The phrase 'sensitive skin' is one that gets used a lot. In fact, a report by Aveeno found that 71% of adults identify as having sensitive skin. So, what exactly is it, what causes it, and how can we avoid irritation and flare-ups?
What even is sensitive skin if most people have it?
Illinois board-certified dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD told Allure that "sensitive skin is skin that is more reactive than usual." This can be due to a myriad of factors—from an underlying condition such as eczema to an allergic reaction to that new serum you're trying out.
What causes sensitive skin?
The full causes of sensitive skin aren't fully understood, but it is generally considered to be due to a weakened, more easily damaged skin barrier.
Your skin could be naturally sensitive if you suffer from a condition like eczema or psoriasis. Or, your sensitivity could be triggered by external factors such as sun exposure, certain detergents, skin care products, etc.
When exposed to an irritant, the nerve endings in the top layer of the skin act up—leading to the greatest hits of sensitivity: inflammation, flakes, itchiness, and burning.
So what can be done about sensitive skin?
First things first, if you're experiencing uncomfortable or irritated skin, definitely head to your dermatologist for some expert advice. That said, there are some simple things you can do to mitigate flare-ups.
Look for skincare with gentle, barrier-building ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Avoid unnecessary ingredients like fragrances and sulfates (remember those?!).
How do I cleanse and exfoliate sensitive skin?
If you've got sensitive skin, the gentler the better when it comes to cleansers and especially exfoliants. Soft, non-abrasive cleansing is the way to go. Avoid scrubbing and rubbing with a washcloth or other skincare tool as this can easily cause or worsen irritation. Skip harsh scrubs and use chemical exfoliants carefully and sparingly.
Boie's Face and Body Scrubbers give you a thorough cleanse and exfoliation without the irritation that can be caused by washcloths, grainy scrubs, and certain ingredients. They're made from a hypoallergenic, antimicrobial material that's loved by sensitive skin-havers.
To use, simply add your favorite face wash, body wash, or soap and wet your Scrubber. Go in circular motions with gentle pressure. Once done, rinse and hang to dry.
Gentle but effective
Having found loofahs and scrubbing cloths often irritate my sensitive skin, I was delighted by how gentle, yet effective these scrubbers are. They rinse clean easily and dry quickly. I'm very pleased.
Good product, works well
I love the face scrubber. I have very sensitive skin and I get nervous using exfoliating face washes. The face scrubber leaves my skin feeling very nice and clean, but not irritated.