Sensitive skin is caused by nerve endings in the top layer of the skin becoming irritated. It is often the result of damage to the skin’s protective barrier – allowing irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin and cause inflammation. (1) While some people are genetically predisposed to sensitive skin, many others are sensitised by their environment and lifestyle.
Sensitive skin triggers
Cosmetic and/or medical procedures
Cosmetics and soaps
Chemical and/or synthetic fragrances and dye
Caring for sensitive skin
Sensitive skin needs a daily routine of gentle cleansing and moisturising with ingredients designed to nourish and calm. AVEENO® Colloidal Oatmeal formulations help seal in moisture, soothe and calm sensitive skin, and restore the skin’s moisture barrier.
Here are a few tips:
Cleanse thoroughly, but gently.
- Use lukewarm (not hot) water.
- Use mild soap-free cleansers that won’t over-dry or irritate, compromising your skin’s moisture barrier.
- Gently pat skin dry – don’t rub.
- Avoid using scrubs and flannels.
Moisturise, calm and protect.
- Apply moisturisers to damp skin (within minutes of taking a bath or shower).
- If prescribed by your doctor, apply any special medications first and then liberally apply moisturiser. For some medications, you may be advised to wait 15-20 minutes before applying moisturiser, so be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Use hats, clothing and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB suncream.
Lifestyle changes can also help protect your skin
Be wary of bacteria
This means replacing your flannel and pillowcase more often and throwing away old make-up and cosmetic products. Wash your make-up brushes often and let them air dry.
Test new products
When you’re trying a new product, always test it on your wrist, arm or behind the ear first before putting it on your face or more broadly on your body.
Avoid your triggers
As much as you can, avoid common triggers like harsh soaps, alcohols, chemicals and fragrances. Check the labels on your skincare products.
Use a humidifier
Unless you live in a humid climate, use a humidifier to help your skin stay moisturised.
Manage stress and establish a healthy sleep schedule.
Stress and sleep are significant lifestyle factors that can affect skin health.
Could it be more than sensitive skin?
There are medical conditions that can cause sensitive skin symptoms. Rosacea, eczema and allergic contact dermatitis are commonly mistaken for sensitive skin. A dermatologist is your best resource to find the cause of your problem and develop a treatment plan to get and keep your skin clear.