THE CAUSES OF SENSITIVE AND REACTIVE SKIN

The outer layer of your skin – the epidermis – acts as a protective barrier for your body, keeping harmful substances out and locking moisture in. However, your skin’s natural defences can sometimes become weakened, compromising the moisture barrier and leaving skin susceptible to external irritants such as harsh ingredients and allergens.

Sensitive skin

There are many reasons why the skin’s moisture barrier can become compromised, leading to sensitive and reactive skin:

1. YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Cold weather and central heating in the winter and hot weather and air conditioning in summer can all deprive skin of its moisture, leaving it feeling dry, sensitive and reactive. Dirt and pollution, such as exhaust fumes, smoke and dust, can also weaken the skin’s natural barrier and make it more sensitive.

2. INGREDIENTS

Many products contain harsh ingredients that can damage the skin’s surface and remove its natural protective oils, leaving it susceptible to sensitivity. Opt for mild, fragrance-free cleansers and laundry detergents to help prevent reactions to irritants.

3. HORMONAL IMBALANCE

Brought on by stress, your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, puberty or the menopause, if your hormones become out of sync, the effectiveness of your skin’s moisture barrier function can be reduced.

4. EXISTING SKIN CONDITIONS AND ALLERGIES

Some people are more likely to experience sensitive, reactive skin because they have pre-existing conditions such as acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. Undiagnosed or untreated allergies to foods such as gluten and dairy can also cause skin inflammation and rashes.

5. DIET AND HYDRATION

Without enough water or nutrients, your skin can become dehydrated and stressed, which can trigger skin sensitivity. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water, every day.

Now you know some of the reasons behind your sensitive skin, you can take measures to help prevent it becoming reactive and irritated. If you’re worried or unsure about your skin, we recommend that you speak to your dermatologist or pharmacist. If you think you may have a food allergy, speak to your doctor.

 

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