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All about Sensitive Skin

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Sensitive skin is hypersensitive to any stimuli due to increased permeability of outer layer of skin and accelerated nerve response. It occurs when skin’s natural barrier function is compromised, causing water loss and causing skin to become susceptible to external irritants, such like bacteria, chemical substances, allergens or others. 

Some people don’t show visible symptoms initially but as the level of sensitivity increases; symptoms become more profound with frequent breakouts, prolonged redness/burning/swelling and scaling leading to skin being categorised as hypersensitive.


  1. Sensitive skin falls into four different categories namely acne breakouts, rosacea, stinging reactions and allergic reactions.
  2. Sensitive skin people should refrain from changing skincare regime, treatment or products. Whenever you need to change always do it slowly over a period of 2-3 weeks. Sudden change can trigger a reaction. Always perform a patch test spanning for 48 hrs; on your inner arm or below your ear. Also always get your regimes devised by professionals.
  3. The triggers for sensitive skin: Sensitive skin varies from person to person hence one must find out individual skin triggers.
    • Environment: seasonal changes, excessive exposure to sun, artificial heating/cooling devices.
    • Lifestyle: stress, excessive use of cosmetics for regular make-up, diet lacking in essential vitamins, swimming in chlorinated pools etc.
    • Medications (oral/topical): prolonged acne medications, certain steroid medicines.
    • Certain skin conditions: atopic dermatitis, scabies, rosacea etc.
    • Hormonal changes during different stages eg pregnancy, puberty etc.
    • Allergens (allergy causing agents) like chemicals, preservatives, pollen, plants, food products etc.
    • Choosing incorrect skincare products and regime: this is extremely important but is usually overlooked. Hence make sure you use only those skincare products that are skin pH friendly, formulated specifically for your skin type/ concerns/ needs, are safe (do not contain toxic/ harmful ingredients in them) for application on human skin. And do not contain fragrances, colorant dyes, cooling ingredients like menthol, surfactants, sulphates, excessive preservatives, alcohols (SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denatured, ethanol),  certain plant oils eg eucalyptus, peppermint, pure form of Vitamin C, high percentages of glycolic acid, salicylic acid etc.  
  4. People with sensitive skin should be extremely careful at beauty parlours/ salons. Avoid hot wax, steam and harsh chemicals. Make sure you use disposable/ sterilized or your personal towels, strips, combs, instruments used in facials, cleansing sponges etc. Also body spa’s are a big no for you.
  5. Always consult a dermatologist; without any delay; if you are suffering from sensitive skin issues; so that timely treatment can be provided before it flares up to a more severe condition known as hypersensitive skin.



  • Choose a daily cleanser that is gentle, helps strengthens the skin barrier function and prevents moisture loss. 
  • Use a mild liquid cleanser that matches pH of skin, is free of artificial colours and fragrance.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of CLEANSING

Step-2: TONING

  • You can skip this step if your sensitive skin is not prone to acne.


  • Restrict exfoliation step to just once a week. 
  • Use ultra mild, gentle scrub.

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of EXFOLIATION


  • Moisturiser for sensitive skinned people should be water based, skin pH friendly, fragrance free, hypo-allergic and free of artificial dyes.
  • At night use a lotion/cream which is light textured and preferably contains skin barrier rebuilding lipids like squalane from olives or soy based lipids. 

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of MOISTURIZATION 

Step-5: PROTECTING (Sunscreen)

  • People having sensitive skin would find it difficult to put on a sunscreen but please make sure you do not skip a sunscreen.
  • Go in for physical/mineral sunscreens. 

You can also read the DO’s & DON’Ts of SUN PROTECTION

Step-6: PAMPERING (Face packs/masks)

  • Avoid steaming and excessive facials. 
  • Apply face pack once a week. For sensitive skin homemade face packs/masks are better than packaged ones. Read our Natural remedies section to find out how to make useful face packs.

IF YOU have any skin concerns like (uneven skin tone, acne, post acne scars, blemishes, dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, tanning, sun burn, dull skin, dark lips, sensitive skin, highly reactive skin,  stubborn blackheads, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, enlarged pores, sun spots, rosacea, melasma, skin allergies etc) then in addition to your Basic Skincare Regime you will require CUSTOMIZED SKINCARE REGIME (containing specific skincare products that can target to resolve your concerns) along with correct skincare guidance. 



  1. Papaya scrub: Papaya pulp is a perfect substitute for any face scrub you get in the market. Just cut a few big pieces of a ripe papaya, mash it with your hands and apply on the face like a scrub. Let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes and wash off with warm water. You can do this two times in a week for best results.
  2. Face Packs:
  • Oatmeal and yogurt Pack: Take three table spoons of yogurt in a bowl and add two table spoons of oat meal to it. Mix it well and add water if the paste is too thick. Apply pack over the face and scrub for few minutes, rinse off after 15 minutes with luke warm water for a smooth and healthy skin.
  • Carrot face Pack: Cook a carrot and mash it. Then add a table spoon of honey to the paste. Apply this pack on your face for 15 to 20 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.
  • Banana face Pack: Bananas contain vitamins A, B and E. Eating them provides nourishment to the body and applying them to the skin makes it feel smoother and softer. Preparation & Application- Mash half banana (over-ripe) and then add one tablespoon of gram flour to make a smooth paste. Apply it all over the face and neck. Once it dries, wash off with lukewarm water. Apply this face mask once a week for healthier looking skin. You can also make a paste of banana, raw milk and honey to brighten sensitive skin.
  • Honey, cocoa Pack: Honey is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties.  Preparation & Application- Make a coarse mixture of unsweetened cocoa powder and honey. Add coconut oil and milk to make a wonderful scrub as well as a face pack for sensitive skin. Apply on the face and wash off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.
*Disclaimer : Result may vary from person to person.