Sensitive skins aren’t actually sensitive, they are impaired. But the term encompasses the general main feelings you will experience if you have this type of skin condition.
The most common cause of sensitive skins is an impaired acid mantle: the first barrier of defence that acts as to protect from bacteria, viruses and potential contaminants. It is made up of water, oil and amino acids. So, as you can imagine if this barrier is not functioning properly and there are gaps in the defence, anything that you put on your skin that falls through the cracks without being filtered, the skin will respond as it naturally should to warn there is something wrong and in need of attention: from stinging or burning sensation (even to water), flushing, bumps, dryness, excess oil flow to acne. And long term which is more likely to be a grade of Rosacea; consistent fixed redness or flushing typically on the cheeks, across the nose and chin, telangiectasia (little red veins), bumps or pustules in a rash formation, frequent eye irritations; redness, dryness, excess ‘sleep’ in the eyes in the morning and thickening of the skin caused by micro scarring from over inflammation in one site. The main causes of an impaired acid mantle can be linked back to many internal factors from prolonged stress, health complications, medications, poor diet (including water / alcohol intake), over exercise and in some cases genetic (Rosacea) or external overuse of harsh acids, alcohols, perfumes and chemicals on the skin, weather exposure: wind, sun, salt and MASKS!!!
To treat an impaired acid mantle the best way is to diagnose if it is a primary impairment of the water and oil levels being off kilter or a more in-depth condition such as Rosacea. Start by removing triggers that make your skin experience flare up. You can do this by following an elimination of products / foods / chemicals / drinks that you know are directly linked and possible suspect ones, after the skin has calmed down you can try to reintroduce ones that may be suspect one at a time and if a reaction occurs, it’s off the homecare routine team!
Next is to start the repair internally: we cannot highly recommend the DMK EFA’s enough. This supplement is an internal skin lifesaver. With an arsenal of high quality and potency good fats such as Sea buckthorn, Evening primrose oil and powerful inflammatory Mekabu Seaweed will provide the building blocks for repair and plumping up the cells promoting healthy oil flow and hold the essential water components into the skin (Trans epidermal water loss) – creating the acid mantle barrier again. Our skin is the last organ to receive any nutrients, so if you are in deficit of any, including good fats, it will be getting the absolute bare minimum or nothing at all. It is important to take into consideration your lifestyle too. If you are outside a lot, in air-conditioning or heating all day, exercise frequently or are under a frequent amount of stress your body will be utilising any nutrients at a much higher pace and sending it straight to your vital internal organs, not the skin.
Secondly is to introduce a skincare routine that is going to rebuild and repair. Keeping it simple and concise to start off with is key. Remember there are gaps in your defence that need to be repaired and inflammation to calm down. We recommend DMK Milk cleanser, DMK Seba-e oil or Herbal pigment oil and Herb & Mineral Mist or ASPECT Redless or Cosmedix C.P.R. You could even use the DMK Acu mask as a weekly deeper cleansing treatment as the clay will provide a cooling soothing sensation whilst gently removing any pollutants. The Seba-e oil or Herbal pigment oil will act as the oil part of the acid mantle and the Herb & Mineral mist as the water part, also emulsifying the oil deeper into the skin to quench any thirst and dehydration. And the Aspect Dr Redless is a specifically designed product for a highly reactive skin.
If you have a diagnosed Rosacea skin, due to the higher population of the Demodex Mite (I know it sound gross but don’t worry we all have them and they are an integral part of our body ecosystem) but in a Rosacea skin these guys are created at a higher pace because of the consistent inflammation. We would then recommend using a gentle gel-based cleanser (especially to thoroughly cleanse around the eyes where the mites are most populated) to help remove excess mites as they love nothing more than a meal of tasty creamy cleanser with Shea butter or acids. With gel cleansers make sure you always avoid ones that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, or SLS which is a main foaming agent as this will strip your skin of those lovely oils we are trying to replace. We love the Benefit Gentle clean or Aspect Gentle clean.
Once your skin is starting to feel much calmer and not as reactive you can then look at introducing a gentle facial routine to promote the healing process.
Remember an impaired skin journey is a slightly slower paced one and ideally is best to treat from a two-pronged approach: internal and external, but not impossible. Gentle and consistent is key and you’ll have your ideal beautiful functioning healthy skin before you know it.