Are you struggling with skin sensitivity? Have you dug a little deeper to find out where the sensitivity is stemming from? More often than not, people experiencing sensitive skin will describe their skin type as sensitive when their skin type is actually normal but has become sensitised from lifestyle and environmental factors. The symptoms of both skin conditions are similar, but understanding the key difference between the two is paramount to treating your skin.
So, what’s the difference between sensitive and sensitised skin?
Sensitive skin is a predisposed skin condition that you are usually born with and will have throughout your entire life. Sensitive skin is often delicate and thin with the blood vessels close to the skin surface. The skin’s protective barrier allows irritants & environmental pollution to pass through causing the sensitivity. Sensitive skin can also be caused by allergies, hormonal imbalances and skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Dermatitis, Rosacea.
Sensitised skin isn’t a condition that you’re born with and instead it’s often caused by external factors, so any skin type can be affected throughout different stages of life. Factors such as pollution, environmental changes, excessive sun exposure, stress, dehydration, diet and lifestyle choices can all contribute to sensitised skin, but one of the biggest contributors is the use of harsh skincare products. All of these factors damage the natural skin barrier, resulting in skin flare ups and sensitivity.
The signs of sensitivity
The signs of skin sensitivity that is caused by sensitive skin AND sensitised skin are extremely similar… Your skin may feel tight, fragile, red, blotchy, irritated, itchy, burning, or develop rashes, bumps and swelling. It can be particularly prone to sun damage and premature ageing as its structure is weaker and less resilient to UV rays.
The most important question to ask yourself when trying to determine if your skin is sensitised or if you have sensitive skin type is: Have you suffered from sensitive skin throughout your whole life? Or have you developed sensitive skin at a later point and see flare ups at different times? The latter is the key indicator of sensitised skin.
7 tips to repair sensitised skin & nurture sensitive skin.
If your skin is sensitised, you (thankfully) have the potential to reverse the damage and restore your skin back to your previously healthy condition. When it comes to sensitive skin, it’s important to note that as it’s often genetic, there’s usually no cure… However, implementing the below tips will help to keep your skin calm and soothed, without aggravating and worsening flare-ups:
- Choose soothing natural skincare that will nurture and rebuild your protective layer or skin barrier function. Our entire range is designed to strengthen the natural skin barrier and the Australian Native botanicals help to visibly restore damaged skin. Some of our favourite ‘restorative heroes’ include Radiance Cream Cleanser, Kakadu Brightening Serum, Restore Serum and Ultra Rich Moisturiser.
- Avoid irritating skincare products that have harsh chemicals such as retinoids, and strong hydroxy acids. These products will aggravate your compromised skin barrier function. If you are looking to firm and clarify your skin without the use of intense acids and peels, we recommend using our Instant Glow Face Masque once a week. This hydrating masque contains gentle fruit acids and Papaya enzymes to renew and brighten the skin. It’s also formulated with antioxidant rich Australian natives such as Emu Apple, Kakadu Plum and Buriti Fruit to deliver nutrients to help restore and soothe the skin barrier.
- Avoid strong facial scrubs with jagged edge granules that can cause microtears. If your skin isn’t too inflamed or prone to breakouts, and you just can’t live without a granule exfoliant, our Refining Face Polish is a super gentle exfoliator and contains only soft rounded granules made from Jojoba beads. These soft granules work alongside Australian Lilly Pilly extracts to ensure your skin is protected while working away to dissolve the dull surface build up. Be mindful to limit exfoliation to just once per week, and use delicate pressure without scrubbing the skin.
- Eliminate all detergents and soaps with harsh chemicals and replace them with natural products free from synthetic perfumes and dyes.
- Protect your skin from extreme weather conditions and destructive elements. Overexposure to UV will cause dehydration and compromise your skin’s protective barrier, while wind, dry heat and dry cold weather will strip your skin of moisture. In winter there’s plenty of temptation to spend a little longer in steaming hot showers, but this strips your skin of moisture too, leaving it more vulnerable to free radical damage from urban pollution.
- Create optimal health from the inside out by ensuring you maintain a healthy anti-inflammatory diet! Drink plenty of fluids and eat fresh, nourishing and colourful whole foods including water-rich leafy greens, celery and cucumber. Add in skin-loving foods with Omega 3 essential fatty acids & healthy fats – such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, walnuts, hemp seeds, flaxseeds and chia seeds. Reduce or avoid foods that are processed, fried or high in refined sugars as they can have an inflammatory effect in the body.
- Minimise and manage stress in your life. Stress aggravates skin concerns and it can also cause skin flare ups. While it’s not realistic to eliminate all stresses in your life, it’s important to manage it with relaxation practices such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga.
The power of Australian Native Botanicals for sensitivity
Australian native extracts have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Our entire range was formulated with sensitivity in mind and leverages the benefits of Australian Native botanicals to help nurture skin sensitivity and support the natural barrier. Here are just some of the antioxidant-rich extracts found in our range:
- Kakadu Plum – featured in many of our products including Radiance Cream Cleanser
- Finger Lime & Desert Lime – Kakadu Brightening Serum
- Tasmania Pepper Berry – Ultra Rich Moisturiser
- Quandong - Firming Eye Contour Cream
- Emu Apple – Instant Glow Face Masque
- Davidson Plum – Light Hydrating Moisturiser
- Wild Rosella flower – Restore Serum
The Kakadu Brightening Serum features many soothing extracts and is an effective treatment for sensitivity. Suitable for all skin-types, this hydrating, oil-free formula reduces the signs of redness, while instantly calming the skin.
The Retreatment Botanics range has been developed with sensitivity in mind, and we have received glowing feedback from many of our customers with sensitive skin, reporting amazing results. However, as every sensitive skin is unique and has the potential to respond differently to products, we do always recommend patch testing before use. We also suggest you check the ingredient lists and consult with your medical professional prior to use if you have any concerns.