Sensitive skin can mean different things to different people. This is part of the mystery of sensitive skin. To some, sensitive skin means a burning or stinging sensation, while others might associate it with redness, itchiness, or just plain irritated skin. But what everyone can agree on is that sensitive skin is uncomfortable and often unpredictable.

So, we’ve created this guide to help you find relief in the short term as well as in the long run.

What is sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin is not a skin type and, consequently, is not a clinical term. Sensitive skin is more of a catch-all phrase used to describe a range of symptoms associated with skin sensitivity. These symptoms could be indicators of other skin conditions, for example, rosacea or eczema. But these symptoms could also be a result of genetics or simply getting older. 

Generally, irritated skin and skin sensitivity are caused by a compromised or thin lipid barrier, which means the highly important outer layer of your skin – the stratum corneum – is not fulfilling its role completely. You see, the job of this semipermeable layer of the skin is to keep pollutants and irritants out and to lock hydration in.

Environmental factors can do a number on your lipid barrier, like spending too much time in the sun or other harsh environmental conditions like exposure to cold and dry air. Over-cleansing with harsh soaps or exfoliants can also damage this delicate barrier.

Learn more about what sensitive skin is over here.

How to tell if you have sensitive skin

Symptoms can be classified as things you see, like redness, bumps, flakiness, and swelling, and as sensations you experience, like stinging, dryness and itchiness. If these symptoms have no end, it could be a sign of a skin condition, and it would be best to seek help from a dermatologist who will have specialised treatments to help you.

For more information about rosacea – and the seven types of eczema – visit this article on our Advice page.

What is the recommended daily skincare routine for sensitive skin?

It is always best to cleanse your face in the mornings and in the evenings. This is to remove any build-up of oils, dead skin cells, and dirt because this can aggravate sensitivity and lead to breakouts. The key is to use a mild cleanser (preferably one formulated for sensitive skin) and water that isn’t too hot.

Applying the right amount of pressure is also important. Make sure you aren’t scrubbing your face too hard; all you need is soap on your fingertips, and then gently wash in a circular motion.

Always dry your face with a clean towel and pat your skin rather than rub it because the friction on your freshly washed skin can damage that fragile lipid barrier that you should be protecting. Finish things up with a moisturiser that will soothe your sensitive skin.

A great idea is to simplify your skincare routine and to opt for sensitive skin products, as these are designed to respect the tricky balance of your skin. 

Once you start using new face products for sensitive skin, the chances are good that your skin might get worse before it gets better. Don’t fret. This is normal. Remain patient and try to introduce one product at a time to track your sensitivity. If you use everything at once, it will be hard to tell which skin care products are causing a reaction.

How do I manage and soothe sensitive skin flare-ups or reactions?

When skin sensitivity flares up, you should avoid hot showers, as extreme temperatures can disrupt the balance of the lipid barrier. You’ll also be wise to steer clear of harsh soaps and scented products. 

Protect your skin against environmental factors, like the sun, and always wear sunscreen if you are going into the sun. Choose skin care products (like day creams) or sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher – and make sure it provides broad-spectrum protection. Another good idea is to avoid wearing perfume, especially when spending time in the sun.

Which Celltone products are suitable for sensitive skin?

Celltone Sensitive Cleanser: Designed to cleanse and remove impurities, this face wash contains a soothing ingredient  – chamomile extract – which has calming properties – making it perfect for irritated skin.

Celltone Sensitive Toner: To gently remove excess dirt and make-up, use this toner. It is one of those face products for sensitive skin that will leave your skin soft and radiant.

Celltone Sensitive Day Cream: This non-greasy day cream is formulated to make skin less sensitive and more balanced. It helps to moisturise the skin whilst bolstering the lipid barrier to help protect the skin against environmental factors.

Celltone Sensitive Day Cream SPF: Sunscreen for sensitive skin is pivotal, therefore, Celltone offers a day cream with an SPF of 20. Dermatologically tested, this hydrating and soothing day cream is appropriate for all skin types. Its adaptive formula helps to restore the balance of your skin to reduce sensitivity.

Celltone Sensitive Night Cream: Your skin does a lot of repairing at night, so help it along with a night cream that will improve barrier function. This Celltone night cream is not only great for sensitive skin but also gets the green light from dermatologists.

Celltone skin care products are available online and at pharmacies nationwide.

If you have any product questions and want to speak to our experts, you are welcome to #AskCelltone by sending us a WhatsApp message to +27 609 966 087.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information provided on this site is for educational purposes only and does not provide a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for any questions or skin concerns.