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Is my skin sensitive or sensitized?



I would say that over 60% of my clients will tell me on their first visit that their skin is sensitive.    However it could be sensitized which is quite different. How can you tell the difference so that you can treat your skin successfully to achieve optimum skin health?


If your skin is truly sensitive, you will have inherited this skin condition and will be prone to blushing, asthma and allergies. Your skin will be more delicate with less melanin or pigment (fair skinned), a thin epidermis and blood vessels close to the surface,  hence the obvious redness.   Sensitive skin is usually the result of a defect in the skin’s protective outer layer allowing irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin and cause adverse reactions.


Visit a professional skincare therapist to find out more about your skin and whether is sensitive which is an inherited skin condition or if in fact, your skin has been sensitized as a results of your environment.  Both skin conditions can be treated easily but will need the correct products and treatment.
Sensitized skin, on the other hand, is triggered by your environment and lifestyle.  Your skin is affected by stress, hormonal fluctuations, poor diet,  over exfoliation and pollution. 30% of the population of China have declared they have sensitive skin which could well be a result of the high level of pollution there.

(FILES) This picture taken 18 July 2006 shows cyclists passing through thick pollution from a factory in Yutian, 100km east of Beijing in China's northwest Hebei province. China has no plans to radically change its reliance on coal and other dirty fuels despite already feeling the impacts of global warming, a leading Chinese meteorologist said 06 February 2007. In the first official Chinese response to a stark UN report issued last week on climate change, Qin Dahe said China lacked the technology and financial resources for a wholesale conversion to cleaner energy sources. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS/FILES (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Other factors are intake of excess alcohol and smoking.







In addition, cosmetic ingredients including alcohol, lanolin, fragrance and D&C colourants all lead to sensitized skin.  Whilst sensitive skin is traditionally associated with fair skinned people, sensitized can affect anyone regardless of their race.

There is a common link between flushing, irritation and stinging and that is inflammation. Coupled with the loss of the skin’s protective barrier, your overall skin health is compromised and your skin becomes reactive.  I would advise using a product to protect your skin such as Dermalogica Barrier Repair which has been a godsend to numerous clients who I seem in the clinic with sensitive or sensitized skin.


Contact a professional skincare therapist to have your skin analysed to see if you have inherited sensitive skin or if your skin is sensitized due to your environment and lifestyle which of course means you can do something to improve your skin immediately.

Maria Winslow

Maria is passionate about skin. She is genuinely interested in curing skin conditions, and loves to help her clients look their best. She says, ‘I offer a professional approach, based on informing and interacting with clients, which sadly can be lacking elsewhere in the beauty industry. I believe this sets Winslow Skincare apart.’

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