What’s Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is really very reactive skin. If your skin is sensitive, it may become red or irritated easily in response to cosmetic products, sunshine exposure, jewelry, or pollen in the environment.

Creams with fragrances or artificial ingredients may specifically cause your skin to react. Therefore, you may experience itching, burning, or stinging when this happens.

The term ‘sensitive skin’ is not a clinical expression, so it can mean any type of sensitinogen depending on the individual. It’s not a measurable concept in terms of severity or cause.

Some people are born with sensitive skin, and they have it all of their lives. Other people develop this it due to a skin condition.

sensitive skin
Things Dermatologists want you to know about Sensitive Skin. Image/Shutterstock

What Causes Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin can be treated underlying condition is removed. Some of the skin problems inducing sensitive skin include:

Dry SkinSkin that is not adequately hydrated can become dry, and this can lead to symptoms like itching, skin crack, or flakey skin. This can occur on your face, and on some other area of your body like your feet, hands, and lower legs. To relieved these symptoms, it’s necessary to hydrate your face and body daily with sensitive skin moisturizer for face like Jeunesse, Mary Kay Skin Care, Murad Skin Care, and sensitive skin body wash (4).

Eczema – This is a skin disorder also called atopic dermatitis, leading to itchy skin, bumps, cracked, and swollen skin. The causes of eczema have not been totally figured out, but scientists speculate that the cause is a combination of hereditary and environmental reasons. Some factors activating or worsening eczema, including allergies, stress, and irritants such as soaps and detergents. The condition comes and goes, but you can still treat the symptoms using dermatological creams (5).

Rosacea – This is a complex immune disorder usually with skin problem, causing red skin on your face as if you were blushing. Sometimes subscutanous small blood vessels are dilated and visible. It may also cause swollen eyes. The symptoms tend to come and go, appearing for several weeks and then disappearing. It most commonly occurs in white skinned women of middle age. A dermatologist can treat rosacea by administrating immune regulatory medication (6).

Hives – These are large red patches of skin that appear on the skin, usually in response to some kind of allergens. They can be temporary or chronic condition where the welts stay for up to 6 weeks or longer, which reappears over the years. They are usually treated with anti-histamine medication (7).

Photodermatosis – Exposure to UV rays causes this problem. An abnormal reaction occurs in response to the sunlight, which can cause red rashes on the skin. Treatment involves staying out of sunlight, anti-histamines, and preventative radiation which may stop the problem from reoccurring (8).

Allergic Contact Dermatitis – This condition occurs in direct response to an allergy. This could be a skin product. It leads to red, itchy skin which is pretty uncomfortable. However, once you discover what the offending substance is and stop using it, the condition should clear up fairly quickly (9).

How to Treat Sensitive Skin

If your sensitive skin is not due to a skin condition, there are a number of methods you can use to alleviate or deal with sensitive skin. Here are some suggestions:

Skin Product – With your daily routine, use a sensitive skin moisturizer and a rich serum like No. 7 Serum, Clinique Skin Care, and Instantly Ageless. Look for organic substances that do not use chemical or artificial ingredients like dimethicone and hydroxy acids which can irritate your skin, and that is hypoallergenic. Note that people when doing a sensitive skin face wash you should not over wash the skin because it strips the skin of important oils.

Replace Your Cosmetics – It’s important to replace your cosmetic products every 6 months if you have not used them because they can develop bacteria which can really exacerbate skin sensitivity, leading to a rash and itchiness.

Avoid the Sunshine – Being out in direct sunlight is damaging for all types of skin, but it can be particularly damaging for sensitive skin. However, if you do go out, wear sensitive skin best sunscreen at all times and in every season.

Cover Up with Makeup – If your skin reacts because it’s sensitive, use sensitive skin makeup to cover it up. Buy a good concealer and add sensitive skin foundation and powder tinted yellow on top of it. If your skin is too red, you can use a green primer to cover it.

Test Products – Before you use any new skin product like Plexaderm, StriVectin, Genucel, Rodan and Fields, test it on a small patch of skin. If you haven’t reacted in 24 hours you can humuse the product.

