Everyone has different skin. If you’re dealing with less than perfect skin, there are plenty of ways to correct it so that you look and feel your best. Whether you have sensitive or sensitized skin, you’re probably looking for a solution to help treat and correct your condition. There is help for both sensitized and sensitive skin! Both conditions are treatable but you need to be able to identify which you have before treating each.

There are two types of skin that many people believe they have. Sensitized skin is confused for sensitive skin. Both have very similar symptoms so if you’re unsure of which you have after reading this blog post, it’s best to consult with a professional such as an esthetician or dermatologist.


Here are some of the symptoms of each skin type:


Sensitized Skin Symptoms: This is a skin condition that can be triggered in anyone, regardless of your genes. It’s an acute condition that you’re not born with. This condition is often caused by your environment. If your skin is irritable from your lifestyle, irritants, or cosmetic ingredients (including alcohol, lanolin, fragrances and artificial colors) then you can get sensitized skin. If you can manage to avoid your triggers, you can reduce or eliminate your symptoms. When you can’t avoid your triggers (if they’re pollution, environment and temperature) then you can manage your sensitized skin through skin care and lifestyle changes.


Here are some of the triggers for sensitized skin:


  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cosmetic ingredients
  • Pollution
  • Airborne allergens
  • Weather
  • Temperature changes
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Over exfoliation
  • Acne products
  • Simple alcohols
  • Synthetic fragrance
  • Synthetic dyes
  • Sulfates
  • Propylene glycol
  • AHA and retinoids


Sensitive Skin Symptoms: This is a skin type that you’re genetically predisposed with, which means you’re born with sensitive skin. When you have this skin type its protective outer layer allows irritants, microbes and allergens to pass through, causing reactions like stinging, pain and redness. Sensitive skin can be more delicate because it has a lower amount of pigment, a thin epidermis, and blood vessels that are closer to the skin’s surface which can result in redness. If you have this skin type you’re probably also prone to asthma or allergies. This condition is a part of your genes but it can be managed.


Here are some symptoms of sensitive skin:


  • Thin skin texture that’s translucent
  • Skin that feels “tight” which means it’s dehydrated and can cause your skin to react to products
  • Redness or blotchiness
  • Skin that flakes, peels or cracks on your cheeks and forehead which means your skin is dehydrated and that it’s barrier’s function is impaired
  • Itching or burning sensations which may mean your capillaries are over-reactive
  • Small bumps that seem to be a rash or breakouts (these breakouts are not the same as acne breakouts)
  • A compromised lipid barrier. When you have a healthy lipid barrier your skin holds water in and keeps environmental pollutants and microbes out, when the barrier is compromised your skin becomes exposed to triggers which cause irritation, discomfort and more
  • Certain foods make you flush such as alcohol, coffee or spicy foods
  • Tending to sunburn easily
  • Skin that is easily irritated by soaps, laundry detergent, perfume and other irritants


Whether you have sensitized or sensitive skin, there are options to help correct and treat your condition. If you’re still unsure of which you have, I’m always happy to assess your skin during your next appointment and make recommendations based on my experience. You can also visit your dermatologist and find out which condition you have.


So, how do you treat each condition? There are a few methods to treat each…


How to treat sensitive skin: When you have sensitive skin you should avoid products that have synthetic fragrances or dyes, alcohol toners, propylene glycol or sulfates. Before using a new body product test it on the inside of your wrist 24 hours beforehand to see how your skin will react to it. For new face products apply a small amount of product behind your ear as it’s similar to your face’s skin to see how your skin reacts. A cool and hydrating facial can also be a great way to get your sensitive skin under control.


How to treat sensitized skin: First of all, you need to look at your lifestyle and skin care products and see what may be triggering your sensitized skin. Have your esthetician check out your skincare products and see if you’re using too many active ingredients at once. Active ingredients in products can be any of the following: retinoids, AHA, prescription acne products, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. If you have sensitized skin, you should also avoid switching up your skin care routine often. Sometimes if you try things such as the “beauty boxes” and you’re constantly switching face creams, etc. they can make your condition worse. If you want to figure out what’s causing your sensitized skin then slowly remove products from your skin care regimen every night until your skin begins to heal itself and you find out what product is the culprit. You can also increase your water intake to hydrate your skin and avoid using hot water when washing your face and body to calm your skin.


Some products and services I can recommend that will help either condition are:


  • Yonka’s Sensitive Creme Peaux Sensibles – This moisturizer contains ingredients that can calm, comfort and desensitize the skin. It contains shea butter to nourish and is fragrance free.
  • Yonka’s Sensitive Creme Anti-rougeurs – This corrective soothing creme for redness. This product has color correcting effects and soothes redness. If you apply this product in the morning you can correct redness.
  • Yonka’s Sensitive Masque – This product contains arnica and german chamomile which will soothe and calm your skin. It also has horse chestnut in it for anti-redness and st. johns wort to nourish and regenerate your skin.
  • Any Yonka Face Wash (Particularly the Creme or Lait Nettoyant) – All of Yonka’s face washes are wonderful because they’re all very gentle on your skin but the two cleansers I mentioned are creme milk cleansers so they are even more mild and gentle for sensitive skin.
  • Lotion Yonka – This toner has a blend of five essential oils (lavender, geranium, cypress, thyme and rosemary) which all soothe, regenerate, purify, invigorate and smooth your skin.Facial
  • The Sensitive Skin Facial – This facial is a great service for those looking to soothe hyper reactive skin, reduce redness, reinforce natural skin defenses and reduce skin irritability. This facial works best as the first step in a series to target and calm your skin with one session scheduled every week for four weeks. Once you’ve completed the initial series, you can get the facial once a month to maintain your newly calm skin. This is a great facial to get after a lot of time in the sun, after you’ve reacted harshly to a product or environmental pollutant or if you have sensitive skin.


If you’re dealing with sensitized or sensitive skin, then a facial can be a great way to reset your skin and help clear it of toxins. I’d also recommend some of Yonka’s products which I have available at my studio. If you have any questions on sensitive or sensitized skin, I’m always happy to answer them via social media or my contact page. I’d also love to see you in the studio to analyze your skin and help you figure out ways to treat and enhance your skin!


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