Sensitive reactive skin is one of the most delicate and sensitive skin types. Many seemingly safe products such as soaps and cosmetics may cause an exaggerated and painful reaction in the skin. Redness, inflammation, skin bumps or skin erosion are common reactions. Changes in temperature can cause skin reactions for some people with this skin type. Dry or cold weather can often cause the skin to dry out and become easily irritated. People with sensitive reactive skin can also be overly sensitive to the UV rays from sunlight. Even brief amounts of sun exposure may cause the skin to become red and painful. Although this skin type may be hard to deal with, it is possible to treat sensitive reactive skin to make it less ‘reactive’.

Common symptoms of sensitive reactive skin include:

  • Sensitivity to skincare products and cosmetics
  • Sensitivity to cool and dry weather
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Red bumps, pustules
  • Redness, swelling and irritation
  • Pain

Allergic or adverse reactions are caused by an extreme sensitivity of the skin.

Caring for sensitive reactive skin can be a challenge. Many seemingly safe skincare products may cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Look for gentle cleansers that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free should be your first choice. When washing the skin, be sure to use cool or lukewarm water. Hot water can actually strip the skin of its natural protective oils, which can damage the skin barrier and cause dry skin. Avoid scrubbing the skin as this can cause the skin to become further irritated. If you are experiencing skin dryness, choose a moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin. It’s important to remember that skin responds differently to different cleansing methods and products. So, a lot of trial and error may be necessary to find the right skin care solution.

The key to preventing reactions is to avoid or limit contact with the substances that are causing the reaction. Some ingredients found in cosmetics can be a source of irritation. If your makeup is causing a reaction, look for brands that offer natural or hypoallergenic ingredients. Natural and organic ingredients are also often milder and more gentle to the skin.

Skin can be trained to be less sensitive. Gradual and controlled introduction of irritants has shown to help build up a tolerance to the irritant over time. However, treatment methods such as this should be discussed with you dermatologist beforehand to avoid any complications.

  • Skin care products with natural ingredients