There are two kinds of "touchy" or not so "touchy" skin, sensitive and sensitized. And there are about 9 out of 10 people who think they’ve got the former, but are dealing with the latter.
Sensitive skin is an inherited or long-term, protracted condition, such as rosacea or eczema.
Sensitized skin has undergone a sort of trauma, it is skin that has been damaged from several things. This type of skin tends to be very hot, red, and easily inflamed. The most common sparks that ignite these reactions include medication, sun damage, and harsh ingredients in beauty products. Sometimes the issue is that people are not associating their condition with the products that they are using, so they’ll use it for years as the aggravation continues to get worse.
Most people, however, self-diagnose their skin as sensitive because it has become sensitized over time. Sensitive skin and sensitized skin have very similar symptoms, so it is commonplace for the general population to not know the difference. Yet, the truth is that sensitized and sensitive skin are completely different entities.
With sensitive skin, the patient needs to be taken back to the basics. Keep it easy and keep it simple. It is highly suggested to eliminate all acids, scrubs, and aggressive treatment options in order to give the skin a break and allow it to heal.
Cool and hydrating products with no actives or an overabundance of ingredients are key to helping the barrier function restore and repair itself. Green tea is recommended for its calming and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also important to give your skin a break from manual and chemical exfoliants, because this is also a must in order to allow the skin to heal. Often, the reason for the sensitivity is because individuals overuse or misuse popular skincare products. They are at the point to where they have stripped their skin, consistently taking away from it, but never giving anything back. Sensitized skin is incredibly dehydrated. You should increase your water intake in order to support cell health from within. Also avoid using hot water while washing your face and body and to invest in a good moisturizer. A good moisturizer does no harm and helps to strengthen epidermal health.
It is important to take a step back, to get yourself on a proper skincare regimen, and fix some of your lifestyle and skin habits.
Sensitive skin should also follow a lot of the same guidelines as sensitized skin regarding skincare and lifestyle habits. Sticking to gentle, hydrating products and sun protectants are important for both parties, but, when it comes to treatment options, there is more flexibility with sensitive skin. A safe and nice option for individuals with sensitive skin is a cooling and hydrating facial. This skin type does not favor heat, so steaming and too much manipulation is never suggested, but you can opt to try various natural peels and treatments.