Is Your Skin Sensitive or Sensitized? Here’s How To Know and How To Deal


Hello Skin Sensitivity! I’m sure you’ve experienced it before. You try a new face wash and your skin is red and irritated. Or maybe you try a new serum that promises to be the fountain of youth, but instead your skin breaks out in angry red bumps.

Or maybe you just had a great day, with no makeup and no stress, but all of a sudden your skin starts to get red and inflamed.

Even worse, if you live in a cold environment, you may find yourself getting redness and irritation more often than not. And as if that weren’t enough, if you also deal with acne it can feel like every product is going to make things worse.

So how do you know if your skin is sensitive or sensitized? And what can you do about it?

Skin sensitivity vs. sensitized skin

Nowadays, beauty is more important than ever. But it’s hard to embrace your natural beauty when you’re struggling with skin sensitivity and acne.

So, how do you know if your skin is sensitive or sensitized? And how do you deal?

Sensitive Skin: Do You Have It?

Sensitive skin is often linked to a genetic condition that causes the skin to react poorly to a variety of different stimuli.

Symptoms of sensitive skin include:

Pimples and acne breakouts

Redness and flushing

Dry, itchy skin

Painful rashes or welts

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you may have sensitive skin. To find out for sure, take our Skin Type Quiz or visit a dermatologist to get an official diagnosis.

How do you know if your skin is sensitive? First and foremost, you have to acknowledge that there are a couple of different types of skin sensitivity.

First is what we call a sensitive skin type: people who have sensitive skin all the time, so their skin is always in that state of inflammation.

Then there’s what we call sensitized skin: people whose skin isn’t inherently sensitive, but have done something that has triggered their skin to become inflamed.

So what can someone do to find out if they have a sensitive or sensitized skin type? Do a 28-day experiment where you eliminate anything that could be causing the inflammation in your routine and see if your skin improves. If it does, then you’re sensitized. By figuring out what’s causing the inflammation, you can get to the root cause and start fixing it.

If it doesn’t improve after 28 days, you probably have an inherent sensitive skin type — meaning your barrier is impaired, therefore making it more prone to inflammation from external aggressors.

When someone has an impaired barrier function, they’re losing moisture and not retaining it as well as they should be. When this moisture loss happens, it causes dryness and irritation which can lead to redness and inflammation. If

Your skin is sensitive. Maybe you’ve always had sensitive skin, or maybe it’s become sensitive recently. But why? That’s where things get a little complicated.

Experts agree that there are two types of skin sensitivity: sensitive and sensitized. Sensitive skin is a genetic condition that you’re born with—think eczema, rosacea, extreme dryness, or oiliness. These conditions are present no matter what products you use on your skin.

Sensitized skin, however, is a result of environmental factors such as pollution, improper skincare techniques, and stress—even food allergies can be to blame! The good news? You can help calm your sensitized skin and get back to glowing. Here are some expert tips to help soothe your sensitized skin and restore its balance.

Most people think their skin is sensitive, but in fact, they’re just sensitized. Sensitized skin is temporary and caused by external factors such as weather, lifestyle (think alcohol and stress), and your skincare routine (which can be exacerbated by using too many products).

If you experience tightness or dryness, redness, itching or stinging that can be caused by these factors. Your skin may also be flaky and rough, which is your skin’s way of protecting itself from the elements. It may also feel tight after a shower or after washing your face.

Sensitized skin will often look dull or sallow. Makeup may not apply well on sensitive skin because it can be hard to keep makeup on your face when it’s dry and flaky. However, make sure you avoid long-wear foundations or powders, as these can make your skin more sensitive because of the ingredients used in them.

When dealing with sensitised skin, it can be hard to know what products are safe to use and which ones are going to cause a reaction. A lot of the time that decision is based on how our skin feels after using something. If it’s tight or irritated after cleansing, we’ll likely consider that product too harsh for us. On the flip side, if we find ourselves experiencing dryness, flakiness and itchiness after applying a moisturiser, we’ll mark that down as another one for the “avoid” list.

The key thing to keep in mind here is that there are two kinds of skin sensitivity: Sensitive and Sensitised. Each has its own characteristics and knowing the difference between them will help you pick out the right products for your skin type.

If you have acne, it’s hard not to feel like a leper. You see people with clear skin, and you wonder what it takes to get that way. The internet will tell you that the best products for your skin are ones with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. So you buy a cleanser and face cream loaded with these ingredients.

Then something terrible happens: Your skin starts to burn and peel off in huge patches — as though someone had taken a cheese grater to your face. If this sounds familiar, then you probably have sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is a state of increased reactivity of the skin; it’s not a type of skin or an allergic reaction. Sensitized skin is often caused by overuse of products containing harsh ingredients such as witch hazel, alcohol, menthol, lemon juice, or peppermint extract. These ingredients will strip your skin’s natural protective barrier (lipid layer), leaving it dry and prone to inflammation.


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