The term “sensitive skin” has become very common—approximately 57% of people say that they have skin sensitivity, yet few are actually born with it.1 Only 2% of adults in America actually have sensitive skin.1 Sensitive skin is characterized by excessive dryness, stinging, burning, redness and tightness, and is often a reaction to certain skin care products or other products that come in contact with the skin. It has a tendency to blush and flush easily because it has more reactive blood vessels than normal skin. This type of skin may also react with pustules, skin bumps and skin erosion.
Sensitive skin can be genetic and inherent, according to race, age and gender, but the majority of people affected by sensitive skin have become so due to environmental or lifestyle factors. The skin’s main function is to protect; however, exposure to the factors that cause sensitivity can compromise its ability to function optimally. The first step toward conquering skin sensitivity is education.
If your skin is sensitive, chances are that it has a thinner strateum corneum, a weaker natural defense barrier of lipids and may have more dermal appendages, such as hair follicles, and sebaceous and sweat glands. These characteristics of the skin’s structure result in heightened permeability and less protection against irritating ingredients or pollutants, as well as an increase in moisture loss.