Sensitive v’s Sensitized skin

A lot of people self diagnose their skin as sensitive, but there are a few different types of sensitive skin.

  1. Reactive skin- goes red easily, flushes easily, has a pink undertone
  2. Sensitized skin- caused from misuse of incorrect products and environmental exposure
  3. Sensitive skin- True sensitive- Genetic condition-has always been sensitive.

These skins to the untrained eye can all be very similar, but that is where an experienced therapist can come to your rescue. The 1st step of treating skin comes to correct diagnosis

Sensitized skin

  1. Reacts only to a small range of products/ingredients
  2. Can have in salon peels
  3. Can use acids in some form in any skincare

Causes: over scrubbing, over exposure to the sun, extreme weather conditions, improper use of topical products, medications, too many active ingredients.

Sensitive skin

  1. Family history
  2. Can also have asthma, eczema, psoriasis
  3. Allergies
  4. Thinner skin

Causes: Family history. This is a genetic disorder


  1. Goes red easily
  2. Can use skincare with no problems
  3. Burns easily
  4. Blushes easily.

Causes: Light skin colour, thinner skin, Red haired gene,

I have had clients come who hold up their hands saying “I’m sensitive” and that is the end of the conversation. Our job is to diagnose which of the above you are.  The amount of people who are a true sensitive skin is very small.

It can be scary coming to a salon with these skin types as you are worried about making it worse- but if you choose your salon wisely we can help you return to normal skin. If you are a true sensitive we can help bring a bit more balance to your skin.

When treating any of the above, it all starts out the same. By the time people with these skin types first come to a professional salon, their barrier is normally impaired* and needs fixing. This is always where we always start. Depending on how extreme the sensitivity is we look at ingredients such as  oil based Vitamin C’s to heal and calm, rebuilding and strengthening Vitamin A, Vitamin B to rebuild the barrier, or a straight forward sensitive serum to calm. These skin types can also normally be quite dehydrated, so it is important to rehydrate.

By the time you have used 1-3 products (about 1-3yrs) depending on how sensitized you are, we can then start doing some fun staff and start using some more exciting products that can help address other concerns- ageing, dullness, scaring.

By addressing your sensitivity issues though, you will see a glow to your skin, evenness in skin tone, reduction of blotchiness, hydration and a balance of excess oil.

Unsure where you fit? Want a healthy balanced skin? Come see our skin experts at Shine for a in depth skin analysis and get on the right path.  Staff at Shine are experienced in diagnosing skin types and repairing skin back to healthy in a gentle way.

*Impaired barrier- this is the top layers of your skin, which has been damaged. that it needs to be repaired 1st. It is like having a hole in the roof, it must be fixed 1st to allow you to repair anything that is underneath.

photo courtesy of dermcenterclinica