Why Is My Skin So Sensitive (and How To Fix It)?

The phrase “sensitive skin” gets thrown around a lot. I picture Oprah yelling at random people, “You’ve got sensitive skin and you’ve got sensitive skin and you…” Well, you get the idea. Or maybe not. Anyway, do we really know what sensitive skin is?

I mean, think about it. What is sensitive skin? What exactly makes it sensitive? If you think you have sensitive skin, why do you think it’s sensitive? Is it because it gets red? Or dry? Or irritated?

Yes, yes, and yes—sort of. Sensitive skin can be an ongoing condition caused by a variety of factors—age, your environment, and even certain products that don't agree with your skin.

That redness, dryness, and irritation? Those are pretty reliable indicators that you have sensitive skin. But not all dermatologists are in agreement with that assessment. Some believe that sensitive skin isn’t really a “thing” because skin is so durable and resilient. Sensitive skin is only truly sensitive if it has a significant reaction to certain ingredients or if you have a pre-existing condition like rosacea.

“But Sonia, what do YOU think?”

Woman looking at her red skin in the mirror with concern

I think that there is such a thing as sensitive skin. One of the reasons I believe it is that I have sensitive skin and, umm...I know it’s sensitive. Like the science behind that?

There is some actual science behind the reasons for sensitive skin, though. Here are some causes for sensitive skin:

  • Health conditions: This one I agree with, for sure. Rosacea, eczema, psoriasis—these conditions can cause redness, irritation, and itchiness, aka sensitive skin.
  • Too much sun: You want to tan and you don’t wear enough sunscreen, your skin is gonna pay the price. Avoid the sun when possible, but when you are outside, make sure you apply sunscreen! Otherwise, don’t come cryin’ to me when you look like a worn leather bag.
  • Too much (or wrong) product: Unfortunately, you probably won’t know this is the case until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to take note of any new products you try that cause irritation, redness, dryness, flakiness, etc. Then avoid those products. When you try something new, take it slow! One, maybe two products at a time—trying more at once is guaranteed to irritate your skin.
  • OK, so how do you take care of sensitive skin?

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Fix your skin barrier!


    Vitamin C and antioxidant serums help. But my preferred treatment?

    Sonia Roselli holding a bottle of Water Elixir

    Ceramides! What are ceramides? Click that link! Quick definition—they make up about half of your skin and they form a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss. They also create a barrier against all kinds of nasty shit (pollution agents, dry air) getting into your skin.

    Problem is...they don’t last. Age, sun damage, smoking, menopause (shudder) all deplete ceramides, so they need to be replenished. Otherwise, yep...dryness, redness, irritation. Your skin is open season for all of it without ceramides helping to protect it.

    So, how do you replenish them? With Water Elixir, of course! Water Elixir helps relieve dryness, dehydration, redness, and malnourishment—in other words, it helps fix your skin barrier! And once that skin barrier is repaired, you can start to routinely hydrate your skin.

    “But with what, Sonia?” Why, with my amazing Water Oil, a lightweight facial oil that lubricates and hydrates that parched skin and gives it a healthy glow.

    What else helps your skin stay hydrated?

    A freshly opened jar of Water Balm

    Moisturizing! Work my Water Balm gel creme into your daily routine to keep that newly repaired, healthy skin smooth, hydrated, and moisturized. Added bonus? It’s the PERFECT primer for makeup because it helps reduce the appearance of pores and helps makeup stay on longer.

    I’ll leave you with one last friendly reminder when it comes to taking proper care of your sensitive skin—WEAR THE DAMN SUNSCREEN! You’ll thank me later.

    Well, there you have it, kids. Take care of that skin barrier, and you won’t have to deal with sensitive skin issues. If you’re already dealing with sensitive skin, fix that skin barrier first (ceramides...remember the ceramides!!) and then maintain a daily regimen of hydration and moisturization, and you’ll be as smooth as a baby’s backside.



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