These days, everyone seems to be lamenting about sensitive skin. In fact, in the last few years, the increased number of complaints about sensitive skin even got experts coming out declaring that sensitive skin is a myth.
While it may be true that there is a rise in “sensitive skin syndrome”, there are certain struggles only reserved for those of us with naturally sensitive skin – in other words, those whose sensitive skin is part of their genetic makeup and is passed down by their parents.
Think you have naturally sensitive skin? See if you can relate to the following grievances!
Plus, stay tuned till the end of this article to get Avene samples!
1. Always having to do patch tests for new beauty products…
Those of us who have naturally sensitive skin know the pain and hassle of having to do a patch test before we try a new beauty product. While others can go ahead and buy any products off the shelves without fearing repercussions, we have to apply them on our skin and leave them on for a while to see if our skin reacts badly to it.
This applies to even the most common products with your regular ingredients, especially in skincare products and hair dyes. Many of them contain common triggers that will cause us to get rashes, redness, and breakouts – clearly not something we want to risk!
2. …or resorting to trial-and-error and hope for the best.
But sometimes we get so lazy about doing patch tests (imagine doing patch tests on every single product in a 10-step skincare routine!) that we just cave in and apply the products straight to our face.
Sometimes we are lucky enough to get a product that doesn’t cause us to break out into rashes and pimples, and at other times… we realise our mistake and go back to doing patch tests diligently again.
3. Not being able to use the holy grails that everyone is raving about
We really want to try out that holy grail product that everyone has been talking about since forever, but once we see the ingredient list, we stop in our tracks.
Many highly-raved about beauty products actually contain fragrances, which are an extremely common trigger for those of us with naturally sensitive skin. Even natural scents don’t work for us – essential oils such as cinnamon, clove and peppermint are the easiest way to get our faces itching like crazy!
4. Forever struggling with dry skin that itches…
Naturally sensitive skin tends to be very dry, with symptoms ranging from roughness to scaling and redness. This is usually accompanied by intense itchiness that feels extremely uncomfortable.
Our sensitive skin looks and feels so bad that no amount of moisturiser seems to be able to bring any relief, and it only gets even worse when we travel to dry, winter climates – urgh!
5. …and suffering from skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea
Many of us with naturally sensitive skin are also usually inflicted with eczema (inflamed, itchy, red, cracked, and rough skin) and rosacea (red skin with visible blood vessels and pus-filled bumps).
Clear and supple skin feels like it’s too ambitious a dream to have when you are just trying to stop your skin from cracking and bleeding.
6. Being more prone to breakouts than other people
What’s worse is the fact that our dry skin is even oilier than most other people’s, thanks to the fact that it produces extra oils to try to compensate for the lack of contained moisture.
The result? Easily clogged pores that lead to breakouts.
If we accidentally use a moisturiser that’s a bit thicker in texture, we start developing breakouts that look like acne with red bumps and pustules. To make matters worse, using an acne wash or cream to treat the breakouts can sometimes worsen our symptoms as the harsh ingredients trigger our sensitive skin.
7. A fun day out in the sun = sunburn
As if struggling with red, chapped skin and stubborn acne is not enough, our naturally sensitive skin is also more prone to getting burnt by the sun.
If our skin is already irritated or peeling from eczema or a triggering skincare product, we are at even higher risk, so spending a day out in the sun is a definite no-no for us.
If you can relate to these problems, you have naturally sensitive skin.
The above are common symptoms of naturally sensitive skin, which is part of your genetic makeup and unfortunately something you can’t really resolve through medication, expensive skincare, or facial treatments.
Although it sounds dismal, here’s the good news: you can care for your naturally sensitive skin through skincare products that will work with your natural skin type rather than against it.
Avène’s Tolérance Extrême range is designed to hydrate, soothe, and protect all skin types, but especially so for naturally sensitive skin which is prone to triggers and cannot take any type of products. This range is also suitable as prevention for those whose skin is especially vulnerable to triggers e.g. those who have just undergone aesthetic treatments or are on oral medication for acne.
Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, the Tolérance Extrême products are formulated without parabens, fragrance, soap, and preservatives. With fewer ingredients in the products’ pared-down formula (maximum of seven), there are also fewer triggers that sensitive skin will react to, so feel free to skip the hassle of doing patch tests when you use this range from Avène.
If you need a fragrance-free moisturiser that protects your sensitive skin, try the Tolérance Extrême Cream and Tolérance Extrême Emulsion to hydrate, replenish, and recharge sensitive skin. The difference between the two is in the texture: if you have very clogged pores and oily skin, opt for the emulsion that is easily soaked up by all skin types. Those with drier skin types can follow up with the cream, which has been reported to decrease skin sensitivity with regular usage over a period of just three weeks!
My skin feels irritated and itchy, but I can’t relate to any of the problems – why?
For the rest of us who have normal skin but sometimes experience skin discomfort, peeling, and/or redness, we are suffering from a condition called sensitised skin.
In contrast to naturally sensitive skin, sensitised skin can be triggered in anyone, regardless of your genes. It is actually a reflection of your environment and can be caused by frequent irritability from lifestyle, irritants, cosmetic ingredients including alcohol, lanolin, fragrance and artificial colours and other external factors.
While naturally sensitive skin is not something that can be cured, sensitised skin can be reduced or even eliminated completely by avoiding individual triggers and using products that calm and repair the skin barrier.
Avène’s Intolerant Skin range is made to calm unwanted irritations in skin that is reacting badly to triggers, as well as strengthening it over time.
Products in this range include the Extremely Gentle Cleanser and the Skin Recovery Cream. Each contains the Avène Thermal Spring Water, a naturally soothing water with proven soothing and anti-irritating properties, as well as a key active ingredient called Parcerine that reduces skin reactivity and provides instant relief for skin reactions such as rashes and itchiness.
The Skin Recovery Cream is the brand’s holy grail to instantly soothe and restore comfort for sensitised skin. Over time, your skin will become well-protected and less reactive to irritants.
While best used for those whose skin is reacting badly to certain substances or environmental aggressors, this range is also suitable for people with different skin types to use while travelling to different climates to protect their skin against potential irritations.
Now that you have identified whether you have naturally sensitive or sensitised skin and know which Avène product range is for you, you can head to any Watsons, Guardian, and Unity store islandwide or Shopee to get the products that your skin needs!
For more information on Avène’s products, visit their website here.