Sensitive Skin explained

Almost everyone thinks their skin is sensitive but there is more than one type of sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is generally defined as skin that is easily reactive.

Some people have a genetic predisposition for sensitivity and others because of something they are doing.

There are different types of sensitivity.

Allergic sensitivity occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. Because anyone can have an allergy, all skin types can experience this type of sensitivity. It can be triggered by something you ate and will show anywhere where the allergen touched your skin (mouth, neck, face) but also some skincare components. Allergic sensitivity will show as redness, skin that is hot to the touch, swelling or rash.

Stop using the allergen immediately and focus on calming the skin. Do stick to a simplified skincare routine: cleanse, tone, moisturise.

For instant calming effect to an irritated skin, Dr Marine recommends Avène Skin Recovery Cream, which rapidly calms irritations and gives long-lasting protection to naturally sensitive skin or skin that has become irritable.

Then there is sensitivity caused by skincare products and irritants which lead to breakouts.

Some skincare and makeup can make you pores clogged which turns into breakouts. This type of sensitive skin is characterise by bumpy skin, whiteheads and Milia. You should avoid heavy makeup such as liquid foundation and creamy blushers as well as heavy face oil or water resistant sunscreens. 

Use lightweight skincare products including calming and anti-bacterial products to get rid of any inflammation.

Dr Marine recommends using Avène Cicalfate Repair cream which combines repairing and antibacterial properties.

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Sensitivity activated by heat.


Some people have skin that is sensitive to heat. This is because heat causes an increase in blood flow to the small blood vessels just below the skin’s surface. This causes capillaries to dilate and expand, which makes the skin appear red. 

Unfortunately permanently enlarged capillaries will remain visible on the skin.

Avoid exposing skin to high temperatures. So no hot yoga, very spicy food or very hot water. Use ice compress and put your skincare and tools in the fridge. Use skincare products that has soothing ingredients. We recommend La Roche Posay Rosaliac moisturiser which helps reduce the appearance of redness

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Sensitive skin caused by dehydration 

This is where skin has become fragile as the moisture barrier is compromised. When this barrier is not working properly, irritants can get in more easily which leads to skin inflammation usually such as skin burning or stinging.

That type of sensitive skin will show some flaking and peeling as well as redness and rough texture.

A big contributing factor is changing seasons (winter…) but also drying products such as acne treatments and over exfoliating.

To help with this type of skin sensitivity, Dr Marine recommends using a gentle and hydrating toner followed by a moisturiser with repairing properties such as Institut Esthederm Intensive Spiruline Cream

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