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Sensitive Skin

What is sensitive skin? The outer layer of our skin acts as a barrier to keep harmful properties out of the skin, however, in order for this barrier to work properly, it must contain a certain amount of moisture. As our skin is exposed to many different things in the environment, this barrier can weaken with air conditioning, cold weather and harsh chemicals being some of the most common culprits. Your skin’s PH level is also an important factor when understanding sensitive skin. The outer layer of the skin has a more acidic PH level (5.5). Detrimental factors to this layer will cause the PH in the skin to drop, thus becoming sensitive due to the weakened barrier. Treatment for sensitive skin: Obagi Medical Products, IS Clinical

Changes in the weather can be very detrimental to your skin’s health, with both cold weather and the sun having a negative effect, resulting in conditions such as sensitive skin and dry skin. You can see straightaway a negative effect on the skin when your lips become dry, cracked and sore in cold weather. In hot weather the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate through the outer skin barrier, which harms the layers underneath leading to sensitivity and eventually sunburn.

You may think your skin is safer when you’re inside, however appliances such as air conditioning and central heating can cause the skin to become dehydrated, which can result in sensitive skin. If possible, it is best to avoid these situations where you would be subjected to these harmful appliances. Alternatively try not to flick between an air-conditioned room to a non-air conditioned room as the difference in the atmosphere can cause sensitivity of the skin, due to the body not being able to adjust to it in enough time.

Unfortunately in the market today there are products that contain harmful ingredients that can cause sensitive skin and other skin conditions. Best advice is to always look at the ingredients before buying something, especially if it is to be applied to the skin. This is the same for laundry detergent as if you wash your clothes with a product that contains possible harmful properties, it will stay on the clothes and affect you as you wear them.

Sensitive skin due to hormones is the only cause that happens internally. Typically, women suffer more from sensitive skin than men, this is due to the menstrual cycle. When a woman goes through her period her hormones fluctuate, and fluctuating hormonal activity can cause sensitive skin, as well as acne. It is also common to see these symptoms in pregnant women and teenagers because of fluctuating hormones.

There are areas throughout the UK that have a water supply containing high levels of minerals including iron, magnesium and calcium, which are highly alkaline. You can notice hard water by looking closer at your tap, kettle, washing machine (any appliance that uses the water supply), and you can see lime scale, which is a result of the hard water. Now if lime scale is damaging to robust appliances, it is more damaging to your skin.

Excessive cleansing and using the wrong cleanser for your skin are the most common faux pas in a beauty regime. If you cleanse too often your skin doesn’t have time to replenish the natural oils in the skin, resulting in it becoming dry and sensitive. If you cleanse with the wrong kind of cleanser, i.e. you have dry skin and use a cleanser designed for oily skin, this will cause skin sensitivity and other conditions. However, choosing the right cleanser for your skin type will have a positive outcome for it will help your skin function properly.

Your whole body needs to be looked after in order to maintain healthy skin. So, if you have a lifestyle that consists of late nights, little to no sleep, smoking, drinking excessively and more this will impact your skin negatively. It is common to find swimmers suffering from dry and sensitive skin due to the chlorine in the pools, as it is a harsh chemical to the body. If you’re a frequent flier also you may find your skin is less healthy than an infrequent flier due to the air filtration on the aircraft, which dries out the skin for the entire length of the flight. It is best to try and combat these lifestyle choices by either removing them from your life or using an appropriate cleanser straight after the lifestyle choice has occurred.