Your skin is as unique as your personality and, in the same way, it is shaped and changed by the life you live. Everything from the food you eat, the clothes you wear, to the city you live in can have an impact on your skin. As much as you throw at it, your skin is naturally resilient. There may come a time in your life, however, when enough is enough and your skin starts to react to the stress it’s been under.
If your skin is easily irritated by the elements or by topical products, you might assume it’s become sensitive. After all, the term “sensitive” implies quick detection of and response to certain influences. However, in reality your skin may not be sensitive but, rather, “sensitized”.
Dryness, redness, and irritation are not symptoms to be ignored. If you’ve noticed a change in your skin, it’s important to get to the bottom of it so you can get to work resolving them.
The first step is to determine whether you really have sensitive skin or whether your skin has simply become sensitized. Read on to learn the difference between sensitive and sensitized skin and how to repair and restore skin so you get back to looking and feeling your best.
Do You Have Sensitive Skin?
Many people whose skin is easily irritated think they have sensitive skin when in fact there’s a lot more to it. Sensitive skin is a skin type – it is deeply rooted in your genetics and you may experience symptoms throughout your life. Sensitized skin, on the other hand, is a skin condition that often looks very similar and is quite common.
So, how do you know whether your skin is actually sensitive or merely sensitized? What it really comes down to is examining your symptoms and figuring out what causes your skin to react.
Redness is one of the most common signs of sensitive skin – you may even notice a rash or tiny red bumps on the surface of the skin. People with sensitive skin may feel a stinging or burning sensation when using new skincare products and they are particularly sensitive to UV exposure. Dryness and irritation are common symptoms as well.
Like sensitive skin, sensitized skin may be dry and irritated, but it is triggered by an internal or external factor. Poor diet, extreme weather, sun exposure, and reactions to medication are common triggers.
Another common cause for sensitized skin is overuse of skincare products, like too much exfoliation. While it may be tempting to load up on skincare products for every issue, you can have too much of a good thing. Your skin has a natural protective barrier that works hard to keep environmental irritants out and moisture in. Overloading your skin with too many products can damage that barrier and strip away essential moisture, leading to redness, irritation, dryness, and an increase in breakouts.
Allergies are another potential cause of sensitized skin, so pay attention to the products you use including makeup, shampoo, lotion, and even laundry detergent. If your skin sensitivity coincided with a new product, it’s a good bet that it has something to do with it.
Understanding Sensitive Skin
To better understand sensitive skin, it helps to learn a little bit about your skin’s anatomy. Your skin is made up of three primary layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and subcutaneous fat. Sensitive skin develops when the nerve endings in the epidermis become irritated – this can happen when the skin’s natural barrier becomes damaged or weakened by triggers.
Though sensitive skin is a skin type rather than a skin condition, there are varying degrees of sensitivity. Some people with sensitive skin may react to environmental factors more than skincare products and some react primarily to a specific trigger.
Here’s an overview of the different degrees of skin sensitivity:
- Naturally sensitive – Skin that is naturally sensitive tends to be fair or pale in color (classified by dermatologists as Fitzpatrick Skin Type 1), thinner, and typically burns or peels in the sun. Naturally sensitive skin is genetic and is sometimes linked to inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.
- Environmentally sensitive – Skin that is environmentally sensitive tends to react to triggers in the environment like sun exposure, air pollution, or cigarette smoke.
- Reactive – Skin that is reactive tends to become red and inflamed by certain skincare ingredients and other topical products. Continued use of these products causes the skin to become sensitized which may increase the severity of future reactions.
As you get older, your skin naturally becomes thinner so it may become increasingly sensitive and easier to irritate. If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid products that contain harsh and irritating ingredients like isopropyl alcohol, sulfates, salicylic acid, and chemical sunscreens. Keep your skincare routine simple and avoid rubbing and scrubbing at your skin; be gentle.
Tips for Treating Sensitive Skin
Whether your skin is naturally sensitive or has become sensitized by physical or environmental triggers, it’s important to treat it well. You can’t change your skin type but choosing skincare products appropriate for your skin type will help improve your skin health and minimize reactivity. Sensitized skin can often be rebalanced and repaired with the right products and treatments.
The key to improving and maintaining skin health is to use products that help rather than hurt the skin. Yon-Ka Paris uses only the finest natural ingredients to develop plant cell active-based skincare regimens with scientifically proven efficacy. We offer a wide variety of products and treatments for all skin types, including products specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
These are some of the most popular Yon-Ka Paris products for sensitive skin:
- Sensitive Crème – Rich in a pre- and probiotic complex to boost your skin’s natural defenses, this calming cream neutralizes the effects of physical and environmental triggers. Enjoy immediately and long-lasting relief from discomfort and irritation while your skin drinks in the soothing combination of hydrating and desensitizing natural plant extracts.
- Sensitive Masque – Deliver immediate relief to aggressed and sensitized skin with this calming mask designed to alleviate inflammation and minimize redness and heat. This rich crème masque features soothing extracts of arnica, chamomile, and yarrow to leave your skin feeling calmed and comforted while improving its resilience with regular use.
- Elixir Vital – This regenerating bi-phasic concentrate features a powerful blend of beech bud and soy peptides to repair and revitalize skin damaged by stress, fatigue, hormonal changes, and sun exposure. Gentle enough for sensitive skin, this remineralizing compound also diminishes fine lines and wrinkles.
- Lotion Yon–Ka PS – Formulated specifically for dry and sensitive skin, this invigorating toner mist drenches your skin with hydration to optimize the effects of your custom skincare regimen. Featuring Quintessence Yon-Ka for an energizing aroma, this toner is alcohol and paraben free, designed to soothe and tone the complexion while minimizing irritation.
You can expect your skin to change over time. It’s important to update your skincare routine as you age to be sure it’s meeting your needs. Consult the Yon-Ka Skincare Advisor to find the right combination of products for your skin in its current condition or stop into your local Yon-Ka Paris spa partner for tailored skincare regimen.