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Give Origin to Your Client’s Sensitive Skin

By: Kris Campbell
Posted: December 4, 2013, from the December 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Most people will suffer from some sort of skin sensitivity—either long-term or short-term—at some point throughout their life. Several factors or combinations of factors may cause skin sensitivities and reactions, including aging, hormones, ingredient allergies, illnesses, medications and environmental conditions.

Sensitive skin is less of a skin type and more of a condition, resulting in signs of inflammation, reactivity to touch, dryness, and the appearance of rashes, papules or pustules. Some clients truly have sensitive skin, while others have sensitized their skin through environmental factors, or overexposure of products and treatments.


The changes that often accompany the aging process include dryness, wrinkle development, loss of elasticity, appearance of veins and thinning of the skin. Most aging skin is vulnerable to sensitivities because of the aggressive treatments and products that were used when the skin was younger.

To prevent aggravating sensitive aging skin, treatments should be gentler, in order to avoid causing inflammation and rashes. Because the skin is thinner and tends to absorb liquids quickly, enzymes should be used instead of liquid peel products in order to avoid possible adverse reactions because they penetrate at a slower pace.

Products that contain a less aggressive level of potency of anti-aging ingredients should be chosen for sensitive skin. Hydration is also key: Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, waxes and butters are beneficial. Rather than using products containing retinol, look to those with retinaldehyde, which is gentler on the skin, but still highly effective.

Health-challenged skin

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