Just because you experience skin sensitivity doesn’t mean you’re excluded from experiencing professional skin treatments. In fact, a professional skin treatment performed by a professional skin therapist can help to soothe and strengthen sensitive skin.
is sensitivity a skin type or a skin condition?
You may suffer from hot, red, painful skin due to your genetics, but you may also experience skin sensitivity as a result of your environment and lifestyle factors.
If you’ve had skin sensitivity for as long as you can remember then it’s very likely it’s genetically driven – this is the skin type that you were born with. Skin types cannot be changed, but they can be managed and sensitivity flare ups prevented. Whereas if sensitivity comes and goes, or your face suddenly feels angry, dry and inflamed, then it’s a temporary skin condition that can be corrected. Sensitivity can also come about from other skin conditions - for example. Inflammation is a common trait of acne.
A combination of the right skincare combined with expert advice and treatments can make a significant difference to promoting a calm, balanced and healthy skin.
understanding sensitive skin
What underpins sensitive facial skin is a damaged or impaired skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier has two crucial jobs: it keeps skin's hydration in and keeps environmental irritants and pollutants out.
When your skin barrier is compromised, the result can be visible redness, dehydration, irritation, dryness and discomfort – otherwise known as sensitive skin.
It can be useful to think of the skin barrier as a brick wall. The lipids – which comprise a blend of fatty acids, ceramides, and other nutrients called skin’s Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF) – are the “mortar” between your skin’s cells, or “bricks.” An impaired barrier can be imagined as a damaged “cracked” brick wall.
An impaired barrier will feel dry, flaky, itchy hot and will become increasingly reactive - you may feel especially sensitive to heat, cold, dry air, or certain skin care products
It’s worth noting that with a sensitive skin type, the barrier (or brick wall) is not formed correctly, hence why managing sensitivity is an ongoing strategy. Ageing also depletes skin’s natural lipids over time, so your skin may change as a result. With sensitised skin that can come and go, the barrier is damaged due to a number of factors, such as seasonal changes, stress, lack of sleep, diet, over exfoliating and harsh skincare ingredients that can strip the skin’s lipids.
how to soothe sensitive skin?
When treating sensitive skin, whether that be for skin that’s always reacting or skin that’s suddenly sensitive and itchy, collaborating with a professional skin therapist means you will get a deeper insight into your skin. A qualified skin therapist will be able to advise you on what may be causing your sensitivity and tips on how to reduce these triggers. Along with prescribing the best products to use at home for sensitive skin, qualified skin therapists can also perform professional skin treatments that are specifically designed to reduce skin sensitivity. This will include the use of professional grade, proven ingredients, combined with professional tools, devices and massage techniques. With stress being a major driver of skin sensitivity, the power of touch and time out on the treatment bed can have a profound impact on one’s stress levels and in turn, a positive, calming effect on the skin.
PRO Calm: a skin treatment designed for sensitive skin
Dermalogica’s PRO Calm professional skin treatment targets a range of sensitive skin to visibly reduce redness, hydrate, soften and balance skin texture. From mild to more severe sensitivity, PRO Calm is customised to address the level of skin sensitivity you experience.
PRO Calm works in three actively calming phases: soothing botanical actives soothe skin, while lymphatic drainage and pressure point massage help to calm a stressed nervous system. LED light therapy helps to further reduce redness, while targeted treatments help hydrate, balance and restore the skin barrier for reduced redness and calmer skin.
To book in for a PRO Calm professional skin treatment with your local Dermalogica skin therapist, visit our professional services page here.
is PRO Calm suitable for eczema, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea?
PRO Calm will be tailored to your unique skin. This means that if you do suffer from eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, your qualified skin therapist will curate the treatment to address these inflammatory skin conditions.
what skin treatment is best for inflamed acne?
PRO Calm is an ideal treatment when looking to treat acne. Inflammation is a key characteristic of acne, due to the bacterial infection which stimulates the immune system. Improving the health of the barrier, whilst calming the skin and reducing redness are important elements when healing acne. Dermalogica’s PRO Clear professional skin treatment is another option for treating breakout prone skin – your qualified skin therapist can create a program whereby they will alternate between PRO Calm and PRO Clear treatments to treat your acne.
best skincare at home for sensitive skin
A treatment program encompasses expert advice, professional skin treatment recommendations AND a homecare prescription, so that you’re using the correct products at home to address skin sensitivity. Using skincare at home consistently has a huge impact on the health of the skin. Like with a fitness program, being consistent every day is what drives long term results.
Here are some of our top picks for treating sensitive skin at home:
- UltraCalming Cleanser – Using a cleanser that is PH balanced to the skin (slightly acidic) is vital to respecting the skin barrier. Alkaline cleansers, such as soap, strip the skin’s lipids, worsening dehydration and sensitivity. All Dermalogica cleansers are formulated to be the same PH as the skin and are free from soap. UltraCalming Cleanser is a light, cooling cream-gel cleanser that gently cleans the skin, whilst reducing redness and improving hydration. If water is too irritating for your skin, then you can remove UltraCalming Cleanser by tissuing it off the skin.
- Daily Milkfoliant – You may feel you have to avoid exfoliation if you have sensitive skin, but this is not true! It’s about finding the right exfoliant for your skin. Daily Milkfoliant exfoliates the skin calmly. It features ultra-fine Oat Powder to polish the skin, whilst Hyaluronic Acid, Oat Extract and Coconut Milk soothe and replenish the barrier. It’s an exfoliant for everyone and ideal for skins in need of calming, such as inflamed breakouts. It can be used once a day after cleansing, or every few days depending on your skin. It can even be mixed in with your cleanser to make it more gentle on skin.
- UltraCalming Mist – Toners are a great way to boost hydration and with Dermalogica’s spritz toners, you can hydrate throughout the day. UltraCalming Mist improves hydration but also helps to significantly reduces redness.
- UltraCalming Serum Concentrate – Serum’s work at a deeper level in the skin and provide specialised solutions to specific skin conditions. UltraCalming Serum Concentrate offers immediate relief to painful, red, inflamed skin. This lightweight serum combines a blend of barrier restoring lipids, moisture magnet Hyaluronic Acid and a Peptide that helps to reduce reactivity and prevent sensitivity flare ups.
- Intensive Moisture Balance – Moisturisers are a daily essential. They lock in moisture to prevent dehydration and help protect the skin’s natural defence against the environment. Intensive Moisture Balance is rich in lipids and Hyaluronic Acid and is ideal for drier sensitive skins, or those that experience eczema. A lighter option, ideal for acne, rosacea or hormonally driven sensitivity such as pregnancy and menopause, is Calm Water Gel. For severely impaired or fragile skin, we recommend our velvety moisturiser, Barrier Repair.
- Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 - Wearing sunscreen everyday (whenever there’s daylight) is another skincare essential. There are two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical sunscreens. Sensitive or reactive skin is suited to physical sunscreen. This is because physical sunscreen sits on the surface of the skin and reflects away harmful UV rays. Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 uses a non-nano Zinc (physical sunscreen) that blends easily onto the skin, meaning there’s no chalkiness. It also contains Hyaluronic Acid and a blend of soothing botanicals, rich in antioxidants. Cancer Council recommends using a teaspoon of sunscreen for the face, neck, chest and ears, reapplying every two hours if you’re spending time outdoors.