Sensitive Skin: Causes and Symptoms
SENSITIVE & REACTIVE SKIN
Sensitive skin can be an uncomfortable skin type, but avoiding triggers and using well-suited skincare products can help make sensitive skin signs and symptoms much more manageable.
So, what is a sensitive skin type? If you have this skin type, you may experience symptoms including redness and sensations of burning or stinging, along with many more signs. There are numerous sensitive skin triggers, but most instances of sensitive skin are related to a damaged skin barrier.
If you’ve been wondering ‘how to tell if I have sensitive skin’, this article will help you answer that question and figure out what to do next. Read on to discover the signs, symptoms and causes of sensitive skin, as well as how to choose targeted skincare products to suit this skin type.
What is sensitive skin?
The defining characteristic of sensitive skin is an increased tendency to react to environmental factors, compared to how a normal skin type would typically react. Sensitive skin is quite common and can have a whole range of different underlying causes. This skin type is not limited to just the face – signs of sensitive skin are often also present on the body.
How to know if you have sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin has noticeable reactions when coming into contact with certain chemicals, fragrances, skincare products or external conditions like extreme temperatures. Reactions on sensitive skin tend to present with symptoms including dry patches, redness and rashes. You may also experience sensations of stinging and burning and itch-prone skin, especially when applying skincare products. If you’re in any doubt about whether sensitive skin is the reason for your skin concerns, we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional for an individual skin assessment.
What causes sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin can react to a large variety of substances, chemicals and conditions. On the skincare and makeup side of things, potent ingredients, fragrances and preservatives can all cause reactions. When it comes to everyday exposure to chemicals, dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, cleansers and soaps are some of the most common triggers.
Aside from triggers, the signs and symptoms of sensitive skin are often linked to a damaged skin barrier. The skin has a natural moisture barrier function to help defend the body against external aggressors like pollution, UV exposure and more. Over time, exposure to harsh chemicals or skincare products ill-suited to your skin’s needs can deplete the skin barrier. This leaves skin more vulnerable to potential sensitivity triggers.
In addition to the overall causes, sensitive skin can also be caused by several skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and eczema. We recommend seeing a healthcare professional for advice on skin conditions like these.
How to choose skincare for sensitive skin
Choosing skincare products for sensitive skin is best done with a less is more approach. Armed with the knowledge that complicated formulas featuring fragrances and chemicals can often trigger sensitive skin, you’ll want to look for the opposite.
At CeraVe, our skincare products are designed to be suitable for sensitive skin thanks to our minimalist formulas. Our cleansers, moisturisers and creams are enriched with skin barrier strengthening ceramides and skin comforting niacinamide.
Let’s walk through what to look for in each step of your sensitive skincare regime, alongside recommendations from the CeraVe range.
Cleanser for sensitive skin
In your search for the best cleanser for sensitive skin, we recommend seeking out a gentle facial cleanser formula that’s effective enough to wash away all impurities without overly stripping sensitive skin.
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser:
If your sensitive skin is on the normal or oily side, we recommend using our CeraVe Foaming Cleanser. The gently foaming formula provides a thorough cleanse to help remove an excess sebum without stripping away the skin’s healthy oil levels. Three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid help support the skin barrier and provide hydration during the cleansing stage.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser:
If your sensitive skin is on the dry side, try our CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. This non-comedogenic facial wash is an ultra-gentle yet effective way to wash your face while providing optimal hydration at the same time. Moisturising Multivesicular Technology helps maintain hydration levels in the skin for 24 hours in this formula suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
Moisturiser for sensitive skin
Sensitive skin often comes along with dryness, so maintaining hydration with a highly efficacious moisturiser that won’t trigger a reaction is a key part of managing this skin type. The best moisturiser for sensitive skin will be ultra-hydrating with a simple, fragrance-free formula.
CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion:
Our CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion is an ideal facial moisturiser for sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts water molecules to the skin’s surface, while ceramides help strengthen a damaged skin barrier. This moisturiser also contains niacinamide which provides antioxidant protection from environmental aggressors while comforting the skin.
CeraVe Moisturising Lotion:
We recommend adding a body moisturiser to your regime, because sensitive skin extends past the face. Our CeraVe Moisturising Lotion features the same beneficial ingredients as our facial moisturiser, in a formula designed for dry skin on the body.
CeraVe Moisturising Cream:
For very dry skin, we recommend using a rich cream formula like our CeraVe Moisturising Cream to keep sensitive skin on the body hydrated all day long. The thicker formula provides more protection for very dry, sensitive skin.