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Skincare, Education

Sensitive Skin Q&A: Part One

Guest post by Kristin Cristiano - Director of Education

What causes sensitive skin?

Almost everyone at some time in their life will have skin sensitivity – whether it is because of living in a harsh climate, using the wrong products or getting an aggressive treatment. A relatively small percentage of the world population has a genetic link to sensitivity, meaning that they will experience it their entire life. Most people in this category experience periods of “sensitization”. Sensitized skin will feel and react much the same as skin that is genetically programmed to be that way. For example, a patient who has had a strong chemical or laser peel will experience skin sensitivity afterwards and will need to be restricted as to how the skin is treated and cared for. People with food allergies that cause swollen, itchy, red eyes may think that it is a skin sensitivity and look twice at their eye care products.  Whether skin is experiencing a short-term sensitivity due to extrinsic factors or the person has experienced sensitivity throughout their life, precautions need to be taken when dealing with it.

Who is affected by sensitive skin?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from skin sensitivity. In the 1980s, only 30% of people perceived they had sensitive skin. In the 21st century we have seen a huge increase. Most statistics say that about half of all people consider themselves sensitive. One dermatologist in Los Angeles was quoted as saying that it is more like 70%!

Why are more and more people falling into the sensitive skin category?

Some of the most prevalent theories are the increase in environmental pollution, lack of protective ozone, and the decrease in the nutritive value of our food which has left our immune systems weakened. Let’s not forget that the biggest generation ever has reached the fifties and beyond, an age where the aftermath of constant sun exposure is showing itself. We know that overexposure to UV radiation not only ages the skin but can cause sensitivity. Also, post menopausal skin is in most cases thinner, slow to heal and more susceptible to irritation. However it is not just this Baby Boomer generation that is claiming sensitivity. No doubt some of these skin sensitivities are due to the use of stronger prescription drugs such as Accutane and Retin A. We are a culture that loves to exfoliate and the overuse of Hydroxy Acids and microdermabrasion-type treatments can certainly sensitize the skin. Learn more about glo's new Sensitive Skincare products here.
March 23, 2015
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