Sensitive skin is not a clinical term, it is more of an expression for the skin and because of this dealing with sensitive skin can be rather overwhelming. The number one focus around sensitive skin sits with avoiding aggravation or irritation and that is why tailoring your skincare routine is essential for balanced and calm skin.


The features that define sensitive skin sit around redness, irritation and inflammation and can be split into either allergic or reactive sensitivity as the nerve endings become irritated. The outer layer of our skin is protected with a lipid barrier and it works to keep water in and keep environmental pollution out. For normal skin types this barrier is thicker and stronger but for skin types that suffer with sensitivity, this barrier is typically weaker and thinner, making it susceptible to damage by allowing irritants to penetrate the skin. More often than not a thinner and weaker lipid barrier goes in hand with dryness as a weaker barrier also releases the moisture that hydrates the skin, but sensitivity can occur with any skin concern.


Sensitive skin can be triggered by both internal and external factors, externally, elements such as sun exposure and cold weather or internal elements like hormone changes and stress can all lead to sensitive skin. There are two elements conducive to sensitivity, allergic or reactive, allergic skin is a more long-term condition that can be itchy and result in a physical discomfort whereas reactive sensitivity is a result of a sudden change in skin moods. 111SKIN Therapist, Nadya Kostova advises, “When you are assessing your skin for sensitivity, try pressing your fingers to your skin and if you are left with any redness then your skin is reactive rather than allergic. Sensitivity through allergens should be treated differently”.


When treating sensitive skin, it is best to avoid using harsh products and to stay away from products containing acids until the skin has calmed down and is back to normal. These acidic ingredients can include alcohol, fragrance, citrus, glycolic acid and L-ascorbic acid, by avoiding these elements alongside rough scrubs or exfoliating products, you are enabling your skin to remain balanced. Treating your sensitive skin can even boil down to the temperature of the water as excessive exposure to hot water on your skin can strip and remove the natural oils in your skin, leaving it dry and therefore irritable and sensitive.


It is important when tailoring your daily skincare routine to sensitivity to keep your steps simple and not overcomplicate or over treat your regimen. As sensitivity is often linked to dryness, your routine can get caught in piling on products that will hydrate your skin but the more elements you work into your routine, the more agitated your skin can become. The ‘less is more’ routine will work to keep your skin calm, but, if dryness is a secondary concern then working a serum into your skin will be beneficial for hydration and lighter than a moisturiser, promising not to weigh down the skin.

In terms of your routine, working the Antioxidant Energising Essence, Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2 and the Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask into your current routine will work to combat irritation as the calming ingredients like Aloe Vera or the powerful NAC Y2 formula works repair and renew the skin, collectively complimenting the skin’s barriers.



Fashion Journalist Graduate with published work and musings around social commentary, fashion and beauty.


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