Learning your skin triggers

Discover what sends your skin into a spin

When you have sensitive skin, pinpointing what exactly sets it off can be an extremely frustrating process.

What triggers a flare for you, might not be a trigger for someone else with the same problem, which makes finding a possible solution hard to find.

However, there are some common factors that are known to trigger skin changes. Learning what these are can help you find out what aggravates your skin most, and help you stay in control of your skin.


Our skin acts as an excretory system to get rid of things that our body doesn’t agree with. So what we eat has a huge impact on how our skin behaves.

Some well-known food intolerances are dairy, eggs and nuts. However, the list really is endless. For example, fermented foods contain histamine which can bring on eczema, urticaria and psoriasis.

We recommend keeping a food diary to identify any of your own intolerances.


If we’re stressed or tired, our natural defences are low and that can cause flare-ups. This is because the hormones affected by stress can cause the skin to slow down. Over time, your skin’s natural barrier won’t do its job properly and can become sensitive.

If this is a trigger, look for ways to de-stress and relax. Meditation, yoga or reading a book can help lower stress levels. And make sure you get as much sleep as possible.


Fluctuating hormones around a women’s menstrual cycle commonly cause monthly breakouts and make skin more sensitive. Taking a Vitamin B-6 supplement around this time can help regulate hormonal imbalances.

However, it may be that your hormones are thrown out of balance by something else. For example, stress, the pill or an underlying health issue. If you think that your hormones are slightly off, it’s worth chatting to your GP.

The environment

Cold air and central heating in winter and the sun’s rays in summer can leave our skin dehydrated and more prone to breakouts. Then there’s the daily dirt and pollution that is absorbed by your skin’s natural barrier.

Slightly adjusting your skincare routine with the seasons can help combat the effects of the elements. And remember to cleanse at the end of the day to stop make-up, dirt and grime clogging up.

Harsh chemicals

Chemicals that can irritate your skin are often found in perfumes, cosmetics, skincare products and even in clothing fabrics.

Make it a habit to check labels and packaging, to know what you’re using on your skin. Retinol and glycolic acid are known skincare irritants. But, it may be that there’s one specific ingredient your skin doesn’t respond well to.

Keeping a skin diary is a great way to see what’s throwing your skin off balance. Read our other blog post to find out how.

Working out your own sensitive skin triggers isn’t easy, but we hope this goes some way to helping you discover yours.

If you’d like to chat about your sensitive skin issues, we’re always here to help.

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