What Causes Sensitive Skin?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why is my skin so sensitive all of a sudden?" Not to worry, you are not alone! Sensitive skin is more common than you might think.

Understanding what causes sensitive skin is the key to unlocking better skin. After all, nobody wants to deal with sensitive skin symptoms like redness, irritation, or uncomfortable tightness.

Fortunately, Kinship products are ideal for sensitive skin thanks to their gentle plant-based ingredients. 

Sensitive skin has several possible causes! This article explores the triggers that can make your skin act up. 

It will also discuss some tips on how to know if you have sensitive skin, and a few products that are safe to use.

Genetic Factors

Sensitive and easily irritated skin can be a pain, despite it not being a disease. While environmental factors can cause it to flare up, your genes also play a big role in whether you develop a skin condition and its severity.

Some skin conditions that resemble sensitive skin may be hereditary, like the ones listed below.

  • Atopic dermatitis (Eczema)
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea

If you have a family member with any of the above conditions, you are likely to have sensitive skin. This is because you might inherit genes affecting how your skin protects itself or how your immune system reacts.

Genes control many things about your skin, including the following.

  • Protection: The top layer of your skin keeps irritants and allergens out. Genes can make this layer looser or weaker, making sensitive skin irritation more likely to occur.
  • Sensitivity: Genes can affect how your skin's immune system reacts to threats. People with sensitive skin might be more easily bothered by things like perfumes or strong chemicals, causing their skin to get more inflamed.

Understanding your genes can help you manage sensitive skin. 

By figuring out what irritates your skin and using gentle products like Kinship’s Supermello Hyaluronic Gel Cream Moisturizer, you can have fewer flare-ups and keep your skin healthy.

If you are worried about your sensitive skin, a dermatologist can help by creating a plan based on your individual needs and family history.

Environmental Triggers

Your environment also has a major impact on skin health. Here is why.

  • Hot and Cold Weather: Both can be bad news. A hot climate can make you sweat more, which can upset and dry out your skin. Cold, windy weather can reduce your skin's natural oils, making it itchy and cracked.
  • Dry or Humid Air: Dry air removes moisture from your skin, while humid air can trap sweat and clog your pores, causing breakouts.
  • Wind: Strong winds can be rough on sensitive skin, drying it out and making it red and sore.
  • Pollution: Airborne pollutants can damage your skin barrier, leading to irritated skin and allergic reactions.
  • Sun: The sun can further aggravate sensitive skin. It can also worsen problems like rosacea and eczema. Protect your sensitive skin with Kinship’s Self Reflect SPF 32 Moisturizing Sunscreen.

Sensitive skin can flare up differently depending on the season.

  • Winter: Dry winter air can cause red, itchy, dry skin, and indoor heating can dry it out even more.
  • Spring: As the weather warms up and allergies become more common, your skin might react to pollen or other things floating in the air.
  • Summer: Hot weather, intense sunlight, and muggy air can lead to more sweating, breakouts, and irritation.
  • Fall: The switch to cooler, drier weather can trigger irritated and dry skin.

How to Protect Your Sensitive Skin

Knowing what bothers your skin is the first step! Here is how to fight back.

  • Use a gentle moisturizer like Supermello all year round.
  • Put on broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, rain or shine.
  • Change your skincare regimen depending on the season.

Skincare Products and Ingredients

Sensitive skin is a typical issue that may be exacerbated by cosmetics. Here is what to avoid and what to use to keep your skin happy.

Common irritants found in skincare and cosmetic products include the following.

  • Aromatics and Fragrances: “Fragrance-free” products have no added natural or synthetic scents, while “Scent-free” products may still contain scent-masking chemicals. Read the product label carefully if you are allergic to scents. Both types of products may irritate users with sensitive skin.
  • Alcohol: This ingredient can dry out your complexion and make it feel rough.
  • Sulfates: These are good at cleaning but can be a bit overly rough for sensitive skin.
  • Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil: These natural oils can be harsh on very sensitive skin.
  • AHAs: These acids can make sensitive skin red and itchy.

These ingredients can irritate sensitive skin in the following ways.

