Rashes, redness and peeling are some of the most common symptoms of hyper-sensitised skin, which has been caused by an overexposure to too many skincare ingredients.
“Using too many products will impact your skin leading to inflammation, redness, clogged pores, breakouts, itching, burning sensation, dry, flaky and even peeling skin, similar to the symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis,” explains aesthetic doctor Dr Parisha Acharya of Waterhouse Young Clinic.
“If you do this for a prolonged period of time the dermatitis may become persistent and your skin barrier function will be impacted resulting in sensitivity.”
From sunshine to wine, we all know it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. In fact, many argue that the best things in life are best enjoyed with some degree of moderation. But does the same apply to your skincare products? As formulas become more potent with an increasing number of high strength active ingredients, many of which have become commonplace in at-home regimes, we’re starting to see the fall out of our skincare gluttony.
The main culprits causing sensitisation are active ingredients such as retinol, AHAs and high strength Vitamin C. “We’re seeing more and more sensitised skin coming into the clinic as our clients are trying all the new skincare products in their homes such as peels and advanced ingredients like retinol, vitamin c, and acids,” says Kate Somerville, clinical facialist and founder of her namesake skincare brand.
“I knew I had to create something to act as a recovery system for sensitised skin and help to rebuild compromised skin barriers.” Kate Somerville’s new range DeliKate has been clinically proven to reduce irritation and redness thanks to a combination of omega oils and ceramides, which help to restore the skin barrier and rebalance sensitised skin while minimising irritation, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit Extract, which helps to calm skin and soothing Cucumber Seed Oil.
Similarly, French pharmacy favourite La Roche Posay have recently revealed their answer to sensitised skin – Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Serum, which contains 0.1% neurosensine, osmolyte and thermal spring water to soothe, repair and calm the skin while also helping to build tolerance to active ingredients.
For those reluctant to add another product to their skincare stash, there is another potential remedy, known as skincare microdosing. While you may ordinarily hear the term microdosing in reference to alternative drug therapies such as LSD microdosing (Steve Jobs was a famous advocate), the concept has already made waves in the cosmetics industry with treatments such as “baby Botox”.
The non surgical treatment involves injecting a small sprinkling of Botox over a wide area in order to create a more natural result when treating wrinkles and avoid the frozen look. Now, the trend for microdosing is making its way into the at-home sector, with dermatologists and skincare experts recommending applying skincare in tiny amounts to avoid any adverse effects.
One technique for ensuring you aren’t overdoing it on the application is the 13 Dot Technique by dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. “ I developed the idea of the 13 dot technique in order to get people to think more systematically about using their skincare,” she says.
The technique involves using a fingertips worth of product and applying it in tiny dots across 13 points on the face – three across the forehead, three down each cheekbone, two on the chin and two on each side of the nose. “This ensures you’re applying the right amount of product evenly, while still ensuring that the whole field is treated and there are no areas missed.”
Then there are the formulas themselves, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and less likely to cause irritation. La Roche Posay’s new retinol formula, B3 Retinol Serum, contains 0.1 per cent pure retinol, 0.2 per cent gradual release retinol (retinol palmitate) to be kinder to sensitive skin and Dr Murad’s new range of retinol products also relies on gradual release technology, meaning even those with the most sensitive skins can enjoy the products every night.