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December 29, 2023

Understanding Sensitive vs Sensitized Skin

Understanding Sensitive vs Sensitized Skin

by Ashley Shkodra, Licensed Esthetician in The Clear Skin Solution

Are you curious about what ‘sensitive vs sensitized’ skin means? It’s a super common question, especially among acne sufferers who are looking to keep their skin happy and healthy. In this blog, we’re going to dive into what exactly sets these two skin types apart.

Sensitive skin is like that friend who’s always been a bit delicate, reacting easily to certain products or environmental factors. On the flip side, sensitized skin is more like someone who’s become a bit overwhelmed due to external stresses, like harsh skincare routines or pollution.

Understanding these differences is key to giving your skin the love and care it deserves. So, let’s get started and dig into sensitive versus sensitized skin!

Venn diagram showcasing the similarities and differences between sensitive vs sensitized skin

Sensitive Skin 

The most important thing to note is that sensitive skin is a classification of  Skin Type; this is something you are born with. It’s a genetic predisposition in which your skin is more prone to increased inflammation and blood circulation on the epidermal layers of the skin. Typically, sensitive skin is something that is recognized at a young age and is managed with the right tools and techniques throughout your life. 

Characteristics of Sensitive Skin:

  1. Ongoing symptoms you have had since childhood.
  2. Visible redness to touch.
  3. Reactive to harsh ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate and fragrances.
  4. Skin flushes when cleansing, exfoliating, and using active ingredients. 
  5. Skin flushing with strong emotions like anger or nervousness.
  6. Very sensitive to UV, burns easily. 
  7. Most prominent in fair skin types. Fitzpatrick 1, 2 and 3. 
  8. Have a higher probability of developing rosacea and eczema. 

Sensitized Skin 

On the other hand, sensitized skin is a skin condition that can happen to any skin type. Sensitized skin is an impaired protective barrier. This is something you can develop in your life and there is always a reason behind why this happens. The reasons can be different, the most common would be: external factors, internal root causes, and topical irritants which can be as simple as your skincare!

Reasons The Skin May Become Sensitized:

  1. Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating. 
  2. Excessive use of ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinol.
  3. Extreme weather conditions and changes (constantly going from hot to cold). 
  4. Food.
  5. Impaired gut lining and GI inflammation.
  6. Emotional stress.
  7. Allergies.

How To Treat Sensitive vs Sensitized Skin

Remember that we are dealing with a skin type and a skin condition here, so let’s break down what is the best course of action for each.  

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is managed not treated, if managed well the symptoms can be diminished. 

  1. Avoid heat, saunas, hot showers, and cleansing skin with hot or warm water. Always use cold! 
  2. Be very diligent with sunscreen. Always use physical sunscreen and reapply every 3 to 4 hours. 
  3. Use very gentle exfoliants with ingredients like lactic acid or witch hazel. Avoid acids, retinols, and chemical peels. 
  4. Invest in quality, natural skincare to avoid harsh unwanted fillers and chemicals commonly found in skincare. 
  5. Manage stress.
  6. Maintain a healthy circulatory system.
  7. Avoid picking the skin and extractions to minimize the chance of creating broken capillaries. 

Sensitized Skin

With sensitized skin, it’s always a good idea to see a professional who can identify the root causes to help and support you during the healing process of your skin. 

Primarily, we are dealing with an impaired skin barrier, so this is what to do first:

TIPS & STRATEGIES

  • Wear physical sunscreen.
  • Remove all active ingredients such as salicylic, glycolic, mandelic acids, retinoids, and benzyl peroxide. 
  • Go through the ingredient list of your skincare and makeup products using the EWG Skin Deep Database to learn more about the ingredients your skin is absorbing. 
  • Identify any external conditions that might be irritating the skin. Dry, cold air is a common one!
  • Use cooling techniques like cold water plunges, ice rollers, or jade stone rollers.  
  • Work with a qualified practitioner who can evaluate your gut health, hormonal health, and overall well-being.

PRODUCTS

Understanding the nuances between sensitive vs sensitized skin empowers you to tailor your skincare routine effectively, promoting healthier and more resilient skin.

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I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

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Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

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