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Sensitive vs. Sensitized Skin

Often times people misunderstand the difference between sensitive and sensitized skin. You may think that your skin is sensitive when it actually isn't. Let me explain the difference.

Sensitive skin is a condition caused by a genetic predisposition. Simply stated, you are born with it.

The skin tends to be thinner, have lower amounts of pigment, and blood vessels that are closer to the skin causing the appearance of redness. Typically, with sensitive skin you are prone to blushing, allergies and asthma. The protective outer layer of the skin has a defect which causes the skin to be sensitive, therefore allowing irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin causing unpleasant reactions such as itching, burning, redness and stinging. Due to this disturbance in the epidermis we see inflammatory skin diseases such as rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Sensitized skin is caused by environmental factors and lifestyle. It can be caused by internal factors such as medicine. However, it is generally developed more from external factors such as: products, poor diet, pollution, smoking, alcohol, stress, medical procedures or over exfoliation. You will find the highest population of people with sensitized skin in big cities where there are high amounts of pollution.

Although there is a great difference between the two, at Miami Blue Spa we treat sensitive and sensitized skin in the same manner, with our UltraCalming products. These products help to cool, calm, relieve the skin of inflammation, recover the lipid barrier breakdown, manage flare-ups and prevent future sensitivity. Like all Dermalogica products, UltraCalming products are formulated without common skin irritants, artificial fragrances, colors or parabens.

How should I care for sensitive skin?

Whether you have sensitive or sensitized skin making a few changes can soothe your skin.

1. Don't wash with harsh soaps or cleansers

2. Avoid very hot baths and showers

3. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine

4. Avoid products with artificial fragrances and colors

All of these things are known irritants and can aggravate sensitive or sensitized skin.

Are there ingredients I should seek out?

In general, Evening Primrose Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Oat Kernal Extract can help keep potentially irritating pollutants from sensitizing skin.

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