Sensitive vs Sensitized Skin – Know Your Skin

To put it simply, sensitive skin is a skin type, and sensitized skin is a reaction to some skincare product.

We’re sorry to tell you this, but the “sensitive skin” problem you think you have might just be sensitized skin. While the symptoms are similar, the reasons and treatments are distinct, and it’s critical to determine which issue you’re dealing with so that you can treat it appropriately.

It’s difficult, but if you’ve been struggling with dry, flaky, red skin on a regular or irregular basis, it’s time to address your exfoliation addiction and rebuild your skin barrier. Find out if you have sensitive or sensitized skin, how to determine the difference, and how to treat each condition in the sections below.

Sensitive Skin

Here’s what you need to know about Sensitive Skin which has sort of become a buzzword nowadays. Every time someone gets an allergic reaction, they feel they have sensitive skin, but that is not always the case.

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Here are the signs of sensitive skin that you need to be aware of:

  • Translucent skin with a thin texture.
  • Tightness in the skin might suggest dehydration and lead to product responses.
  • Blotchiness or redness. This indicates hypersensitive capillaries or a proclivity for rosacea.
  • On the cheeks and forehead, there is flaking, peeling, or cracking. This suggests that the skin is dry and that the barrier function is compromised.
  • Flushing and itching, as well as burning sensations, can indicate over-reactive capillaries.
  • Breakouts or little rash-like bumps (not to be confused with acne breakouts).

Sensitized Skin

One thing to keep in mind is that sensitive skin is a skin condition, not a skin type. Your skin’s lipid barrier, or the outermost layer of skin, has eroded over time if you have sensitized skin. Pollution, stress, and alcohol intake are three of the leading causes of sensitive skin.

Other signs of sensitive skin include:

  • Use of active treatments/ingredients in excess (i.e. AHAs, BHAs)
  • Exfoliation that is excessive
  • Use of skincare products incorrectly
  • Dehydration
  • Prone to allergy


First, check all of your skincare products to make sure they don’t include any of the typical skin-irritating components. Replace any skincare that appears to be dangerous or harmful to your skin. If you’re unsure, ask your esthetician or consult the “ThinkDirty” app. Then, go over all of your products and make sure you understand why you’re using each one and how it’s helping your skin.

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If you have too many odd items in your routine, your barrier may be uneven or not operating properly. Take any clay or decongesting masks and reduce the amount of exfoliation while your skin is inflamed.

Take any clay or decongesting masks and reduce the amount of exfoliation while your skin is inflamed. If you’re utilizing a physical scrub, do so gently once a week while you’re trying to get rid of your sensitivity.

If you’re using an astringent toner, switch it out for something more moisturizing. If you’re using a chemical exfoliator like glycolic acid, retinol, or an AHA, cut back on how much you’re using. For example, if you were using your chemical exfoliant four times per week, reduce it to two times per week. You’ll keep doing this gentler program until your skin returns to normal.

Stay Away From Steam Facials and Heat

Your sensitive, irritated skin requires all the anti-inflammatory help it can get. Showering or washing your face with extremely hot water, as well as using a hot cloth to remove cleansers, will cause your skin to become red and irritated. Steaming your face should also be avoided when your skin is sensitized.

Washing your face with lukewarm or cool water and rinsing away the product is a much better alternative, as it can help ease some redness and inflamed regions. After a shower or after cleansing, rinsing your face with very cold water helps tighten pores and reduces redness.

Stick To One Skincare Routine

Maintaining a consistent AM/PM routine in which you use the same skincare products daily/weekly will help keep your skin in good shape. Because cell turnover takes roughly 28 days, you won’t see any substantial improvements from skincare products until 3-4 weeks of constant use.

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Trying a product for a week or two and then adding additional items to your routine randomly won’t give you the results you want and could even harm your acid mantle.

The only exception to this rule is if you begin using a new product and your skin becomes significantly irritated or unhealthy within a few days of use, in which case I recommend discontinuing the use of that product.

Stick to a consistent AM/PM routine and select items that are appropriate for your skin type and address your individual skin condition or problems.

Keep A Check On Your Dietary Habits

You are what you consume, and your body would be the first to tell you whether or not you are eating the correct foods. To assist remove toxins from your body, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits and drink enough water.

Some Final Tips For Your Irritated Skin

  • Shower for 5 to 10 minutes in warm — not hot — water.
  • Exfoliants and harsh astringents should be avoided.
  • Use a fragrance-free, mild soap
  • Instead of perfumes, utilize essential oils.
  • Use a fragrance-free, mild washing detergent
  • Use organic cleaning supplies wherever possible, and always use a shaving cream or gel to gently pat yourself dry after a shower (rather than rubbing) and apply moisturizer as soon as possible.
  • Before trying a complete application, test new products on a small patch of skin for at least one day.


The majority of persons with sensitive skin can take care of themselves at home. This usually entails determining whatever product or chemical is bothering your skin and figuring out how to prevent it.

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Make an appointment with a dermatologist if your symptoms do not improve. Your dermatologist can help you establish a gentle skin-care program that will keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

Filed under: Skin Care, Tips and Myths

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