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PCA Skin Certified Professionals
Sensitized skin is often mistaken for sensitive skin.

Sensitive vs. sensitized skin

Here’s how to tell the difference.

Sensitized skin is often mistaken for sensitive skin. The distinction can make all the difference in how you care for your skin.

Sensitive skin is a condition that is part of your DNA, while sensitized skin happens as the result of daily habits and environmental factors.

About Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is a genetic condition that presents itself as persistent redness, flushing and sensitivity. The appearance of redness is due to a thin epidermis (the uppermost layer of skin) and blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin. Sensitive skin conditions are generally the result of an impaired skin barrier that allows irritants to penetrate the skin. The most common sensitive skin condition is rosacea which most often affects women aged 30-50. Other sensitive skin conditions include psoriasis, the presentation of thick, red and scaly patches on the skin accompanied by itchiness, irritation, redness and hypersensitivity; eczema, or dermatitis, showing up as a dry and itchy rash.

Treating Sensitive Skin Combating sensitive skin conditions requires the right products with a balance of active and soothing ingredients to improve the skin’s barrier function. PCA SKIN® recommends:

  1. Dry Skin Relief Bar®: formulated for psoriasis with 3% salicylic acid to break down the dead skin cell build up that leads to scaly patches on the skin.
  2. Anti-Redness Serum: for instant soothing and calming reddened skin.
  3. Hydrating Serum: to encourage and enhance the skin’s natural barrier function.

About Sensitized Skin
Sensitized skin is the result of your environment. Many people experience a higher level of sensitivity to topical ingredients due to pollution in the air, poor diet, alcohol consumption or improper or overuse of certain topical products. Harsh products like alcohol-based toners can dehydrate and irritate skin resulting in a sunburn-like sensation: redness and skin that is sensitive to the touch.

Treating Sensitized Skin
In order to improve sensitized skin, the trigger has to be determined and eliminated. For those sensitized from other products being used on the skin, we recommend minimizing usage either by using less product each night or by using the product fewer times per week until the skin can build up a tolerance. Incorporating hydrating ingredients can also help the skin become less sensitized. PCA SKIN recommends:

  1. Hydrating Serum: the perfect companion to products that include ingredients like retinol (which is essential, but can be sensitizing as you build your tolerance) because it binds moisture to the skin and soothes skin.
  2. A more hydrating moisturizer: more moisture in the evenings can help improve and restore barrier function impaired by aggressive ingredients as well.
  3. Broad spectrum sunscreen: some ingredients can cause the skin to be very sensitive to the sun’s damaging rays, making your skin quicker to burn. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen every day and reapplying every two hours you are outside will prevent sensitivities due to sun exposure.