  • Damaging the Skin Barrier: Harsh ingredients can damage the outer layer of your skin, making it get irritated and dry out easier.
  • Inflammation: Some things can trigger your skin to break out in a rash, causing redness, itching, and burning.

Upgrade your skincare routine by looking for gentler products. When looking for products formulated for sensitive skin, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Gentle Cleansers: Look for cleansers with ceramides or hyaluronic acid; they can clean you without drying out your skin.
  • Mineral Sunscreen: This type of sunscreen is typically less irritating than other kinds.
  • Do a Patch Test First: Before using a new product, put a tiny bit on your inner arm and wait a day to see if it bothers your skin.
  • Makeup Without the Fuss: Choose fragrance-free and dye-free makeup to avoid irritation.

By understanding what irritates your skin and using gentle products, you can find a skincare routine that keeps your skin comfortable and healthy.

Allergies and Immune System Responses

Imagine your skin as a shield protecting you from the world. Sometimes allergens can interfere with its effectiveness.

This can cause skin reactions like itchiness, redness, or burning when it comes into contact with certain things.

What Triggers These Reactions?

Sometimes, the immune system reacts to non-allergenic materials and substances.

It mistakes lotions, perfumes, or even metal jewelry for allergens. In its effort to fight them off, your sensitive skin may develop itches, rashes, and become inflamed.

Why Does This Happen to Some People?

Some individuals have a compromised or weakened skin barrier. This leaves them more susceptible to irritants and makes an allergic reaction more likely.

In addition, factors like stress, tiredness, or certain medications can make your immune system more likely to overreact to mild irritants.

IMPORTANT: Not all sensitive skin reactions are allergies. Sometimes, harsh chemicals or environmental factors can directly irritate your skin.

Underlying Health Conditions

Sensitive skin may be a symptom of an underlying health condition.

This section will look at common conditions that can make your skin more sensitive.

  • Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): Eczema is a skin condition that weakens your skin and makes it unable to properly protect you from irritants. This lets in irritants that cause dry skin, itch, and extra sensitivity. Stress, allergies, and even weather changes can further worsen eczema. If your eczema worsens, you can soothe your skin with our Supermello Moisturizer, which has won a unique vote of confidence: The National Eczema Seal of Acceptance.
  • Rosacea: This underlying condition makes your face red and bumpy and may cause tiny blood vessels to appear. It can be triggered by spicy foods, hot drinks, strong sunshine, and skincare products. Doctors are unsure what exactly causes rosacea, but it may be a mix of genes, immune system problems, and environmental factors.
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis: As the name implies, this is an allergic reaction. Contact dermatitis occurs when you touch a known allergen like perfumes, nickel, or certain ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products. When this happens, your skin gets red, itchy, and inflamed, making it more sensitive overall.

When to See a Doctor

Having sensitive skin is not a disease but may be a sign of a different underlying condition entirely.

If you think you might have one of these conditions, it is important to see a dermatologist for a medical diagnosis.

They can figure out what is causing your sensitivity and help you find ways to soothe your skin and better manage symptoms.

Lifestyle Factors

Having sensitive skin may be caused by what you eat, your stress levels, and your sleep quality. Better understanding these factors will help minimize your risk of a minor or severe allergic reaction.

  • Eating A Balanced Diet: For glowing skin, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid irritation. Eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins to nourish your skin and reduce redness. Reduce or restrict your consumption of processed foods and sugary snacks, as they can trigger sensitivity.
  • Reducing Sources of Stress: De-stress for glowing skin! Practice relaxation strategies like deep breathing or yoga to calm your mind and body. Make time for exercise and unwind with a warm bath to reduce stress levels, which can impact your skin's health.
  • Sleep Properly: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to keep your skin strong and resilient. Develop a calming bedtime routine to improve sleep quality. This can include turning off screens before bedtime, dimming the lights, or taking a warm bath.

Tips to Help Your Skin

Here are some gentle tips to keep your sensitive skin healthy.

