Skin Care

Sensitive vs Sensitised Skin

We hear a lot of complaints in the salon about clients having sensitive skin: Certain products create itchy, red or irritated skin; the cold weather makes skin feel dry and tight; red wine or chocolate causes redness and breakouts. We’re often asked for advice on how to cure these issues.

Part of our Face Mapping skin analysis looks at these areas of concern and we chat with our clients about their sensitivity. However, our main aim is to establish whether the client has truly sensitive skin, or whether it is skin that has become sensitised.

What’s the difference?

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is a genetic trait. If a client has always suffered with sensitivity, perhaps they have rosacea, psoriasis, eczema or other allergies. In these instances there is no cure for sensitivity. The skin is naturally more delicate or reactive to the climate, products or general stresses. The sensitivity is a systemic issue, sometimes related to autoimmune conditions, or simple a matter or hereditary (i.e. if your immediate family suffer with sensitive skin, you are more likely to as well). In these cases, while we as skin therapists cannot cure ski issues, we can help educate clients and teach them to manage their skin. Sensitivity will always remain however, so choosing products wisely and investing in their skin health is important.

Sensitised Skin

In comparison, sensitised skin is not systemic. It’s a result of external forces (usually) that creates an impaired barrier. Dry, dehydrated skin means products penetrate at different rates upsetting the balance of water and oil in the skin. Sun-burned skin results in red, sore, broken skin that essentially accelerates cell death, but in uneven patches leaving the skin open to infection. Reaction to products leaves the skin red, irritated, sore or itchy. With correct care and management the reaction subsides and the skin will eventually return to normal.

If the skin is sensitised then it can be improved, even “cured”. It requires management, nutrition and an understanding of the skin. Sun burn heals. Product reactions dissipate. Skin can be rehydrated.

Dermalogica UltraCalming

In both cases the UltraCalming range can help manage sensitivity whether it is related to genetics or external forces. The powerfully soothing ingredients can be used without water (which can be very drying on impaired skin): hyaluronic acid helps moisture levels, lavender helps soothe, turmeric extract helps relieve inflammation. Each product contains one or more of these ingredients, but can also be mixed and matched with other products from Dermalogica to help replenish the skin’s barrier.

Do you suffer with a sensitive skin? Give us a call and come in for a ProSkin 30 or ProSkin 60 so we can analyse your skin and treat you to some relaxing skin therapy.