What is sensitive skin?
While many skin types are quite self explanatory (oily skin is oily, dry skin is dry, and so on…), sensitive skin can be a lot of different things.
And while it’s most often referred to as a skin type on its own, you can have sensitive skin while also dealing with oily skin or dry skin - making it both a skin type and a skin condition. Gosh.
So what is sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin can be explained as a hyper-reactivity to environmental factors, meaning that the skin is more prone to react to external stimuli compared to other skin types.
And by external stimuli we mean weather conditions (like dry or cold climates) and products like soaps, cosmetics, and skincare. Honestly, just anything that affects the skin one way or another.
So while some people can use products with perfume or even do chemical peels and exfoliators like there were no tomorrow, people with sensitive skin will typically have a negative reaction to products with harsh chemicals. Also, they’ll generally need to pay more attention to the ingredients list on their skincare products in order not to upset the skin.
So yeah, the skin’s just super fragile and sensitive with this skin type.
Reactions can vary depending on the severity of your skin’s sensitivity, but it will often appear as a stingy feeling or through redness, itchiness, tightness, and general discomfort.
What causes sensitive skin type?
As with most skin types and skin conditions, we’ll start out by blaming it on genetics. We don’t really know what causes some people to have sensitive skin (but rest assured all the skin-experts-scientisty-people are working on figuring it out).
And while we wait, we’ll lean on some of the studies that are already out there. Some of them have shown that there’s a correlation between sensitive skin and other skin diseases that react negatively to external factors. And others show that the cause may be due to a thinner outer layer of the skin.
This is backed up by studies showing that women are more prevalent to sensitive skin than men, likely because men have a thicker epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), which seems to be a better barrier to allergens and irritants. And while we’re talking about men and women (and using gender binary terms), women tend to develop sensitive skin more often than men, due to the fact that women (over)use more products than men. Generally speaking. Not as a rule. Or a law of nature. But in general. You know what I mean.
Sensitive skin can also be affected by lifestyle, as both perfume and alcohol can be triggering for sensitive skin.
So, how do you care for sensitive skin?
Since your sensitive skin reacts to external factors, one very essential way of avoiding irritation and reactions is to avoid things that cause these reactions.
Simple as that.
Okay, not that simple. Especially since more or less every single skincare product can potentially upset your skin if you have a sensitive skin type.
But a good place to start is by monitoring your skin and keeping track of when it reacts negatively and what you did to make that happen.
It can be a tedious process, but a rule of thumb is just to go back to basics and avoid harsh products if you already know that your skin is sensitive.
“Am I even able to have a normal skincare routine if I react to everything I apply to my face?” you may wonder. And yes, of course you can. You just gotta figure out what works for you (hence the tedious process).
Keep it gentle (and simple)
Overreacting to skincare products is very common with sensitive skin, which is why a gentle skincare routine often is the way to go.
Besides looking for gentle and non-irritating ingredients, keeping it simple is also a great approach. The fewer products you add to your routine, the fewer products will potentially irritate your skin (logic, you know).
So.. A simple, but yet gentle and effective skincare routine, you say?
Well, that just so happens to be the NØIE philosophy (coincidence? We think not).
Generally, people with sensitive skin should look for products containing ingredients that alleviates the symptoms of sensitive skin - like redness, dryness, and itchiness.
For instance, if you’re experiencing a lot of redness, you may wanna look for products with Niacinamide, Tumeria Zen (Curcuma Longa Callus Lysate) or Arnica Montana Flower Extract (hint: they’re all found in NØIE products targeting redness 😉). Other ingredients that can support sensitive skin are glycerin, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, panthenol (just to mention a few).
Generally, people with sensitive skin usually benefit greatly from using personalised skincare products like NØIE, because you don’t have to worry about harsh and unnecessary ingredients. We only formulate products that are good for you, with ingredients that benefit your skin in regards to your skin type and skin concerns.
Sounds kinda awesome, right?
Anyway, you can always take our skin test to see what a NØIE routine looks like for you (we’ve put a big button down below for you).
In the meantime, we recommend proceeding slowly. We never encourage you to swap your whole routine at once - especially when trying to identify (and ultimately eliminate) potential triggers.