Pinpointing what your skin is reacting to can be a long and frustrating process – we’ve been there!
Figuring out whether you have sensitive or sensitised skin can be a really useful place to start.
Many people don’t realise there’s a difference between the two and, as the symptoms are often interchangeable, they’re also easily confused.
What is sensitive skin?
To add to the challenge, sensitive skin can sometimes develop as a result of sensitised skin.
Most of the time, however, true sensitive skin is genetic and refers to skin conditions that affect the way the skin’s barrier functions – for example, Eczema, Urticaria and Rosacea.
These are longer-term conditions, generally triggered by things like periods of illness, hormonal changes and ageing which can affect the function of the skin’s barrier and increase inflammation.
…and sensitised skin?
Sensitised skin, on the other hand, has undergone some kind of ‘trauma’ resulting in damage to our skin’s protective layer.
This trauma can occur as a result of stress, sun damage, pollution, medication – or just being overzealous with a gritty fruit powder scrub!
All of these factors can decrease our skin’s ability to hold on to moisture and prevent infection, creating that familiar aggravated, uncomfortable or flushed feeling.
The good news is sensitised skin is much easier to address. While it depends on how much it has had to deal with, our skin is able to repair itself in around 6 weeks once we eliminate the trigger.