Sensitive Skin

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is very common.  A 2019 survey showed the incidence of sensitive skin in women was 60-70% and in men 50-60%.  Sensitive skin is hypersensitive skin meaning it reacts to stimuli with inflammation or stinging.  All sensitive skin types have inflammation or unexplained stinging. The cause of skin sensitivity depends upon which of the 4 sensitive skin types you have.

Do I Have Sensitive Skin?

The term sensitive skin is often used incorrectly.  All sensitive skin types have inflammation provoked by stimuli.  Many of the people who say they have “sensitive skin” have dry skin and no inflammation. Dry skin is not sensitive skin unless it has inflammation. Sensitive skin is not always dry and dry skin is not always sensitive. It is also incorrect to say combination sensitive skin. It is more accurate to refer to sensitive skin as: dry sensitive skin or oily sensitive skin. The best way to accurately determine if you have dry sensitive skin or oily sensitive skin is to take the skin type quiz.

Sensitive Skin Symptoms

Sensitive skin symptoms correlate with the type of sensitive skin you have. Skin sensitivity can be referred to in many ways such as a pink or red skin color, unpleasant skin sensations and/or bumps on skin caused by skin sensitivity. You must have one or more of these sensitive skin symptoms to have sensitive skin:

Burning Face

Burning Skin

Facial Flushing

Itching Skin

Pimples And Pustules

Pink Skin

Pink Skin With Scale

Prickly Skin

Red Face

Red Skin


Stinging Face

Stinging Skin

Sunburn With No Sun Exposure

4 Types of Sensitive Skin

All 4 types of sensitive skin have inflammation or hypersensitivity. You can have one or more types of sensitive skin.  Once inflammation occurs, you are more likely to get other forms of inflammation.  That means, if you have one type of sensitive skin, you are more likely to develop another type of skin sensitivity. Using anti-inflammatory skin care ingredients to soothe and calm skin can help prevent you from developing more types of sensitive skin.

Sensitive Skin Type 1- Acne

Acne is caused by the acne causing bacteria Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes).  This acne bacteria causes clogged pores, inflammation, papules, pustules and ultimately acne cysts and acne scars.

Sensitive Skin Type 1- Rosacea

Rosacea occurs when blood vessels dilate and lose the ability to shrink back donw.  The enlarged vessels cause facial flushing and a sensation of warmth.  The resulting red face comes and goes.  Rosacea is progressive.

Sensitive Skin Type 1- Stinging and Burning Skin

Hypersensitive skin stings when it comes into contact with a low (acidi) pH. It is unknown why some people are more likely to feel their face sting when applying skin care products.  These hypersensitive skin types are called “Stingers”.

Sensitive Skin Type 4- Allergic or Irritated Skin

Hypersensitive skin is more likely to react to things it encounters such as fragrances and preservations and sunscreen ingredients. Irritant chemicals cause the release of inflammatory factors that cause a rash known as irritant dermatitis. Allergens trigger the immune system to release inflammatory factors to cause a rash known as contact dermatitis.

Sensitive Skin on the Neck

The skin on the neck is different than the skin on your face because it has fewer hair follicles. The neck area gets much more irritated than the face to antiaging creams such as retinol and hydroxy acids.  The neck heals slower than the face and is more likely to scar after laser treatments.  When you are beginning a strong antiaging cream with retinol on the neck- start every 4th day so your skin can adjust.  If you neck gets red and irritated, use a soothing oil such as Argan oil to calm the skin.

Skin Care For Sensitive Skin

The Skin Care Routine for sensitive skin depends upon two things:

  1. Your Baumann Skin type (what other barriers to skin health do you have?)
  2. Which subtypes of sensitive skin you have.  You can have more than one type of sensitive skin.

As you can imagine, there are many different skin care routines for sensitive skin. Once you take the quiz and know your Baumann Skin type it is much easier to understand which skin care products to treat inflamed hypersensitive skin.  All of the skincare products used to treat sensitive skin will have soothing and calming anti-inflammatory ingredients. To learn more about skin care for sensitive skin click here.

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