Do you ever wonder why your skin is so sensitive? Is it because you’re unsure of how to care for it, or is it simply the way you were born? What we recognise as sensitive skin can be caused by many different factors – some of these you can control, but others you can’t. We are all trying to be ‘good’ to our skins, but often the opposite is true – we could be damaging our skins simply by doing too much to them, or because we just don’t know another way.
In this article we want to look at the causes of sensitive skin and how our GF2 skin formulations can help you improve sensitivity issues that you may be suffering with. We have also put together a helpful checklist to assist you to diagnose what might be going on with your skin.
What is sensitive skin?
When your skin overreacts or becomes sensitive to products that you previously used without any problems, you might have developed sensitive skin.
Causes of sensitive skin
People of Irish, Scottish, English or Scandinavian descent tend to have ‘thinner’ skins with less oil production. These skins are genetically more prone to redness, hives, and itching. Also, if your parents suffered from sensitive skin you may well have inherited the same condition.
Underlying health concerns
We do recommend that you speak to your dermatologist about any red, dry or bumpy skin that persists or appears regularly. These areas could be related to eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis.
Over-exposure to the sun
Sunlight converts cholesterol into vitamin D. Vitamin D is great for your health but if you stay in the sun for too long, you will experience redness and stinging from sunburn. Regular overexposure to the sun will also age your skin prematurely and further contribute to inflammatory conditions like acne and rosacea. Read our sun-safe tips here.
Skin products, cosmetics and detergents
The overuse of cosmetic products or using products with undesirable ingredients – or simply putting too many products on your skin – can create an environment for skin sensitivity. This includes the chemicals in your laundry detergent or other household cleaners that may end up coming into contact with the skin. We all know that having to use so much hand sanitiser during this pandemic– many of which are alcohol-based – is causing dry and sensitive skin of the hands for many of us. The chemicals and preservatives found in many skincare and personal care products can upset the skin’s delicate microbiome. The microbiome is key to maintaining the barrier function of your skin and keeping it healthy and less reactive.
Why an intact skin barrier matters
The skin is our largest organ and the first line of defence against biological and environmental stressors. Healthy skin will do its job well, keeping harmful elements out. But if its structure is slowly eroded by the environment, too many chemicals or by being treated too roughly then this ability is compromised. This gives rise to sensitive skin issues. It is important to be gentle with the skin, especially on the face. Over-exfoliation, for example, can damage the skin’s outer layers – these are the layers that protect us from environmental factors.
Your skin microbiome is a diverse ecosystem of microorganisms naturally present on your skin. This microbiome has many important functions, one of these being to protect you against disease and your skin from inflammation. The indiscriminate use of medication like antibiotics and cortisone, or using cosmetic products laden with preservatives, or over-cleaning the skin all upset this delicate balance, which in turn weakens the skin’s barrier function.
The skin barrier is made up of the epidermis (outer layer) and the outer layer of the dermis (the inner skin). This barrier is under constant attack from environmental factors like UV radiation, pollution, smoking and the excess consumption of alcohol. Our skin is also sensitive to too much sugar, as well as chemicals found in our cosmetics. Over time, these stressors lead to chronic, low-grade inflammation in the skin. This inflammation causes the epidermis to become thinner and more easily damaged. There is also a build-up of dead cells on the surface of the skin (the stratum corneum) which makes the skin feel rough. At the same time, this damage causes a loss of hydration in the skin, leading to dryness. The loss of collagen combined with damage to the elastic fibres in the dermis (elastin) leaves you with wrinkles. This long-standing inflammation also causes small blood vessels to become more visible, so you tend to look more flushed and red. This ageing caused by chronic, low-grade inflammation is called inflammageing.
The answer? ‘Skipcare’ and GF2
When choosing your beauty products “less” should really be “more”. Skipcare refers to a recent trend of limiting the number of products and ingredients that you apply to your skin. Consumers have become more aware of the benefit of using scientifically proven smart ingredients that have multiple functions. Also that these smart ingredients should be of natural origin and not harm the microbiome (be biome friendly).
Skin sensitivity does not normally happen overnight, by the same token it may take a little while to recover your skin’s health. Choosing smart products with multiple benefits, like our GF2 skin formulations, will help bring your skin back to life. Our GF2 miracle mist contains our all-important medical-grade hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is also the body’s own immune molecule. HOCl reverses environmental damage caused by UV exposure, pollution and toxins, and over time with regular use will help to normalise the skin’s structure and function. Collagen, elastin and melanin formation are brought back to normal and the skin feels smoother and becomes more tolerant whilst the tone and texture are improved.
Due to its natural anti-pathogenic and anti-inflammatory effect, the HOCl in our GF2 has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of acne, rosacea and cold sores.
Are you ready to get to the bottom of your skin sensitivity? Use our checklist to see how you can improve your condition.
Download our Sensitive Skin Checklist in PDF by completing the form below.