If you have sensitive skin, the good news is there is a growing number of non-prescription products designed for your skin. Vogue recently cited that Google searches for “sensitive skin” have more than doubled in the last five years and the number of products designed for sensitive skin are on the rise. Whether it is redness, inflammation or itchiness, you will want to use the very best possible products to sooth your skin, help alleviate the discomfort and repair your skin barrier.
Before you look into potential product solutions, it is important to first have a clear picture of the symptoms and understand what the underlying causes could be.
What is Sensitive Skin?
According to The Journal of European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology “Sensitive skin is clinically defined by characteristic sensory perceptions including tightness, abnormal stinging, burning, tingling, pain and pruritus. Sensitive skin may occur in individuals with normal skin, with skin barrier disturbance, or as a part of the symptoms associated with facial dermatoses such as rosacea, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Although experimental studies are still pending, the symptoms of sensitive skin suggest the involvement of cutaneous nerve fibres and neuronal, as well as epidermal, thermochannels”.
Common skin conditions include:
Dry skin can cause your skin to crack, flake, itch, peel and even bleed. It can occur on any part of your body when you lose too much moisture or oil.
Dermatitis is the term given to skin irritation. It is a common condition and can occur in a number of forms including eczema and contact dermatitis. Symptoms are itchy dry skin, rash or swollen, reddened skin. The sufferer may experience skin that blisters, oozes, crusts or flakes off.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) causes redness, itching, and sometimes infections. The skin does not retain moisture very well, making it prone to allergens and irritants. When the skin gets irritated, it can trigger a release of chemicals that make it itchy.
Perioral dermatitis is an inflammatory rash occurring around the mouth, nose, chin and eyes. It is common in women and can be a result of using topical steroid medication.
Acne occurs when hair follicles are plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It can cause whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. The face, chest, upper back and shoulders are most commonly affected.
Rosacea is an extremely common skin condition predominately affecting the face. It can manifest as redness, small bumps and visible blood vessels.
You can find more on the A-Z of common skin conditions here: https://www.dermcoll.edu.au/a-to-z-of-skin/
What Products Should I Use?
Once you have established the condition and cause of your sensitive skin you will want to find suitable products that help ease the symptoms and nourish the skin barrier (made up of the outermost layers of the epidermis). In this search, you may wish to seek advice from dermatologists, pharmacists, naturopaths or doctors. Other options are to find people that suffer from the same condition and understand what has worked for them and to read online product reviews.
Start by establishing a skin care routine that you can follow regularly.
Good skin care starts with:
- A good cleansing & moisturising routine
- Treating the skin with suitable “active” products if required
- Protecting your skin from the sun
When trialling new products it is a good idea to start with the essentials such as a cleanser and moisturiser designed for sensitive skin. Once you establish the basic products are working, you can introduce additional products. This will help you identify any ingredients that exacerbate your sensitivity or might trigger flare-ups.
Use cleansing products that are gentle on the skin, soap-free and won’t wash away healthy oils.
Choose moisturisers that are mild, fragrance-free and cream-based to help lock in moisture keeping it hydrated all day long.
If you have extra dry skin, consider applying different layers such as mists followed by moisturisers. You can also consider using a “barrier” cream to help repair the skins barrier by sealing in moisture. They usually contain a combination of occlusive and humectant ingredients that are insoluble in water and increase our skins ability to hold onto moisture.
Keep a small tube or tub of moisturiser in your handbag and apply as many times a day as you feel your skin needs.
Skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and rosacea
Start with mild cleansers and moisturisers to help restore the barrier function of your skin. When selecting these base products, look for claims such as “natural, organic, gentle and designed for sensitive skin”.
It is also a good idea to introduce an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells, allowing moisturisers to better penetrate the skin.
Kiri Yanchenko, founder of the AMPERNA® brand, developed a gentle exfoliating lotion containing 10% glycolic acid (or AHA) plus probiotics and antioxidants. The 10% Pro+ Resurfacing Lotion has been specially formulated for people with even the most sensitive skin.
For some skin conditions, topical steroids may be prescribed. Read here to find out more on how they can affect your skin. You might also like to try other “active” options that can benefit your skin. One example are probiotic (good bacteria) products designed for sensitive skin. When applied topically, probiotics can act as a protective layer on the skin, helping to calm & soothe it.
The first Australian brand to bring you a full range of probiotic skincare products delicate enough to use the most sensitive skin is AMPERNA®. It heroes the active probiotic complex Lactococcus ferment lysate. This probiotic complex helps support the skin barrier; helping to protect you from aggressions such as environmental pollutants, helps keep your immune system in check and helps reduce inflammation.
As part of your holistic approach to skin care, the AMPERNA® range is suitable for all skin types and has been tested on eczema, perioral dermatitis, rosacea, acne prone skin and more. AMPERNA® is an Australian owned, ethical skincare brand, dedicated to creating revolutionary and unique formulas to help rebalance and transform the appearance of skin.
Go to https://amperna.com/ for more information.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist.