Sensitive Skin and Long-term Protection

Sensitive skin is not a disease in itself, but often the symptom of another condition or reaction to a chemical, product or allergen, which has triggered your bodies’ inflammatory response. You may not even know you have sensitive skin until you have a bad reaction to a cosmetic product, like soap, moisturiser, or makeup.

The number of people suffering from sensitive skin is on the rise, although conditions that cause sensitive skin are rarely serious, they can cause a large amount of long-term cosmetic damage to the skin and increase the aging process if not managed correctly. You can usually keep your symptoms under control with a few simple changes to your skin care routine by introducing high quality cosmetic products that are hypoallergenic and specifically formulated for those with sensitive skin.

Here is a review of the common conditions and causes of sensitive skin and the methods and products to manage and treat these commonly seen conditions.

Dry Skin

Skin becomes dry when it loses too much water and oil. This can cause your skin to:

  • Itch
  • Scale or flake
  • Peel
  • Feel rough to the touch
  • Crack and bleed
  • Appear red or ashy-looking

Dry skin can happen anywhere on your body, but it is particularly common on the: hands, feet, arms, lower legs and with certain conditions on the face.

What can you do?

You can treat dry skin by returning moisture to the affected areas. Applying a hypoallergenic moisturizing cream or ointment two to three times per day will help restore moisture and prevent your skin from drying out in the future. Try using a fragrance-free moisturizer designed for people with sensitive skin and ensuring the products used are free of harsh chemicals and artificial pigments and colourants. Use a gentle, soap-free cleanser that won’t wash away healthy oils twice daily. If the sensitive skin is prone to drying and cracking, try using a soft cleanser only once a day to allow the body’s own oils and PH levels to restore to natural levels. 


Eczema (known as atopic dermatitis) affects your skin’s ability to protect you from irritants, like germs in the air or chemicals in your laundry detergent. This can make you extra sensitive to products that do not bother other people, like soaps and cosmetics. There are various degrees of eczema and a large proportion of the population will suffer some form of eczema during their lifetime. The symptoms of eczema vary widely from person to person. You could notice any of the following:

  • Dryness
  • Itchiness
  • Small bumps that may leak fluid and crust over
  • Red to brownish-grey patches of skin
  • Raw, swollen skin
  • Thick, cracked, or scaly skin

What can you do?

Sensitive products such as hypoallergenic products that include creams and moisturizers which contain non-harmful chemicals that help to restore the skin’s natural oils and PH balance are enough to ease symptoms. If your symptoms are severe, see advice from your healthcare provider. If you have eczema, it’s important to choose sensitive products that won’t irritate your skin and will promote hydration by applying moisturizers to the affected areas throughout the day.

Top Tips for Sensitive Skin

When you have sensitive skin, it can feel like everything is irritating and it can be hard to narrow down the allergen or trigger which is causing the reaction to occur. But with a few lifestyle changes, and modifications to your skin care routine, you may see significant improvement in the management of your sensitive skin.

Here are a few tips that can help anyone with sensitive skin:

  • Take short 5 to 10 minute showers with warm — not hot — water
  • Avoid harsh astringents, exfoliates and skin peels
  • Use a gentle, fragrance-free soap that is hypoallergenic
  • Use essential oils instead of perfumes to avoid contact with harsh chemicals
  • Use a gentle, fragrance-free laundry detergent
  • Try using organic cleaning supplies and limit the number of chemicals in your home
  • Always use a shaving cream or gel to promote the skin
  • Gently pat yourself dry after a shower (instead of rubbing)
  • Apply a neutral moisturizer right away after washing to promote the hydration of the skin
  • Test new products on a discreet area of skin at least one day before trying a full-application