Use a Cold Compress – If your sensitive skin has become red or has another reaction, use a cold humid compress on your face. Leave it for about 20 minutes. You can do this twice a day. You can also use a sensitive skin best face wash a few times a day to cool off.

Use a Humidifier – Using a humidifier in your room at night can provide your sensitive skin with extra hydration, which deeply moisturizes your skin.

Avoid Products That Cause Irritation – Avoid detergents and soaps that can lead to skin irritation. You can purchase sensitive skin soap sensitive skin laundry detergent sensitive skin shaving cream and sensitive skin deodorant.

Take a Product Break – People with sensitive skin should take a break once in a while from using cosmetics and makeup. Don’t use anything for a few days because it will give your skin some breathing room.

Which Anti-Aging Cream is Best for Sensitive Skin?

There are many high-quality anti-aging creams such as Obagi Products, Skinbetter Science, Advanced Dermatology, and Meaningful Beauty that are suitable for sensitive skin. It’s difficult to pick one, as it partly depends on personal preferences for ingredients, scent, and price range.

Make sure the cream states that it’s suitable for sensitive skincare. In addition, check all of the ingredients like peptides for skin and vitamin E included to make sure they are all acceptable for you.

People Also Ask

Q: Why is My Skin Sensitive?

A: Your skin may be sensitive for many reasons. It could be a condition you were born with, and you just have to control it with the right sensitive skin products like Perricone MD, Nerium, Arbonne and other lifestyle decisions.

In addition, it could also be the result of an underlying skin condition like rosacea, hives, or dry skin. It’s a good idea to go to a dermatologist and get a professional opinion.

Q: Can Sensitive Skin Be Cured?

A: If the sensitive skin results from an underlying skin condition, then it can be cured when you treat the condition. If it’s something you were born with naturally, then there’s not a lot you can do about it.

Q: How Do I Exfoliate Sensitive Skin?

A: Use a gentle sensitive skin exfoliator and do not scrub your skin. This could lead to facial redness and irritation. In addition, use a washcloth to wash off the product and follow up with a good organic moisturizing cream.

Q: Can Sensitive Skin Cause Acne?

A: Yes, sensitive skin causes acne and breakouts or bumps on the skin in some cases. In addition, some skin products can worsen this condition. Use very gentle sensitive skin acne treatment that is full of moisture.

Q: Can Sensitive Skin Be Oily?

A: Yes, sensitive skin can be oily or not oily, just like every other type. If you have both sensitive and oily skin, you have to take particular care with the sensitive skin products you use such as The Ordinary, SIO Beauty, and Image Skin Care. You need sensitive skin lotion and serums which are very hydrating.

Q: Why is Skin Sensitive with Fever?

A: Often when you have fever or flu, you develop sensitive skin to touch. This condition is allodynia. Usually, whatever virus or illness is causing the fever causes it. However, the sensitivity is temporary and will abate when you are well again.


Many people suffer from sensitive skin, their skin reacts sensitively to products, weather, and other conditions. It may much easier to become red and itchy than regular skin. Some people are born with skin easily reactive, and others develop it due to skin conditions such as hives, allergies, or eczema.

There are a number of things you can do to ease sensitive skin and make it easier to live with. You can use skin products which are gentle and hypoallergenic like sensitive skin face cream i.e La Mer Cream, Crepe Erase, and Mario Badescus, sensitive skin cleanser, sensitive skin toner, and sensitive skin eye cream, put a humidifier in your room at night, use a cold compress, stay out of the sun, and do a patch test before trying products like Valjean Labs, Kremotex and It Cosmetics. In addition, keep in touch with your dermatologist and report any symptoms so that you can get medical treatment in time.

Shanshan Lan, M.D.,Ph.D, CCRP

By Shanshan Lan, M.D.,Ph.D, CCRP

Shanshan Lan, is a dermatologist in China. She currently works as post-doctoral researcher in CRCHUM, University of Montreal, Canada


[1] https://www.self.com/story/sensitive-skin-facts-dermatologists
[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/sensitive-skin
[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/sensitive-skin#eczema
[4] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/14417#causes
[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20353815
[6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-hives/symptoms-causes/syc-20352719
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3063367/
[8] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/contact-dermatitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352742