Skin sensitivity is incredibly common, even if it’s not something people always talk about in public. But it’s also one of the most annoying issues to live with – no one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own skin, or to spend all day itching or scratching at skin that doesn’t settle or rest.
But what if you don’t know if you have sensitive skin in general, or if it’s just a certain makeup product causing a temporary reaction?
Let’s break down all the ways through which you can know if you have sensitive skin. We’ll also offer some solutions for certain skin sensitivity issues.
The Four Major Types of Sensitive Skin
Skin sensitivity is not just a catchall condition that’s the same for everyone.
In fact, there are four main types of skin sensitivity that you might suffer from:
- Reactive skin, which is characterized by skin that often becomes inflamed or irritated. Reactive skin usually “reacts” to something rubbed onto or into it, or because of some environmental factors.
- Environmentally sensitive skin is, obviously, any skin that is abnormally sensitive to certain environmental attributes. Examples include skin that becomes overly sensitive in cold weather or during certain seasons.
- Naturally sensitive skin is the burden of those with some unlucky genetics – such folks just have skin that’s naturally sensitive to beauty products, allergens, and more.
- Thin skin can easily become sensitive because of physical factors. Thin skin is easier to rub down or away, leading to skin breaks, redness or rawness, and excessive dryness.
But while skin sensitivity can broadly be organized into these categories, you can see signs of skin sensitivity for all of them when determining whether you need long-term skincare help or if you’re suffering a temporary condition.
Common Signs of Skin Sensitivity
Skin sensitivity is different for everyone. But here are some of the most common signs of skin sensitivity you can look for to determine what actions you should take.
Frequent Flushes or Redness
Does your skin frequently turn red or flush with color? While this can be a cute look, it can also be a sign of skin sensitivity.
We’re not talking just about regular blushing. Instead, look for excessive redness, which can take the form of rashes, bumps, or even dilated blood vessels. Redness that spreads across the skin is particularly worrying and should be examined by a dermatologist. There may be an environmental contaminant causing an allergic reaction or something might have gotten onto your skin that’s causing a flare up.
If your flare ups don’t cease after using a few soothing lotions or creams, you may need to resort to over-the-counter creams or a medication prescribed by a dermatologist. Many people with skincare conditions like eczema will need to manage their condition rather than eliminate it entirely.
Dry Skin is a Constant
Dry skin is more than just uncomfortable – it’s also a sign of generally sensitive skin. Dry skin can lead to other skin issues like cracks or even acne breakouts as your skin tries to compensate for the lack of hydration by producing too much sebum.
The good news is that those with sensitive and dry skin can usually alleviate the condition with the help of a great moisturizer and a few lotions. You can also limit dry skin by staying indoors during low humidity days (like those that are common during the winter).
Your Skin Flakes and Peels Often
This condition often goes hand-in-hand with dryness since your skin has a harder time keeping weak or dead skin cells on your skin. These normally act as a protective and insulating layer if there isn’t enough hydration or oil to go around. Even worse, flaky or peeling skin can look embarrassing due to its similarity to dandruff.
Furthermore, skin that peels or flakes frequently can lead to raw skin as the lower layers flake away. Sometimes this skin sensitivity can be caused because of a direct irritant or allergen, or because of excessive dryness. Either way, it’s not comfortable.
You Sunburn Easily
Those with pale skin will often more easily sunburn than those with darker skin. If you sunburn easily, you may also have generally sensitive or vulnerable skin. It’s doubly important for you to always wear sunscreen, even if you’ll only be exposing some skin for a short while. Make sure to do this to avoid excessive skin sensitivity and prevent the occurrence of skin cancer.
Sunburns can lead to other skin irritations and conditions, like flakiness, peeling, and rawness.
Your Skin Becomes Itchy All the Time
Oftentimes, incessantly itchy skin is a sign of overall skin sensitivity. That’s usually because itchy skin is often a symptom of your skin being too taut or tight. This can be an unlucky genetic consequence, or because you wash your skin too frequently with scalding water.
The best way to deal with this kind of skin sensitivity is to take showers with lukewarm water and use gentle skincare cleansers and other natural products. We’d also recommend using a great moisturizer that can help to stretch out your skin and make it less itchy.
Itchiness can, if not treated, lead to extra skin dryness, excessive scratching, and more.
You See Broken Capillaries
Your capillaries are tiny blood vessels that can occasionally become visible near the surface of your skin. You’ll most often see them on your nose or cheeks: two areas where your skin is usually stretched a little tighter than elsewhere.
Capillaries can sometimes break if too much pressure is placed on a particular area, like if you scrub your skin too hard on your nose or cheeks. It can also happen if blood rushes to the capillaries quickly, like if you walk into cold weather and your skin tries to warm itself to compensate.
If the capillaries break, you might see small red spots as the blood vessels burst. This usually isn’t a serious health issue, but it can indicate that you have sensitive or thin skin, especially in those areas. This is usually caused by genetic factors rather than anything avoidable, though you can use certain serums and lotions to bolster your skin in those areas.
Cold Weather is Uncomfortable
The dry, winter months have low ambient humidity. This can make those with skin already prone to dryness feel even more uncomfortable. This is especially true if it’s also windy outside.
Folks with sensitive skin can sometimes experience flushing as their blood vessels swell. The best way to tackle this type of sensitivity is with soothing skincare products made with natural ingredients like chamomile, calendula, and azulene extract. Suki Skincare’s natural products are a great choice since they use these key ingredients and others.
You Get Frequent Acne Breakouts
As mentioned above, many people experience frequent acne breakouts because their skin doesn’t have enough moisture or oil to go around. Their skin tries to compensate by producing extra oil, which leads to pores that are clogged with dirt, debris, and dead skin cells. These, then, lead to breakouts that can spread across your skin.
You may have sensitive skin that leads to acne breakouts, or the breakouts themselves could lead to sensitivity because of how swollen and inflamed they make surrounding tissue. Tackling acne is usually a long-term process that involves deep cleaning your pores with toners, plus properly moisturizing your skin afterward.
By using a toner to cleanse and rebalance your skin, you’ll eliminate the cause of your acne and hopefully remove the sensitivity that comes along with it.
Some Beauty Products Cause Burns or Stinging
Don’t discount the possibility that your skin is just allergic to certain types of artificial skincare products. Some beauty products, including makeup, foundation, sunscreen, moisturizers, or even cleansers can cause reactions on your skin due to harsh synthetic ingredients.
Many people with sensitive skin have thin, easy to irritate skin layers that are especially susceptible to the chemical side effects of some beauty products. This is one of the reasons why it’s always better to use skincare treatments made with natural ingredients over their synthetic counterparts.
If your skin only becomes sensitive with a particular type of soap or makeup, try using another product to see if the condition dissipates. For many people, even regular bar soap is far too alkaline for their skin. Soaps made for sensitive skin like Suki Skincare’s Sensitive Cleansing Bar can make a huge difference in skin sensitivity while still providing good cleaning results.
In the end, you might have skin sensitivity for any or all of the above reasons. Most folks with sensitive skin can’t pinpoint just one reason why they have difficulty feeling comfortable in their skin, or why they need to use moisturizers and lotions to alleviate the itching or dryness.
But, there's always something you can do to help your skin feel and look much better.
Check out the various moisturizers, serums, and other lotions that Suki Skincare has to offer. Our skincare products are each made with natural ingredients with sensitive skin in. Let us know how we can help with your sensitive skin!