Hypersensitive Skin

What is hypersensitive skin?

Hypersensitive skin is a general term to describe complexions and skin types with extreme responses and intolerance to irritants and allergens. Skin may flush, develop edema and bumps, and itch and sting on contact with harsh products, weather, environmental conditions and other stimuli tolerated by most other skin types.

What causes hypersensitive skin?

Certain skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and dry skin are most often associated with hypersensitive skin. Often skin barrier is compromised in these conditions. This leads to skin being more permeable to irritants and allergens. Water is also lost across skin (trans epidermal water loss), meaning skin is easily dried out in harsh climates. 

Can sensitive skin be inherited?

Yes. Many types of eczema run in families as does rosacea. 

How do you treat hypersensitive skin to help heal it?

Hypersensitive skin is reactive and requires gentle skin care products that are relatively free of common allergens and irritants. It is best to use a hydrating and gentle skin care routine.

Hydrating and gentle skin care tips to care for hypersensitive skin:

  1. Cleanse with only gentle and hypoallergenic skin soaps and cleansers.
  2. Bath and wash skin with tepid water only. Warm water, but never steamy hot water, can be used for showering. Hot water pulls out skin lipids too efficiently. It also brings blood flow to skin (which is why your skin turns red in hot water). This, in turn, brings in the mediators of skin inflammation. 
  3. Always apply rich, hypoallergenic moisturizers within the magic 3 minutes after toweling skin dry. Use moisturizers after every bath or shower, and any time you wash your skin. For hands, this may mean applying hand cream many times during the day until your hand skin is less sensitive. Look for hypoallergenic hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, green tea antioxidants, and hypoallergenic botanical oils, mineral oil or petrolatum. 
  4. Never use products with irritating ingredients such as acids, alcohols or antibacterial ingredients while your skin is sensitive.
  5. Never use products that are not hypoallergenic. This is not a strictly regulated term. In general, avoid fragrances and harsh preservatives in skin care and personal care products. 
  6. Use only hypoallergenic and non-irritating sunscreens. Mineral zinc oxide SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen is best for hypersensitive skin in my professional opinion. Avoid chemical sunscreen filters. Wear UPF 50 clothing, a hat, UV filtering sunglasses, and seek the shade for sun protection.
  7. Don't expose sensitive skin to extreme environmental conditions such as harsh weather. Wear gloves, face muffs and protective clothing to shield skin from exposure. 
  8. If you wear makeup, avoid products with fragrance, fillers and chemicals. Use pure mineral makeup powders that are simple and impart color without exposure to potential irritants and allergens. 
  9. If the skin on your body is hypersensitive, wear soft fiber clothing and avoid rough fibers. Cotton and silk are good choices. 
  10. Don't vigorously rub skin, which will mechanically stimulate circulation to increase inflammation, and can abrade fragile skin barrier. 
  11. Try new products slowly. Consider applying new product to the inner surface of your forearm twice a day for a week before applying elsewhere. If rash develops then the product may not be right for your skin. 
  12. Avoid using harsh household cleaning products that are filled with fragrance and harsh chemicals. Remember, fumes and airborne droplets of products layer out on your skin when you use them for household or other chores.

Can you get rid of hypersensitive skin?

You can definitely make hypersensitive skin less sensitive. When hypersensitive skin is healthy and has balanced hydration the skin barrier will be stronger, and able to tolerate taunting challenges like harsh weather or provocative skin care product ingredients such as those that treat acne and fight aging. First, however, gentle hydrating skin care is essential to heal and soothe hypersensitive skin.

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View All 58 Products For This Search

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  4. Dr. Bailey's Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum™

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  20. Dr. Bailey's All Natural Foaming Liquid Hand Soap™

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  53. Vanicream Free & Clear Shampoo

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