Sensitive skin is the byproduct of overenthusiastic Langerhans cells, which fight infections from deep within the skin’s layers. As the environment bombards our skin, sometimes these cells overcompensate, leading to fragile, thin skin that may show signs of redness. Some people are genetically predisposed to sensitive skin, but for others, it can be a seasonal or circumstantial problem.
Sensitive skin can be difficult to treat, as the products used must be completely non-irritating. Every skin type is susceptible to sensitivity, although not everyone with sensitive skin will notice the same characteristics.
Characteristics of Sensitive Skin
• Feels tight and uncomfortable
• Takes on a thin, fine texture
• Easily susceptible to sunburn and windburn
• Often becomes dry
• Prone to allergic reactions
• Veins and capillaries become visible
• Easily irritated by various chemicals
• Sensations of burning, flushing, stinging and itching
• Couperose conditions, or visible redness, may occur
Reasons Why Sensitive Skin Occurs
• Genetics is sometimes the main culprit, as some of us simply have overactive immune systems that trigger the Langerhans cells even when they aren’t needed.
• Overuse of harsh, stripping soaps, scrubs and alcohol-based products, or products containing dyes, artificial fragrances and synthetic ingredients. Poor skin care or sudden changes in skin care régime.
• Environmental factors such as dry air, sun and wind exposure, harsh climates and air pollution.
• Household cleaning products and chemicals.
• Certain medications and dermatological procedures.
• Stress and other psychological conditions.