Skin sensitivity is a complex multifactorial condition that is a common concern. Do read on to understand how best to deal with it.
Why do I have sensitive skin?
Your skin may be sensitive if it is easily irritated and more reactive than usual. Exposure to harsh weather or even fragrances in topical products may cause your skin to become red and inflamed.
If you notice that your skin is often sensitive, you should consider seeing a doctor because it could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, or even contact dermatitis, which are rashes triggered by contact with irritants.
Causes of skin sensitivity
We all have a protective fatty outer layer on our skin, which acts as a defence mechanism to retain moisture and defend your skin against UV rays, heat, and chemicals.
However, for some people, this barrier is weakened and more easily damaged. A common culprit is over-cleansing and over-exfoliating. This causes damage to the outer protective fatty layer, hence allowing penetration and inflammation by irritants, while allowing moisture to escape. This is also why dryness is commonly associated with skin sensitivity.
How can we manage skin sensitivity?
The best way to reduce skin sensitivity is to strengthen the skin barrier and retain as much moisture as possible.
Avoid mechanical exfoliants like scrubs and use products that are gentle, fragrance-free, and have a fairly simple ingredient list. What you want to look out for in your skincare products are emollients and humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid that replenish moisture and ceramides and fatty acids, to replenish the lipid barrier.
A suitable product to consider would be Radium’s Self Defence Revital Day Crème. It is a gentle moisturiser which has hyaluronic acid, peptides and triglycerides to strengthen and fortify the skin barrier against any external injury.
For sensitive skin, be careful of overdoing chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, vitamin C, or topical retinoids/retinol. With new products, consider doing a skin patch test, by applying a small amount to your arm or side of your face to gauge your skin’s response.
Another treatment modality to consider would be the Dual Yellow Laser, which is a copper bromide laser. It offers a yellow light and green light for a wide range of treatments.
For example, with a wavelength of 578nm, the yellow light matches the peak absorption of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Therefore, yellow light can target the small blood vessels in the skin, to minimise the redness commonly associated with sensitive skin, while stimulating collagen growth at the same time.
There are many other ways to manage skin sensitivity. If it is something you face, feel free to come in for a personalised consultation to understand possible triggers and how best you can deal with this.