With a variety of symptoms including redness, heat, itching, tightness and prickling, sensitive skin is an uncomfortable reality for 60% of Australians . As common in oily and combination skin types as it is in dry, the discomfort stems from a weakening of the skin’s protective barrier function, which causes irritation to the nerve endings.
While for some this barrier breakdown can be triggered by factors including sun exposure, pollution, allergens and stress, others are born with sensitive skin. An umbrella term, sensitive skin comes in many forms, from skin that flushes in response to alcohol, foods, or temperature changes, to atopic skin with eczema, reactive skin triggered by certain products and environmental factors, and allergic skin that responds to allergens in products and the environment.
Whatever the type, rest assured you can vastly improve the life of your sensitive skin with these simple, skin-soothing and skin caring steps.
Step 1 – Cleanse
With its weakened barrier, allergy-prone and sensitive skin is more susceptible to irritation from environmental factors including dirt, pollution, make-up and allergens. At the same time, it is less able to retain moisture and can easily become dehydrated, causing further tightness, itching and discomfort.
Twice-daily cleansing with a gentle, soap-free formula is therefore recommended to remove potential aggressors, without upsetting sensitive skin’s moisture balance.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser gently cleanses the eyes and face of make-up, sebum and impurities, without causing irritation or dryness.
Step 2 – Moisturise, Protect & Repair
Dryness will exacerbate tight, itchy sensations, so it’s important to moisturise morning and night, avoiding common irritants including alcohol, lanolin and fragrance. Toleriane Ultra moisturiser is a rich, high-tolerance, minimalist formula that hydrates, soothes and works at the source to strengthen skin and break the sensitivity cycle.
With UV exposure a trigger for sensitivity, daily broad-spectrum sun protection is also vital. Very high-level protection is available with Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid – the hypoallergenic sunscreen range specifically formulated for sensitive skin prone to sun intolerance.
 2011 TNS Skincare Usage & Attitude Study, Australia