SENSITIVE SKIN

1 in 2 people now have sensitive skin, making it a major modern day skin concern. We’ve all heard of sensitive skin, but what exactly is it? 

First of all, sensitive skin is not a skin type. In fact, sensitivity can affect all skin types from oily and acne-prone teenage skin all the way through to dry and mature skin. 

Secondly, sensitive skin shows no signs of skin diseases (like eczema or psoriasis) and usually looks normal… But it can feel anything but normal.

Your Questions
Derm answers

1 quote-marks

What is the best moisturizer for sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin, you need a moisturizer formulated for this skin type free of common “nasties” such as fragrance, colorant, lanolin and alcohol, and with soothing ingredients such as Neurosensine and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. Finally, it should also contain prebiotic ingredients to rebalance your skin’s microbiome, aka. its friendly bacteria.

Learn more

Was this helpful?

1 quote-marks

How can I shave my sensitive skin?

Shaving can stress skin by damaging its surface, causing “razor burn,” particularly on sensitive skin. To shave sensitive skin, first moisten skin with warm water, then massage in a pre-shave oil. Next, make sure your shaving foam is alcohol-free and shave with a single-blade wet razor, pressing very lightly. Follow up with a healing cream with vitamin B5.

Learn more

Was this helpful?

1 quote-marks

What is sensitive skin?

If you experience unpleasant sensations - pulling, prickling, burning or stinging - in response to factors such as temperature changes, wind, UV, hard water or harsh products, in the absence of a visible rash, you probably have sensitive skin. If you have redness or rashes, you are more likely to have reactive or allergic skin. Consider seeing a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis.

Learn more

Was this helpful?

1 quote-marks

Why is my skin sensitive to touch?

If your skin experiences discomfort when you simply touch it, you may have very sensitive skin. In sensitive skin, the nerve endings are hypersensitive, firing off pain signals in response to harmless stimuli. However, if your skin is sensitive due to being red and inflamed, you should see a doctor to make sure there is no infection or other medical issue to explain it.

Learn more

Was this helpful?

TRUE
OR FALSE

True-or-false-visual-1

SENSITIVE SKIN NECESSARILY
LOOKS DIFFERENT.

FALSE WRONG-ANSWER

One of the frustrating things about sensitive skin is that however annoying your symptoms may be, doctors will often say the skin is “normal” since it shows no visible signs. But clued-in dermatologists will recognise the features of sensitive skin and recommend specific treatments for sensitized or hypersensitive skin.
Learn More
True-or-false-visual-3

ORGANIC PRODUCTS ARE
THE BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN.

FALSE WRONG-ANSWER

Just because something is natural does not mean it won’t cause sensitive skin rashes. In fact, many natural plant extracts can bring on those all-too-familiar prickling, burning and stinging sensations. As for allergens, nature is overflowing with them!
Learn More
True-or-false-visual-2

HOW I FEEL IN MYSELF
CAN AFFECT MY SENSITIVE SKIN.

TRUE TRUE-ANSWER

Stress and intenseemotion cause blood vessels in the skin to dilate, triggering flushing andsensations of discomfort. Many people find mindfulness or similar relaxationtechniques a valuable ally to keep their sensitive skin in the Zen zone. This approach works best when combined with expert sensitive skincare such as the TOLERIANE range.
Learn More
True-or-false-visual-3

SUN EXPOSURE CAN
HEIGHTEN SKIN'S SENSITIVITY.

TRUE TRUE-ANSWER

Sun is can really penalise sensitive complexions.This is because UV rays trigger oxidative stress and inflammation within theskin, causing redness and rashes. Make sure broad spectrum UVA-UVB and long-UVA protection such as the ANTHELIOS range is part of your everyday skincare routine.
Learn More

THE DEFINITION
OF SENSITIVE SKIN

In dermatology, the term sensitive skin refers to a cluster of symptoms such as stinging, burning, itching and tingling which skin feels in response to trigger factors - temperature changes, hard water, unsuitable cosmetics and many more. In other words, the skin sets off alarm bells as though “in danger” in response to harmless stimuli.

WHAT CAUSES
SENSITIVE SKIN?

So, what are the nuts and bolts of sensitive skin? For a long time, sensitive skin was something of a medical mystery, but advanced research has revealed some of the factors at play. 

  • Sensitive skin has an ineffective surface barrier (a lack of protective lipids) which means environmental irritants such as harsh washing powders or certain cosmetics ingredients can penetrate to the deeper layers. For this reason, it benefits from specific care products to replenish its barrier function. You’ll find out all about this approach in the articles under the subsections below.
  • Over and above an impaired barrier function, sensitive skin suffers from a phenomenon called “neurogenic inflammation”. This means that nerve endings are hypersensitive and release inflammatory substances (a danger signal usually reserved for attacks on skin) in response to harmless stimuli like hard water and a change in temperature. This inflammation provokes the characteristic symptoms of sensitive skin such as stinging, tingling and itching.

In the subsections below, we’ll help you determine whether you have sensitive skin and talk you through how to best keep your skin in its comfort zone with smart lifestyle tips and product recommendations. 

You’ll also discover make-up specifically designed to help shield and soothe sensitive skin. 

Don’t forget to look at our overview of sensitive scalp and hair, with information on key topics such as shaving sensitive skin plus how to care for sensitive scalps prone to conditions such as dandruff and hair loss.

OUR SAFETY
COMMITMENTS

Safety standards beyond international cosmetics regulations.

laroche posay safety commitment product allergy tested model close up

100% PRODUCTS
ALLERGY TESTED

See More
One Prerequisite = Zero Allergic reactions
If we detect a single case, we go back to the labs and reformulate
laroche posay safety commitment formula protection product head

FORMULA PROTECTION
OVER TIME

See More
We select the most protective packaging associated with only the necessary preservatives, to guarantee intact tolerance and efficacy over time.
laroche posay safety commitment essential active dose product head

JUST THE ESSENTIAL,
AT THE RIGHT ACTIVE DOSE

See More
Developed in collaboration with dermatologist and toxicologist, our products contain only the necessary ingredients, at the right active dose.
laroche posay safety commitment sensitive skin model baby

TESTED
ON VERY SENSITIVE
 SKIN

See More
Our products' tolerance is verified on the most sensitive skin: reactive, allergic, acne-prone, atopic, damaged or weakened by cancer treatments.

DEAR
READERS

The information displayed here is intended for general educational purposes only and should not in any case be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any medical question.