Sensitive skin: 10 signs your skin is sensitive
If redness, flushing and tight-feeling skin are gripes of yours, you could be someone who suffers from sensitivity. We highlight 10 tell-tale signs that will help you work out if your skin is on the sensitive side. If you find yourself nodding to some, or all of these complaints, we may have just diagnosed the problem.
One of the most common signs of sensitive skin is redness – the flush that can crop up for any number of reasons, some of which are rosacea, eczema or simply a reaction to certain skincare ingredients.
Rashes and bumps
Skin that is prone to small bumps or rashes appearing is another tell-tale sign that your skin is sensitive. If this is something that is all too common, we would recommend patch testing your products – yes, we know it’s a pain, but it’s a necessary step if you want to rule out certain products or namely, ingredients that could be the culprit. To patch test, pop a small amount of the product onto an inconspicuous area and wait for 24 hours to see how your skin reacts.
Sensitivity to beauty products
Feeling the burn? Stinging and burning is very common for those who have sensitised skin due to a compromised skin barrier, which is often thinner than those who have a ‘normal’ skin type. It’s a good idea to stick to a simple, hypoallergenic skincare range which isn’t too loaded with high levels of active ingredients. This means you are still looking after your skin, but with a range, which is gentle enough to avoid issues.
Dry skin is another issue that those with sensitivity can fall victim to, and this is due to a weaker skin barrier. This is often an overall feeling of dry skin, but also can be patches of dry, scaly-looking skin which can be treated with a skincare range designed to boost moisture levels and nourish the skin, while more serious cases may need the assistance of a dermatologist.
bh loves: Sukin Sensitive Facial Moisturiser, $13.30; La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Riche, $32.99; Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield, $94; Antipodes Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser & Makeup Remover, $46.90; Eau Thermale Avène Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion, $46.99; Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask, $54.99; Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil, $43.99.
Tight-feeling itchy skin is another common conundrum for sensitive skin sufferers and while there are many reasons this could happen, this problem can be heightened by exposing your skin to hot water – whether that is showers or cleansing, hot water strips the skin and can make it itchy and tight-feeling, so it’s best to stick to lukewarm water (sorry, we know how lovely a hot shower is in winter).
Sensitivity to the sun
Sensitive skin and the sun don't mix well – even a few minutes out and about in the harsh rays can have you looking red, blotchy and a rash can even occur. To combat this, it’s a great idea to cover up by wearing a broad-spectrum, ideally a physical, sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide which is much kinder to sensitive skin.
Those tiny red veins that often crop up on our noses and cheeks are what are referred to as broken capillaries and because, like we have said, sensitive skin is thinner, unfortunately, these veins are more visible and is another sign that your skin is sensitive.
Winter weather wreaks havoc on your skin
If your skin flushes red when you’re out in a cold, blustery day, this is yet another side effect of sensitivity. To tackle this issue, switch up your skincare regime by using ranges which are designed to soothe and calm the skin – these often contain chamomile and calendula, known for their soothing qualities.
Dry skin commonly creates more oil to make up for the loss of moisture in the skin which as we know can cause breakouts – sucks right?! If this is a problem for you, try not to cleanse more than twice a day as any more than this will only dry the skin out even more. If you are looking to treat your pimples with a spot treatment product, opt for ones that heal by using ingredients such as witch hazel and tea tree over ones that contain alcohol, as these will be calmer on your skin.
Scented lotions and potions may be perfect for some, but unfortunately, for those who could have sensitive skin, you will find it far too reactive. Yes, we all agree, some of those beautiful ranges smell good enough to eat, but if you want to keep your skin calm, it’s best to stick to ranges which offer a fragrance-free formula.
Do any of these sound familiar to you?