Sensitive or Sensitised skin? - Skinora
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Sensitive or Sensitised skin?

Sensitive vs sensitised skin

If you have either sensitive or sensitised skin, it’s easy to become confused, because really, what’s the difference? While the two skin types vary in many ways, the tell-tale signs are actually very similar. For example, if you are experiencing burning, itchiness, stinging or redness, you could well have either condition.

In this weeks blog we discuss sensitive vs sensitised skin, including what the skin types are and how they can be treated.

What is sensitive skin?

In the beauty industry, it’s difficult to know whether you have a sensitive skin condition – after all, it has quickly become a marketing angle. If you suffer from sensitive skin, your skin may be weak or damaged and more susceptible to irritation and rashes. This is because the skins barrier is not as resilient  and has less protective effects. The skin’s barrier function plays a key role in creating a healthy defense system preventing environmentally triggered sensitivity.  When the skin’s barrier is compromised and not as strong it can allow pollution, bacteria or environmental allergens to penetrate the skin quicker. It’s also worth knowing that sensitive skin does tend to be an inherited condition and is often due to genetics.

What is sensitised skin?

Unlike sensitive skin, sensitised skin is not inherited but acquired. It is a temporary condition and  is often caused by environmental factors such as stress, fluctuating hormones, skincare products, smoking, stress, diet and more. Factors such as these may impair your skin barrier, meaning irritation and redness is caused by external aggressors. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to notice or identify these factors until our skin is already suffering.

The symptoms that people experience with sensitised skin are similar in appearance to the symptoms with sensitive skin which can make it difficult to differentiate the two. The key difference between the 2 is that sensitive skin symptoms are ongoing whereas sensitised skin symptoms will be short term.

Treating sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is a predisposed condition, meaning it can’t be cured. However, it can definitely be managed. Having a good skincare routine will ensure your skin stays calm and soothed. We recommend staying away from acids or peels, as these are known to thin the skin even more. If you’re looking to purchase skincare products, choose those that are fragrance free and hydrating instead.

Tips for sensitive skin;

  • Ensure you have a skincare routine that calms and soothes the complexion

  • Avoid facial treatment that may thin out the skin further such as laser and chemical peels.

  • Choose hydrating and calming products that wont irritate or damage the skin barrier.

Treating sensitised skin

If you can identify what aspect of your lifestyle or environment your skin is reacting to, treating sensitised skin becomes very manageable. I also suggest sticking to a simple skincare routine and purchasing rehydrating products to strengthen skin barrier. Quite simply, you are looking to restore your skin’s barrier and eliminate anything that may be causing irritation. Try natural cleansers and hydrators or moisturisers.

Tips for sensitised skin;

  • Keep your skincare routine simple.

  • Remove  products with ingredients that could cause irritation such as alcohol, fragrance and essential oils.

  • Choose regimes and products that work to restore your skins barrier.

About the Author: Anna Puri

Dr Anna Puri is an Aesthetic doctor and GP with over 14 years experience in both the medical and aesthetic fields. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of St Andrews and University of Manchester. She continues to work both as an Aesthetic doctor at her clinics in Ascot and Kew and as a GP. Dr Anna brings her holistic approach to all aspects of the care she provides with a strong focus on advice and treatment that is specifically tailored to her patients expectations and needs. She has worked with cosmeceutical skin care brands and treated a wide range of skin concerns for over a decade. Dr Anna has a special interest in Antiaging skincare and procedures . Dr Anna's work has been featured in various magazines including Lux and The Aesthetics Journal. You can follow Dr Anna on the SkinoraUK instagram page and Skinora YouTube channel.

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Last update: September 20th, 2021

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