  • Be Gentle: Use mild skincare products for sensitive skin, and ensure it is free of strong fragrances and harsh chemicals.
  • Prioritize Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen to shield your skin from the sun, which can make it more sensitive.
  • Do Not Exfoliate Too Much: Scrubbing your skin too hard can make it more sensitive. Try exfoliating gently once or twice a week.
  • Keep Skin Moisturized: Use a gentle moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and strong.

Misconceptions about Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is a common concern among many people, but many myths and misconceptions have cropped up regarding it.

This section will clarify what causes skin sensitivity and how to manage it.

Myth 1: Sensitive Skin Manifests in Only One Skin Type

  • Fact: All skin types can experience sensitive skin. Different skin types can all exhibit sensitive skin symptoms like itchy and dry skin. Understanding your specific triggers is key.

Myth 2: "Hypoallergenic" Means Risk-Free

  • Fact: Using a hypoallergenic skincare product will not guarantee a reaction-free experience. It simply suggests the product contains fewer common irritants. You will still need to do a patch test before using it, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Myth 3: Sensitive Skin Means Not Using Makeup

  • Fact: Many gentle, fragrance-free makeup options exist. Look for mineral-based products labeled for sensitive skin and always test them beforehand.

Myth 4: Sensitive Skin is a Lifelong Sentence

  • Fact: By identifying common triggers and using calming skincare routines, you can improve your skin's resilience and reduce its sensitivity over time.

Myth 5: There Is No Cure for Sensitive Skin

  • Fact: While there is no permanent "cure," proper skincare habits, sun protection, and identifying common triggers can significantly improve your health and comfort.

How to Find the Best Skin Routine for Sensitive Skin

To keep your sensitive skin comfortable and healthy, you need a gentle skincare routine for sensitive skin. Here is a quick step-by-step guide.

  • Step 1. Wash Your Face: Use a gentle soap with no strong fragrances. Look for products containing ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid. Put a little on your damp face, gently rub it, then rinse it off. Hot water can make your skin more irritated, so stick with warm.
  • Step 2. Use Toner: Get a toner made for sensitive skin that does not contain alcohol. This will help clean your skin even more and help you maintain a balanced pH level. Ensure your toner has ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera to help soothe skin inflammation. Pat it on gently with a cotton pad.
  • Step 3. Moisturize: Pick a super gentle moisturizer that will not block your pores or upset your skin. Look for ceramides or niacinamide to help strengthen your skin barrier. Put it on after washing your face and using toner, focusing on dry or irritated spots.
  • Step 4. Exfoliate: If you want to scrub your skin, use products made for sensitive skin, and do not do it too often. Look for exfoliants like lactic acid or salicylic acid. These will help get rid of dead skin without hurting your face. Remember to only do this once or twice a week, as over-exfoliation might make your skin even more sensitive.
  • Step 5. Sunscreen: Always wear sunscreen, especially if you have sensitive skin. Get one with SPF 30 or more, and choose sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Put it all over your skin that will see the sun and reapply every two hours, especially if you're outside.

Following these steps can help treat your sensitive skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is the Difference Between Skin Sensitivity and Skin Irritation?

Sensitive skin is an inherent characteristic that makes someone more prone to irritation. On the other hand, skin irritation is a temporary allergic response triggered by external factors like products.

Should I See a Dermatologist for Sensitive Skin?

While many people with sensitive skin experience mild irritation from skincare products, seeking professional help is often a last resort. They tend to adopt a trial-and-error approach, hoping to find gentler products on their own.

However, dermatologists can offer valuable guidance and solutions, especially if their irritation worsens.

Key Takeaways on What Causes Sensitive Skin

To sum up, it is important to understand the cause of your skin sensitivity so that you can better take care of it.

We have discussed different variables, like environmental irritants and skincare products that can cause your skin to act up. Treating the underlying cause of your sensitive skin is all about finding what works best for you.

You can make your skin happier and healthier by using gentle products from Kinship.

If your symptoms worsen, consult a dermatologist for a unique treatment plan. Your skin deserves the best, and Kinship is here to help you along the way.


Stay in the loop

  • Almost! Please enter a valid mobile number

  • Almost! Please enter a valid email address

By signing up via email, you expressly consent to receive marketing communications from Kinship, Inc. See privacy policy and terms of service for details.