Sensitive Skin

Sensitivity is not necessarily a hereditary condition. It is often caused by external factors such as harsh ingredients in cosmetic preparations, surfactants (detergents in cleansers and soaps) or stress. Usually, it's because the skin has an overactive immune system or supersensitive nerve endings which are triggered by the slightest irritant.

Keep your regime very simple and use skincare products which are hypoallergenic and allergy tested, and do not contain irritants such as fragrance, alcohol, chemical sunscreens and colorants. Test new products on your inner arm - apply to a small area, leave on overnight (unless irritation occurs then remove immediately) and repeat the process the next day. If there is no reaction, try using it on a small, inconspicuous area of the face, such as the upper jawbone. If a reaction does occur, it will be less obvious.

Steer clear of harsh cleansers. To remove cleansers, use a muslin cloth or damp cotton wool, but avoid tissues as they can scratch. Do not use abrasive exfoliators or products that have alpha hydroxy acids (AHA).

Sensitive skin requires sun protection at all times - look for high protection preparations which do not contain chemical sunscreens. Opt for products containing physical filters (such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) which are unlikely to cause sensitivity. Also, do not let sensitive skin become dry as excess moisture loss can lead to heightened sensitivity.

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