More and more people have sensitive skin. This may be due to internal factors such as genetic predisposition (usually in fair skin) or significant psychological stress. But the causes can also be of external origin with the skin becoming more sensitive with time. A harsh and aggressive environment: sun, contact with limestone (tap water) or the use of irritating cosmetics and not adapted to its type of skin contribute to increasing its sensitivity. What is sensitive skin and how to care for it?
How does sensitive skin work?
Sensitive skin has a deficient skin barrier and is much more porous than normal. Imagine sensitive skin as a strainer that would allow deep penetration of molecules usually stopped by an integral skin barrier. Since we are exposed daily to potentially irritating or even allergenic molecules, this creates opportunities for sensitive skin to react.
In addition to these chemical aggressions, fragile skin is affected by other factors such as: cold, pollution, hard water, exfoliation too frequent, peeling, …
These different aggressions that have to undergo the sensitive skins result in a most often immediate reaction: warming, tingling, redness and itching occur sometimes causing even blisters and burns.
If the reaction is related to high exposure to a molecule and does not reproduce on subsequent lower dose exposure, it is a simple irritation reaction. If, on the other hand, the reaction occurs again when the skin is in contact, even at very low dose, with the substance having caused the first irritation, it is considered that the skin has been sensitized and we can then speak of allergy.
Is sensitive skin always synonymous with dry skin?
If the origin of your sensitive skin is internal (hereditary factor), then it is more likely that you have dry skin (to be sure, think about your skin diagnosis here). From the genetic point of view, sensitive and dry skin also rhymes with clear phototype skin.
If the origin of your sensitive skin comes more from your environment or too irritating cosmetics that you used, you may very well have a type of skin mixed or greasy, which was stripped following the frequent use of unsuitable cosmetics .
And having sensitive skin, means that you are allergic?
Sensitive skin is easily irritable skin. Irritation depends on how often and how much sensitive skin is exposed. More contact is frequent with strippers, irritants such as sulphates widely used in shower gels, shampoos, and other cleansing gels, plus it will react with redness, itching and dry skin.
On the other hand, we say that a skin is allergic, when at the simple touch, whatever the concentration of the product or the molecule, the skin reacts extremely strongly (redness, swelling, pimples, important itching). In this case, consult your allergist to find the molecules involved.
Discover now the 8 commandments to take care of a sensitive skin
1 Remove makeup with vegetable oil
Do you have sensitive skin? Do not try to complicate your life! What’s easier and softer for the skin than removing make-up with vegetable oils? Yes ! A vegetable oil is enough. Choose the organic, and first cold pressed. Apricot oil (Prunus Armeniaca), sweet almond oil (Prunus Dulcis), avocado oil (Persea Gratissima), pumpkin seed oil (Cucurbita Pepo Seed Oil) or Evening primrose oil are ideal for sensitive and irritated skin.
If you choose a commercial make-up remover oil (like ours, maybe one day … :)), make sure it contains no mineral, esterified or hydrogenated oils that have no essential fatty acids for dry skin . Caution, it is also necessary to avoid ethoxylated surfactants such as sorbeth-30 tetraoleate .
2 Use washable wipes instead of disposable cottons
The cotton crop is one of the most water-hungry. In addition to being environmentally friendly, washable cleansing wipes are more economical and healthy for your skin because they do not contain pesticide residues or chlorine (used to bleach cotton). Unlike disposable cotton that scrapes the skin like a rasp, cloth washable wipes are reusable and all soft for all skin types!
3 Say “no” to irritating and stripping products
Sensitive skin, whether it is the body, face or hair, should be treated and cleaned with mild products. In other words, you must flee all products containing sulphated agents, and avoid: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (this surfactant also serves as a foaming agent and proves irritating, in addition to altering the hydrolipidic film). Also avoid Methylisothiazolinone and Phenoxyethanol, two cosmetic preservatives suspected of disrupting hormone production and severely irritating the skin. Remember to check that your hair color does not contain PPD or resorcinol. Also beware of costume jewelry made with highly allergenic nickel.
4 Avoid having “excessive” hygiene
Exaggerated hygiene irritates the skin more. The more you clean, scrub, scrape your skin and the more fragile it becomes. A cleaning morning and evening is enough.
5 Clean his face with cold saponified soap
If you use soap to clean yourself, it is better to use a cold saponified soap for a more delicate cleaning. The advantage of the soap saponified cold is that it undergoes no heating. This allows to keep all the benefits of vegetable oils and vegetable butters that compose it. In addition, this manufacturing process guarantees the presence of glycerin, a powerful moisturizing agent (“emollient”) natural.
If you do not usually use soap, note that the pH of cold saponified soaps is slightly alkaline and may not be perfectly tolerated by the most sensitive skin. Also having to rinse the soap with water that is often limestone can also contribute to the discomfort of sensitive skin. If this is your case, prefer a cleansing with oils or make-up removers.
To recognize a quality soap, its first ingredient should not be “Sodium tallowate” (an ingredient of animal origin that shows if it is an industrial soap) and not be “Sodium palmate” (low-cost derivatives of palm oil). A good soap is based on a quality vegetable oil, such as olive oil. The first ingredient of a soap made from olive oil is “Sodium olivate”.
Be careful, avoid any soap containing triclosan (an endocrine disruptor) or Lanolin which can be allergenic ..
7 Rinse the face with floral water
To remove all traces of limescale after cleaning your face, rinse with a Floral Water of Roman Chamomile. It is in addition, perfect to calm irritation and tugging. Then dry your face by gently dabbing with a towel.
8 Apply vegetable butters in case of intense desiccation
As we have said, what distinguishes sensitive skin from normal skin is its almost non-existent skin barrier. The role of vegetable oils and butters is thus to soothe these small sensations of tingling and tightness, but also to restore this protective barrier for the skin. Prefer them all organic, and make sure that your shea butter is unrefined so that it has kept all its properties. Recall that refined shea butter loses 50 to 80% of its natural benefits! Refined shea butter is much whiter than unrefined natural shea, which has a pale yellow color.