contact dermatitis.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
Some people will experience sensitive skin day in day out and that is usually just down to our genetics which can’t be changed. If that’s you skip straight down to – what you can do about sensitive skin. For everyone else, sensitive skin is usually just a phase. It can be linked to stress, a lack of sleep and a poor diet – these are all lifestyle factors that we can try to avoid. By choosing a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a varied diet rich in fruit and veg and a commitment to drinking 2 litres of water a day, you can help to combat sensitivity issues arising.
It’s also worth trying to keep stress to a minimum, try talking with friends or a therapist, exercising, yoga and meditation. Hormonal fluctuations can also cause extreme and sudden skin changes, including bouts of sensitivity, so the right skincare can help to a certain extent, but if you suspect a hormone issue speak to your doctor. Environmental factors such as extreme heat or cold can wreak havoc on skin and leave us with tell-tale dry patches, redness and highly sensitised skin. Finally, choosing the wrong skincare and over-use of certain powerful ingredients such as acids and retinols can also lead to sensitivity issues.
Skincare for Sensitive Skin
When your skin feels uncomfortable, red, itchy and highly sensitive it’s usually linked to a compromised skin barrier function. The top layer of our skin is made up of skin cells tightly bound together by natural fats including ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids and known as the skin barrier. When this barrier is weakened or sensitised, we see the effects on our skin such as redness, dry patches and more, as a damaged barrier allows damaging free radicals and environmental debris to enter deeper into the skin. To avoid weakening the barrier further, steer clear of harsh, stripping skincare and reach for mild products that will replenish and lock in moisture.
Kiehl’s Skincare Products Recommended for Sensitive Skin
Below we share some of our products recommended for sensitive skin. If you want to discover our routine for sensitive skin, click here.
Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser
Our soap-free cleanser will gently remove any irritants without drying out your skin. The fragrance-free and alcohol-free formula works to soothe and strengthen the skin barrier function.
Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
For skin that is both oily and sensitive, this alcohol-free toner will help skin to feel soothed, cleansed and refreshed. Our formula reduces surface blotchiness and surface oil and contains hand-picked Calendula petals.
Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate
Face oils are very effective at soothing sensitised skin. Try this calming, non-comedogenic blend with Oregano Oil whenever skin shows stress with redness or breakouts. Discover more ways to calm stressed skin here.
This fragrance-free cream soothes and protects the skin barrier function while intensively moisturising. Find out more about cica cream and how it can benefit sensitive skin here.
Daily sun protection is even more essential for sensitive skin to prevent lasting damage. When the skin’s barrier function is compromised, as it often is with sensitive skin, UVA and UVB rays can penetrate more readily, causing ultra-dry skin that looks red and feels tight and itchy. Premature ageing is fast-tracked, and discolouration can occur.
For expert advice book an online or in-store consultation with one of our skin pros and receive more tips on how to comfort sensitive skin.
If you are looking to find the right routine for your skin, try our Instant Skin Reader. Developed with dermatologists, this unique skin analysis tool personalises a routine to your skin type and needs.