People of all skin colors can have sensitive skin, but it is more common in those with a fair complexion and light-colored eyes. Your skin tends to sting when you put certain things on it, and you’ve probably learned over the years what to avoid. Your skin may even react to cold temperatures or wind by becoming red and irritated. You may also notice tiny cracks in your skin, and that makeup becomes flaky. In fact, the barrier function of skin in people with sensitivities has been disturbed, which is why it’s so vulnerable to anything that’s put on it.
Although the irritation –redness, stinging itching, and burning –that you sometimes experience is not the same as a truly allergic reaction, you are more prone to true allergies, and you can break out in a rash all over if you are allergic to a fragrance or some other ingredient or drug.
With few exceptions, the formulations of my products are safe for the most people with sensitive skin. Therefore I have not designed a separate daily regimen for this skin type. Usually following the recommendations for dry skin will be fine for you. However, you may have an allergic response to some ingredient in any formulation, regardless of how much testing has been done to ensure that it is unlikely to cause a reaction. So you might do your own skin test on the inside of your upper arm before using a product for the first time. Also, you can develop an allergy to something you have used without any problems for yours, so don’t ignore any unusual symptoms such as redness, rashes, irritation, stinging, or dry patches that occur when you use a product.
According to some surveys, about 40% of women say they have sensitive skin. They say their skin becomes red, itches, feels tight, stings, and burns in response to changes in the climate, in the reaction to the sun, or when they use some products. No one knows how many people really have sensitive skin, but it is estimated that as many as 20% of people are allergic to certain things that make contact with their skin.
|Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.|