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Sensitive Skin: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Posted on January 22 2020

Couple washing their face

Can’t even deal with your red, dry, and easily irritated skin? Sounds like you might have a case of sensitive skin on your hands.

Maybe you’re a sensitive-skin veteran looking for new tips and products, or maybe you’ve recently discovered that you’re part of the sensitive-skin club. Either way, there’s no need to fret!

Sensitive skin is super common, and there are plenty of steps you can take to get it under control.

Here at Babo Botanicals, we understand sensitive skin. In this article, we’ll tell you how to identify this skin type, what causes skin sensitivity, and what you can do to manage it.

Symptoms Of Sensitive Skin

First of all, a person can have sensitive skin here, there, or everywhere. Many people find their face to be the most sensitive area, but this condition isn’t limited to one part of the body.

Some people even have sensitive skin on their nether region (so if that’s you, you’re not alone!).

Secondly, skin sensitivity can sometimes be just one part of several skin conditions. For example, if you have rosacea or eczema, you also have sensitive skin.


woman scratching itchy sensitive skin

Regardless of what the underlying condition may be, the symptoms of sensitive skin are the same. We’ve listed the most common ones below.

1) Redness

It’s completely normal to experience occasional redness from using a new or harsh product. But if your skin becomes inflamed frequently or from a lot of different irritants, it’s most likely sensitive.

2) Dryness

Sensitive skin is usually also dry. You may have dry patches or an overall dryness, which can lead to the next symptom.

3) Itching And Tightness

Dry skin is often itchy and tight-feeling as well. You may also notice that your skin itches from a particular irritant.

4) Stinging Or Burning

If your skin is sensitive, you probably notice a stinging or burning feeling when you use strong products or creams with fragrances on your skin.

5) Sunburn

Two people out kayaking

Compared to people with other types of skin, a person with sensitive skin is more likely to sunburn.

Causes Of Sensitive Skin

OK, so you have sensitive skin — you’ve figured that much out. But what causes it? Let’s look at what makes skin sensitive in the first place and what sorts of things can trigger and inflame your skin.

Why Is My Skin Sensitive?

Sensitive, easily irritated skin isn’t due to one particular cause, nor is it a disease (although it can go hand-in-hand with a condition like eczema). It’s just the way your skin is.

Sorry to break that news to you!

But to be more specific, there are three main characteristics of sensitive skin: a weak skin barrier, sensitive nerve endings, and vicious cycles.

Weak Skin Barrier

Your skin has a natural barrier to keep bad guys like allergens and irritants out.

Skin that’s sensitive has a thinner, weaker barrier than normal skin, which means irritants can penetrate it more easily and cause a reaction.

Sensitive Nerve Endings

With sensitive skin, nerve endings are delicate and under-protected. Your face naturally has a high concentration of nerve endings, which is one reason so many people suffer from sensitive facial skin.

Vicious Cycles

A weak skin barrier and sensitive nerve endings leave skin more prone to inflammation from irritants or allergens, which then creates a vicious cycle of irritation and sensitivity.

Sensitive Skin Triggers

Naturally sensitive skin is delicate and highly reactive to…well, lots of things. Some of these triggers might surprise you! Here are several:

  • Cold and wind
  • Air conditioning
  • Hot water
  • Irritating skin care products
  • Irritating clothing
  • Alcohol
  • Laundry detergent
  • Chlorine
  • Hormone fluctuations (yep, like a woman’s menstrual cycle)

Tips For Managing And Treating Sensitive Skin

legs of woman with sensitive skin

Time to get to the tips, tricks, and treatments for sensitive skin. Less talk, more action, right? We’re here for it!

The bad news is there’s not a “cure” per se for sensitive skin. Instead, your goal is to calm the inflammation and help repair your skin barrier.

How? Through the products you use and what you expose your skin to. Let’s get straight to it.

1) Don’t Wash Too Often

Of course, you need to stay clean, but more is not always better when it comes to showering and washing your face.

Your skin needs a certain amount of healthy oil to maintain its barrier, and when you shower or cleanse your face, that oil washes away.

