Skin care when you have Sensitive Skin

Skin care when you have Sensitive Skin

By Jacqui Gaibor

Skin care when you have Sensitive Skin


Sensitive skin is a widespread concern and more commonly reported in women than men. Possible reasons for the difference include hormonal factors and differences in skin epidermal thickness between men and women. When we talk about sensitive skin, we are referring to skin that is more reactive than other skin types and prone to irritation, redness and inflammation. The face is the most commonly reported area experiencing sensitive skin and the skin around our nose, mouth (nasolabial folds) and cheeks are the most reported sites of sensitivity. If you have sensitive skin, you are probably aware of a range of triggers that aggravate your skin that may include chemicals, fragrances, fabrics, diet and lifestyle factors.


Personal Care Products

Regarding personal care products, reactions to soaps, cosmetics and sunscreens are commonly seen. Preservatives, fragrances and emulsifiers are the most commonly found allergenic ingredients. Specifically, parabens, phenoxyethanol, fragrance and alcohol in these products.


Skin Care Routine

Before using any new product – be it skin care, hair dye, makeup, sunscreen - it’s essential to spot test a small amount on your skin for 24 hours prior to use, to check for sensitivity.

It’s also recommended to look for products with fewer ingredients and to keep your skin care routine pretty simple.

Be careful in your use of chemical exfoliators such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA). Whilst very effective at removing dead skin cells, the skin can become easily irritated. Physical exfoliators such as scrubs or manual exfoliation with a facial cloth may be the better option here as you have greater control over the intensity.  

Refer to my sensitive skin collections for recommended products based on your skin type. However, if you are struggling to find any products that you can use on your skin, an individual consultation with me may be of assistance to you. Please visit my site, The Natural Skin & Psoriasis Clinic, at for further information.



Marriott M, Holmes J, Peters L, et al. The complex problem of sensitive skin. Contact Derm, 2005; 53: 93-99

Berardesca, E., Farage, M. and Maibach, H.Sensitive skin: an overview. Int J Cosmet Sci, 2013; 35: 2-8