Sensitive skin: cause and effect
Here’s how to recognise sensitive skin
Visible signs such as redness, swelling or dryness associated with roughness or flaking skin, are particularly noticeable. These are often accompanied by subjective sensation such as the feeling of tensions, itching, burning or stinging. Sensitive skin can affect all areas of the body, but especially frequently on the face, a suitable skincare routine for sensitive skin is crucial to managing it.
There are some similarities to other skin conditions, particularly to signs that accompany a lack of moisture. The effectiveness of the skin's functions depends on enzyme activity, which is often reducing in sensitive skin. As a result, the skin's natural barrier is affected resulting in lost moisture and increased penetration from irritants.
The corneal layer is also often thinner and nerve endings are more sensitive. Picking the right skin care products such as moisturisers designed for sensitive skin can help avoid irritating your skin's biggest organ.
Triggering factors for sensitive skin
- Cold, wind
- UV-radiation, ozone
- Dry air, change of climate
- Intense body cleansing (particularly with regular soap)
- Using the creams or moisturisers not designed for sensitive skin
- Certain medications
- Age (both very young and more mature)
- Psychological stress
- Hormonal changes
- Tendency to allergies
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SENSITIVE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
These should only contain skin-friendly ingredients – i.e. they should be free of alcohol and fragrances. Effective components which can prevent the symptoms of sensitive skin or alleviate the signs of sensitive skin are also important, for example, liquorice extract or dexpanthenol.
Ingredients: What sensitive skin care helps?
Particularly suitable ingredients include:
- Dexpanthenol, the precursor of vitamin B5. It strengthens the skin’s natural protective function and contributes to reducing its moisture loss.
- Glycerin, a natural moisturiser which supports the skin’s moisture balance.
- Grape seed oil, which is rich in linoleic acid, is an important component of the natural, barrier-strengthening skin lipids.
- Liquorice extract from the root of the Chinese liquorice plant, which has antioxidant properties, soothes irritated skin and alleviates skin redness.
Gentle skincare for sensitive skin
Your most sensitive area: your face
Sensitive skin care
- Make-up for sensitive skin: use foundations and concealers especially for your skin type.
- Use facial cleansing products which are particularly mild. It is best to use fluids or cleansing wipes specially developed for sensitive skin (such as the products in the NIVEA Sensitive series). Avoid scrubs.
- Especially in winter, make sure you regularly apply facial care products in the mornings and evenings. This will prevent the skin from drying out.
- Use care products that are specially developed for sensitive skin, such as cream for sensitive skin and moisturiser for sensitive skin. They keep your skin moist, strengthen its barriers and alleviate the symptoms of sensitive skin.
- Protect your face from the sun: use a day cream with a sun protection factor. In strong sunlight, it is essential to use sun cream such as NIVEA Sun Protect Sensitive Sun Lotion.
- Do not smoke, as this increases stress on your skin.
- Sensitive skin is susceptible to UV radiation. Apply sun protection every day. For particularly sensitive areas of skin such as the face, neck and upper chest area, you should go for sun protection factor 50, such as in NIVEA Sun Protect & Bronze Face Cream.
Is your body showing its sensitive side?
Sensitive skin care: 5 care tips for your body
- Avoid exposing the skin to water for long periods of time: take a shower instead of a bath, but no more than once a day, for a maximum of 10 minutes, and preferably warm instead of hot.
- Use skin-friendly cleaning products – do not use regular soaps. Ideal products are mild, pH-neutral shower gels and rehydrating shower oils such as Natural Oil Shower Oil or Creme Sensitive Cream Shower for sensitive skin from NIVEA. And don’t rub too hard when drying yourself.
- Don’t forget to care for your skin: Always apply cream after showering, for example NIVEA Express Hydration Body Lotion.
- Avoid tight-fitting textiles and clothes made from ‘scratchy’ materials. This leads to unnecessary skin irritation.
- It’s best to go for a deodorant without aluminium salts, such as NIVEA Ultimate Protect Anti-Perspirant Deodorant.
The relaxation programme for sensitive skin
A healthy body needs a healthy mind – only when we manage to maintain balance in our life can we find our inner relaxation and equilibrium. And this is reflected in ourselves and our skin. Find out more about how to achieve inner balance here.
An absolute must for true inner beauty: relaxation exercises. Movement keeps us fit and healthy and reduces stress. Whether it’s classic yoga or the trendy “Nia” workout: relaxation exercises create inner equilibrium and help you to be at peace with yourself.
Is your everyday life hectic and full of stress? Do you sometimes feel like you don’t know whether you’re coming or going? Then it’s high time you said “stop”! Sit up straight and slowly breathe in and out. As you do this, listen to your breathing and feel how you start to calm down. Find out more about saying goodbye to stress here.
A massage helps you relax and gives you renewed energy. It allows you to get some peace and forget your day-to-day life. Our tip: get a couple’s massage to combine relaxation with some time together.