Sensitive Skin: Root Causes & Ways to Make it Less Sensitive
The term ‘sensitive skin’ is pervasive among the beauty industry; however, it is not a clinical term. Sensitive skin is not a diagnosis, nor is it something you should have to suffer with for the rest of your life.
Having sensitive skin simply means your skin is prone to irritation. Having said that, there are several reasons why your skin may become more easily irritated than normal.
Causes of Skin Sensitivities
Sensitive skin can be frustrating to deal with, especially if everything you’ve tried thus far hasn’t worked!
Discovering the root cause of your skin sensitivity is the most efficient way to begin healing your skin.
Underlying Skin Condition
Eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea are examples of skin conditions that make your skin more susceptible to sensitivity.
Weak or Damaged Lipid Barrier
Something that you may have overlooked is that sensitive skin can simply be due to a weakened or damaged skin barrier. You skin’s protective barrier is composed of a thin layer of lipids (fats). If that layer is weakened or damaged, your skin becomes an entry point for potential skin irritants to penetrate your pores and wreak havoc within.
Compromised Immune System
If your immune system is compromised in any way, your skin may become overly sensitive.
Sensitive skin issues (such as redness) could be due to systemic inflammation in your body, from disease brought on by a weakened immune system.
Skin sensitivity can also occur if you have an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune disease causes your immune system to become hyperactive and can make your skin more reactive to things that it sees as a perceived threat.
Environmental factors can greatly impact your skin. Things such as extreme temperatures (hot or cold), sunlight, and wind can all impact your skin. It’s important to treat your skin with care when exposed to harsh elements.
Ways to Reduce Skin Sensitivities
Ditch the Face Scrubs
Physical exfoliants are extremely harsh on your skin. Even for someone without sensitive skin, these types of scrubs aren’t meant for everyday use. If possible, try and avoid them altogether.
Don’t Over-Wash Your Skin
To help repair and rebuild your skin’s natural lipid barrier, it’s important that you refrain from washing your skin too often. Washing your skin excessively can strip away those natural oils and can damage your skin’s protective barrier.
Supplement Your Diet
If you’re stressed out, your body’s immune system is likely compromised. That’s where nutritional supplements can be beneficial. Adaptogens can help relieve stress and balance out hormone levels. Some adaptogens, such as ginseng, can even help boost your immunity!
Be Mindful of Your Environment
Always consider the type of environment you’ll be exposed to and act accordingly. Make necessary changes that best suit your skin’s needs.
- Wear mineral-based sunblock (always)
- Cover your skin if it’s cold or windy outside
- Use a humidifier when conditions are dry