For those with sensitive skin, knowing which skincare products to add into your regime can be a challenge. This is particularly true when it comes to active ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, especially if you have ever experienced an unfavourable reaction to them previously which can understandably leave you feeling a little skeptical.
Read on as we look at the different types of sensitive skin and learn some helpful tips for introducing AHAs successfully for this often-unpredictable skin type.
What defines sensitive skin?
Studies show that globally more than half the population identify as having sensitive skin. As all skin types have some degree of sensitivity, the concept of sensitive skin can be confusing so let us look at some key factors to help understand what typifies sensitive skin.
For many people, sensitive skin is often just a temporary side effect which among other things can occur from being overzealous with skincare. Over exfoliating or combining too many actives all at once can sometimes cause the skin to become irritated and sensitised. The solution here generally involves discontinuing the contributing offenders and allowing the skin to return to balance and self-resolve before continuing with a modified, ‘less is more’ approach.
True sensitive skin can be a little trickier to navigate than temporarily sensitised skin as it can tend to be hyper reactive even without over stimulation. This skin type may stem from a genetic predisposition to sensitivity and begin in childhood, or can come about over time due to the skin’s biological aging process, which causes the skin’s tolerance to external influences to decline.
Sensitive skin has a much lower tolerance than other more robust skin types, tends to flush easily, burns faster when exposed to UV, and involves intrinsic (internal) factors that cause the skin to react.
Sensitive skin is often confused with sensitised skin, which contributes to many people believing their skin is sensitive and they are unable to use certain skincare or ingredients. Still unsure of the difference? Head over to the journal here where we discuss sensitive vs sensitised skin in a little more detail.