Sensitive or sensitized? Find out!

Seems like more and more of our patients are reporting that they have “sensitive” skin when we are putting together their treatment plans, including procedures and products. And yet, skin experts say sensitive skin is a condition that simply isn’t that common. Did you used to have “regular” skin that you would now classify as “sensitive,” becoming dry and irritated and/or breaking out easily?

True sensitive skin is a genetic condition
It’s usually found in very fair-skinned people of Northern European descent. True sensitive skin is more delicate, in part because it contains lower amounts of pigment, and the blood vessels are closer to the surface, making it prone to redness. Sensitive skin also has a less effective protective outer layer so irritants can easily penetrate more deeply, causing inflammation. Conditions and products that wouldn’t cause problems for regular skin can cause itching, blisters, flushing and breakouts for those with sensitive skin.

Be sensitive to your sensitive skin
Aesthetician ServicesIf you truly have sensitive skin, you may need to pay very careful attention to the ingredients in every product you use. Here are some you might need to use sparingly or even avoid:
• Lanolin (used in many moisturizers)
• Alcohol
• Parabens (preservative)
• Beta hydroxy acids
• Retinols
• Quaternium-15 (preservative)
• Formaldehyde
• Fragrances
A good way to find out if you’re sensitive to certain ingredients is to test it. Apply the product to your forearm and leave it on for 24 hours, checking for redness, itching or blistering.

Be aware of too much care
Aggressive over-use of skincare products and treatments can cause our skin to seem sensitive when it has actually become sensitized, which is not the same thing as actually having sensitive skin. Sensitized skin can be also be caused by environmental factors, including:
• Stress
• Pollution
• Smoking
• Alcohol

Choose an experienced skin care expert
At Aura Skin Spa, we understand that sensitized skin can also be the result of over-exfoliation, even chemical and laser cosmetic treatments. So it’s important that you and your skin care professional work together to keep your skin healthy and happy. Call for your appointment today: (415) 788-3800.

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