If you use a mass-market facial tonic or cream, your face turns red and starts to burn. If you’ve been out in the cold a little longer than usual, your skin feels tingling, even though nothing seems to have changed in appearance. These signs could indicate hypersensitivity of the skin, a condition in which it reacts too strongly to external stimuli. Let’s find out what skin can be considered sensitive and if what they say is true.
Why Skin Becomes Sensitive
Skin is the largest organ of the human body: depending on your body type, it measures between 1.6 and 1.85 square meters and weighs between 3 and 3.5 kilograms. The skin performs many tasks. It helps maintain a constant body temperature, regulate the level of moisture and exchange the substances necessary for life with the outside world. It also protects the body from mechanical damage, ultraviolet light, harmful microorganisms, and other environmental influences.
Our main armor is very thin, only a few hundredths of a millimeter. It’s the upper, horny layer of the epidermis (superficial skin layer). It comprises so-called bricks – keratinocytes (dead cells of this layer) and “cement” – lipids, i.e. fats that are insoluble in water. Sweat glands secrete to the surface of the skin, which includes water. Together with lipids it forms the so-called hydro-lipid film. Such a complex structure ensures the skin’s barrier function – natural protection against ultraviolet light, dehydration and bacteria.
If the function of the protective barrier is compromised – in particular, if its permeability changes – the deeper skin layers face problems for which they are structurally unprepared. At least half of European women are familiar with the results: itching, burning and tingling sensations, flaky and dry skin, redness and inflammation caused by contact with a specific irritant. Sometimes it’s cosmetics, but such reactions can also be caused by cold, heat, too humid or dry air, and, according to observations, by wearing a medical mask for a long time, by contact with clothing, and even by stress.
Many factors influence the condition of the protective layer of the epidermis: heredity, hormonal changes (for example, during the menstrual cycle), constant contact with polluted air (including those associated with smoking), skin diseases, taking antibiotics and some other drugs, improperly selected cosmetics and procedures.
Myth #1: A Skin Reaction to an Irritant Is an Allergy
Dermatologists don’t think so. Although allergies can also manifest as skin reactions, so-called hypersensitivity of the skin leads to a hyper reaction even to the most common stimuli – for example, too dry air or one’s own sweat. In the case of cosmetic products, true allergies don’t depend on the quantity of the irritant – the body will react even if you put only a drop of the product with the allergen on your face or body. The reaction of sensitive skin often depends directly on how much of the substance has time to penetrate the stratum corneum and repeated exposure to the same irritant.
Myth #2: Only Dry Skin Can Be Sensitive
Dry skin is indeed often sensitive: this type is characterized by a lack of lipids, those fats that are part of the protective barrier. But both normal and oily skin are not immune to increased sensitivity. For example, if the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, the composition of the hydrolipid film can change, and it will start to let more irritants through.
All skin types can become sensitive due to environmental influences or, for example, too much use of exfoliants and procedures such as peels.
Myth #3: Sensitive Skin Is Forever
You can’t change the way you inherit your epidermis. But there are too many factors that influence skin sensitivity to be readily attributed to genetics and held hostage.
Modern skin care for sensitive skin involves the use of specialized cosmetic products with ingredients that help restore the damaged protective barrier and promote gentle cleansing and moisturizing, steps that all skin types need.
Pay attention to these lines in the formulations of care products. Most of these components are added even to unexpected products, which you can afford without hit a jackpot at amazonia-slot.com/, and these are just a few of them:
- Hyaluronic acid. A substance that the body produces to retain water molecules, maintain elasticity and normal tissue function – not just skin, but also, for example, cartilage. Besides hydration, hyaluronic acid is responsible for repairing and healing damage to the skin.
- Plant oils: macadamia, acacia, almond, avocado, sunflower seeds, shea, or others. They moisturize and soften irritated skin, deeply nourish it and saturate it with useful substances.
- B vitamins are the well-known panthenol. It helps soften the skin and increase its elasticity, and also works to protect against irritants.
- Vitamin E (tocopherol) and other antioxidants. Slows down oxidative processes in the skin, protecting it from the effects of UV radiation, air pollution and other adverse environmental factors
- Bamboo microparticles. Found in skin cleansers: helps gently but effectively exfoliate dead skin cells and promote renewal.
Myth #4. Only Natural Products Are Suitable for Sensitive Skin
Indeed, it’s better to refuse from aggressive ingredients: alcohol-based products, scrubs and peels, products with acids and retinol can only worsen the situation. But don’t run to the other extreme: washing with plain water won’t be able to effectively and gently cleanse the skin from impurities accumulated during the day, and, for example, folk remedies – a homemade mask of oatmeal – can provoke even more irritations.
It’s better to choose modern dermo-cosmetics designed to solve specific problems, but give preference to clinically proven formulas without additional risk factors such as fragrances and dyes. People with sensitive or irritable skin can benefit from the hypoallergenic label, which means that the formulation contains ingredients that are as gentle as possible even to sensitive skin. Products with this label are usually suitable even for babies, whose skin barrier isn’t not fully formed.
Myth #5. SPF Filters Aren’t Suitable for Sensitive Skin
It’s a dangerous myth: due to the structure of the protective barrier, sensitive skin is particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of UV light-even indoors. It’s imperative that you protect yourself from the sun: using products with sun protection filters, among other things, helps to reduce the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.