Redness, and rashes, and irritation - oh no. If you've found yourself in this blog, you've probably experienced or are experiencing one or all of these symptoms. Is it because you have sensitive skin? Or is your skin just sensitized - by harsh acids, too many actives, or something else? In today's blog, we're answering the question: Do you have sensitive or sensitized skin? And more importantly - does it even matter? Let's get to the bottom of the difference between sensitive vs. sensitized skin and what you can do when experience either.
'Sensitive skin' is a term used to describe those who have skin that's consistently more reactive and less tolerant of certain ingredients and chemicals than others. Nothing made it sensitive - it just is. If your skin is sensitive, it's probably been that way for a long time. You've probably had a hard time finding products that work for you, and have found that most skincare products actually make your skin woes worse! (Been there - keep reading for the solution.)
Your skin is sensitive if:
- your skin is reactive to many products
- products often leave your skin dry, red or irritated
- your skin easily gets red / flushed
- you're prone to acne and breakouts
- your skin is dry or has dry patches
- you're sensitive to fragrance
- and/or you develop rashes often
Unlike sensitive skin, sensitized skin is caused by something and not a fixed trait. If you're skin is generally pretty happy and one day you notice it looking and feeling really uncomfortable, that's a sure sign your skin has been sensitized.
Sensitized skin usually happens as a result of:
- overuse of strong skincare actives or harsh acids (examples include: retinol, alcohol, and other sensitizing ingredients such as those found in most 'acne products')
- overexposure to essential oils (this is why we don't use them)
- over-exfoliating or using harsh exfoliants (ie. walnut shell, fruit pits / shells)
- switching up your skincare routine too often
- hormonal changes ie. postpartum
- travel / weather changes
Most commonly, sensitized skin is caused by topical products, or in other words, the makeup and skincare you use.
The following signs usually indicate that your skin is sensitized (aka. stressed):
- breaking out more than usual
- dry patches or flakiness
- increase in oil / sebum
- discomfort, redness or irritation
- feels sunburn-like
- skin feels tight and dehydrated
DOES IT MATTER?
Only the tiniest bit. The truth is, whether your skin is sensitive or sensitized, you want to treat it the same. The secret to keeping sensitive skin happy, heathy and glowing AND getting sensitized skin back on track is this -
Less steps. Less "actives." Less (or no) essential oils. Less of everything.
We've found that sensitive and stressed skin truly thrive with less. Eliminate those products (makeup and skincare), foods, and more that trigger your skin symptoms - and get back to the basics. You want to look for products that are:
- entirely fragrance free (yes - essential oils are considered fragrance!)
- gentle and nourishing
- simple and natural
Or you can just opt for essential oil free skincare - like ours - that's literally designed for skin like yours. ☺ A simple skincare routine is best and consistency is key. An easy place to start? Our signature 3 Steps To Glow skincare routine. We'll let the reviews speak for themselves, but this routine has helped so many women (& men) with their sensitive and stressed skin, and it can help you too.
Want more tips to help you get the calm, clear, healthy skin you deserve? Get our 11 Must-Know Tips for Sensitive Skin here.