Sensitized Skin and Sensitive Skin
People with sensitive skin are often looking for ingredients that can calm and soothe their skin but there’s a difference between sensitized skin and sensitive skin.
Sensitive skin is typically a genetic trait, but sensitized skin, which is becoming a growing problem worldwide, is caused by exposure to toxins, pollution, stress and chemicals - in other words, irritants.
Sensitive skin is an underlying skin condition that is usually inherited. It is often the result of a weakness in the skin’s protective layer, which results in irritants and allergens penetrating the skin and causing various reactions. An impaired epidermal lipid barrier is an important component in several inflammatory skin diseases such as rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
Sensitive skin is not something that can easily be fixed as it is genetic, however some treatments can relieve the symptoms of sensitive skin conditions. And, they can also be a response to food intolerances or an autoimmune affliction. You may be born with a skin condition, or it may develop over time.
Sensitized and sensitive skin can be both painful and uncomfortable, however, there are ways to manage and treat the symptoms:
01 Drink lots of water
Lack of water can lead to irritating damaged skin cells. Drinking water helps promote the skin’s natural hydration processes, which strengthen cells.
Drink a minimum of two to three litres of water a day to give your skin cells a natural helping hand.
02 Learn about the ingredients in your skincare products
Ironically, many moisturizers and products aimed at curing sensitive or sensitized skin are part of the problem.
Excessive use of or very high percentages of some emulsifiers used to create the thick consistency of moisturizers and lotions can block pores and cause irritation which makes sensitivity worse. It’s extremely important to ensure emulsifiers (including oils) score low on the comedogenic scale.
Sensitized skin will almost always react to harsh ingredients such as synthetic acids, fillers and many preservatives by inflaming already delicate skin cells. Prolonged use of such products can also lead directly to skin sensitivity for those with healthy skin.
03 Avoid products that contain fragrance
The only real benefit of using products that contain fragrance is that they smell nice. Yet most fragrances – even natural fragrances – are known skin irritants that can cause and aggravate the skin.
Avoiding fragrance in skincare won’t cause damage to skin cells that lead to sensitivity and sensitized skin, but using fragrance almost certainly will.
04 Avoid essential oils
Essential oils are on the top of the list of ingredients to avoid if you have sensitive skin. For anyone with skin issues, especially with sensitive skin, it is best to eliminate and avoid essential oils completely. Most essential oils contain known sensitizers that over time will cause sensitization and skin dermal problems, such as reddening, itchiness and pigmentation (just to name a few).
Just because essential oils are all-natural, it does not mean they are safe and can be more toxic and sensitizing than many other ingredients.
05 Choose the right cleanser
If you have sensitive skin, you probably approach cleansing with a bit of apprehension. Many skin cleansers can be harsh or strip the skin, making matters worse. Any cleanser that makes your skin feel tight is not a good option because it is stripping your skin of its natural oils. So choose a cleanser that is gentle and works to repair the skin barrier function like Schaf Cleanser.
This hydrating, low-foaming cleanser is how to clean the skin gently and effectively without stripping your skin. It will also help to build antioxidant protection, strengthen barrier function and promote a healthy skin microbiome.
It feels like there’s nothing worse than using a harsh scrub on an already painful face but don’t give in to the desire to skip exfoliation. Exfoliation keeps pores free from bacteria and dead skin cells that can further damage the delicate dermal layer leading to dry, sore patches.
Always exfoliate, but be aware of which products you use and always opt for a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliator rather than an abrasive scrub to prevent further irritation. Schaf Arctic Mud Treatment exfoliates without abrasives or particles.
07 Use natural plant extracts
We use potent concentrations of plant-based ingredients like olive squalane, hyaluronic acid, grape seed oil, avocado oil, African shea butter, Gotu kola, jojoba seed oil, cucumber, aloe, hemp seed oil, coenzyme Q10, peptides, niacinamide, vitamin C & E, and antioxidants - all created to deliver visible results, and noticeably improve the way skin looks and feels. And we ensure our products have a skin-friendly pH level to keep the skin's delicate microbiome balanced and protect the skin's acid mantle.