feb 2023

Sensitive vs sensitised 

Aveeno recently reported that 71% of adults have sensitive skin, but whilst this is a staggering statistic,many dermatologists agree that sensitive skin is often mistaken for what is actually sensitised skin. So what is the difference & how can you best care for either skin types?

What is the difference?

Sensitive skin is genetic and unfortunately something you're born with. Sensitised skin is triggered when environmental factors change our normal skin function. These triggers can come from factors such as pollution, changes in temperature, ingredients, or products. Confusingly, both conditions can result is similar skin discomfort issues, such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Uneven texture
  • Facial redness
  • Rashes
  • Breakouts

With common symptoms experienced in both conditions, it’s understandable why so many people misdiagnose their skin as sensitive. 


Dermatologists recommend reducing your skincare regime down to a simple two step cleanse and moisturise to remove problematic skincare ingredients. You can then gradually re-introduce products to identify which ingredients don’t agree with your skin. However, if you truly have sensitive skin, these symptoms will persist long after you stop using a specific ingredient or products.


Over the past few years, single ingredient brands have burst onto the scene and encouraged consumers to multi-layer too many treatments and other 'hope in a jar' products. We’ve also seen the rise of high intensity acids and actives, which, when we combined with environmental attacks, is a recipe for disaster for our skin, resulting in 2022 being the year of mass barrier malfunction!

When the barrier is impaired, skin becomes sensitised, and is prone to many issues already highlighted, including dryness, dullness, redness, sensitivity, and breakouts.

So the solution to avoiding sensitised skin having a strong skin barrier!

HOW TO repair your barrier & sensitised skin

  1. Simplify your regime – We’re talking 3-steps total: Cleanse, Moisturise, SPF
  2. Ensure you’re using pH balanced products to protect the skins acid mantle
  3. Use a gentle cleanser that is hydrating & non stripping
  4. Look out for ingredients that hydrate skin and lock in moisture, such as humectants, emollients & occlusives.
  5. Ensure your moisturiser contains ingredients like Ceramides, that help to substitute the skin barrier
  6. Avoid exfoliants and other high-strength actives for a little while. It can be tempting to think you need to exfoliate and apply intense treatments to skin that is dry and textured, but this could be a sign your skin is crying out for moisture, not exfoliants!
If you want to learn more about your skin barrier, then check out our previous blog.


We hope that you've found this blog helpful - if you have any questions or would like to share your skincare journey with us, we'd love to hear from you. You can get in touch via the form below or by DM on IG. 




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