Your skin contains a complex cocktail of specific lipids that together constitute the physical skin barrier designed to safeguard its integrity. There are dozens of different ceramides, together with other essential molecules such as cholesterol or phytosphingosine, that form the “mortar” between the skin cells to protect your skin. But not all ceramides are created equal, and only a handful of them actually make a difference. Those are the ceramides that diminish with age, or eczema, or atopic dermatis.
What is sensitive skin?
There is no real clinical consensus on what sensitive skin really is, but it is well known that the result is a damaged skin barrier. As for eczema and a host of other skin pathologies, skin barrier damage is also a prime manifestation. In both cases, the damaged skin barrier results in an inability for the skin to retain water. No matter how much moisture you put on that type of skin, it won’t keep it for long if you don’t also repair that barrier.
What other kinds of problems might complicate skin care?
Over 70% of women report having sensitive skin, and although the “real” percentage is unknown, these women’s concerns remain and need to be addressed. There are also a lot of newly sensitive skins that results from overly aggressive regimens or careless exposure to uncontrolled environments. Sensitivity can manifest in so many different ways that there is no clinical consensus on what sensitive skin is. Probably the most important aspect of sensitive skin is that it is a uncontrolled dynamic response that can betray an unhealthy skin state, but also sometimes is simply a native delicate barrier. That’s why it’s so hard to understand. Until we master it better, we choose to focus on a common clinical thread of all the manifestations of sensitive skin: a weak skin barrier.
It is important to differentiate between allergy and irritation, because they cannot be resolved the same way. Most of what women identify as an allergy is in fact an irritation, which may be due to excipients (Ed. note: “filler ingredients”) in a formula rather than the main technology. However, both can benefit from gentle barrier reinforcement.
What are common ingredients that cause allergies?
The usual suspects like fragrance, harsh detergents, dyes, soap, and some specific preservatives
Go natural and let your skin breath...
So why go with organic skin care products in the first place (aside from the whole loving the environment thing)? People with sensitive skin often find that organic skin care products are much gentler than traditional products. Natural products can offer skin solutions that products in regular skin care lines just can't compete with, like improved skin clarity and a glowing complexion without the use of harsh irritants. With all of these natural benefits, it makes you wonder why you ever slathered artificial ingredients on your skin in the first place.