That said, avoid showering more than once a day. And don’t cleanse your face more than twice a day.

2) Keep Showers Warm And Short

woman showering

Taking a warm, short shower can go a long way when it comes to treating sensitive skin.

Hot water is more irritating and more aggressive with your skin barrier than cold water. You don’t have to suffer through a freezing cold shower; just aim for warm (not hot) water.

You’ll also want to keep showers relatively short. In general, water dries out your skin, so cut down your shower time. Your skin will thank you for it.

3) Shower With The Right Products

Our last piece of advice on showers: use products made with sensitive skin in mind. We’re talking about soap, shampoo, conditioner — the whole gamut!

Choose products like Babo Botanicals’s Moisturizing Conditioner, which is specially formulated for sensitive hair and scalp.


Babo Botanicals Moisturizing Conditioner for sensitive skin

Full of organic calendula, colloidal oatmeal, and organic virgin coconut oil, this hydrating conditioner will nourish your hair without inflaming your skin.

4) Use A Good Moisturizer

A good moisturizer is essential to calming your skin and repairing its barrier.

Babo Botanicals’s Miracle Moisturizing Face Cream is great as a moisturizer for adults with sensitive skin. (If you have little ones, we’ve got lotion for them, too. Keep reading!)

Our soothing face cream contains the perfect blend of natural botanicals to help protect delicate skin, with absolutely no gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances.

5) Spot-Test New Products

Whether it’s a new body lotion, foundation, face cream, or any other skin care or cosmetic product under the sun, one word of advice — don’t apply it to your whole face or body the first day!

If the product irritates your skin, you could end up with a red, inflamed mess!

Instead, test new products on a small area of skin (maybe your wrist or behind your ear) and give it a day. If your skin isn’t stinging, irritated, or red, you’re probably good to go.

6) Use A Safe Sunscreen

With sensitive skin, you can’t afford not to wear sunscreen. It’s a must! But that doesn’t mean you can use any ol’ sunscreen and call it good. Lots of sunscreens can be just plain irritating.

Choose a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the active ingredient(s). These minerals are safe for your skin and non-irritating, unlike many of the chemicals in traditional sunscreens.

Babo Botanicals’s Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin

Protect your face with Babo Botanicals’s Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen, designed specifically for extra-sensitive facial skin. And for the rest of your body, try our Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion.

7) Avoid Triggers

Earlier, we mentioned some potential triggers — things that cause sensitive skin to flare up — like cold and wind, clothing, laundry detergent, chlorine, etc.

Figure out your triggers and do your best to eliminate or avoid them. This might mean using a sensitive-skin laundry detergent, protecting your skin from winter weather, or buying light, soft clothing.

You’ll also want to watch out for chemicals and other irritating ingredients in skin care products.

Look for products that contain calming ingredients, like calendula, colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, chamomile, shea butter, squalane, beeswax. Avoid chemical sunscreens, harsh exfoliants, sulfates, and fragrances.

8) Care For Your Baby’s Delicate Skin

Mom playing with baby

In general, little ones have delicate skin that needs special attention. Or your baby might have dry, sensitive, or eczema-prone skin. Either way, choosing the right baby products is key.

Choose products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and made with soothing ingredients, like colloidal oatmeal. Try our Sensitive Baby Daily Hydra Baby Lotion for soft, kissable baby skin!

But we didn’t stop with lotion. We’ve got you covered with Sensitive Baby Zinc Diaper Cream, Shampoo & Wash, Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen, and All Natural Healing Ointment for all of your baby’s skin care needs!

Be Gentle With Your Skin

Mom holding baby wrapped in towel after bathtime

The redness, dryness, and itchiness of sensitive skin can be a bummer. But by following our tips and tricks and showing your skin some TLC, you can soothe inflammation and manage your symptoms.

Your skin just requires a little gentleness and special care!

Stock up on products designed for sensitive skin, like our Miracle Moisturizing Face Cream and Moisturizing Conditioner. And, of course, don’t leave the rest of your family out!

Keep your babies and kiddos feeling their best with Sensitive Baby Daily Hydra Baby Lotion and Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen.

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