What is sensitive skin, and what roles do sensitive skin plays in the modern day is a question that can be subjective and difficult to answer. However, with the forward improvement in dermatological study and advancement in social concern over the idea of “well living” today, we have seen more and more people are being diagnostic with their skin being “sensitive”.
In order to conclude and understand the concern for people with sensitive skin, we would need to understand the definition of ’sensitive’ skin”. What is ‘sensitive skin exactly? A skin is considered sensitive, when the skin easily reacts to a foreign agent and the result is an inflammatory reaction. Many factors contribute to such reaction, but the common acknowledgment is on two deciding factors. Number one namely as the alteration of barrier function; when skin is daily aggressed, it will modify itself by bringing disorder to the cutaneous permeability that is associated with cutaneous microcirculation. Once the barrier function is modified, it becomes deficient and the result is that the cutaneous tissues will favor the penetration of irritating factors that provoke the release of inflammatory factors, and which results to itching, redness and even pain. The other factor is named to be neurogenic phenomenon: the skin is prone to a particular foreign agent that when in contact will activate the release of neurotransmitters, in which the result is inflammation or pain sensation.
In general, sensitive skin is also known as hyper-reactive skin. These skins are characterized with low tolerance threshold to the usually tolerated external stimuli. These are also skins that react more rapidly and stronger to the external stimuli in comparison to the standard measurement. When skin is now diagnosed for being “sensitive”, it is suggested that we pay more attention in taking care of it, and “medically–proven” skin care products are highly suggested.
In general, most skin is sensitive in some degree. The degree of the sensitiveness lies within genetically. Almost everyone has some factors that contributes to their skin allergic reaction, and is almost unavoidable. However; in extreme case, if one is considered “naturally sensitive”, the person is predisposed to develop vulnerable skin pattern. The outcome is tight and tingly skin that can be easily burned and sometimes red or itchy. The ‘naturally sensitive” skin also tends to react to the slightest upset in environmental changes. Unfortunately, the degree of sensitivity is very difficult to judge from external examination, so it is easily neglected. A skin might look perfectly normal from visual examination, but in fact under the apparent surface, there are light inflammations and a little scaly. The one test to determine if one is “Naturally sensitive” is the “stinging test”. The test uses diluted acid solution around the nostrils of the patients, and the feedback of the stinginess from the patient is used to determine if one’s skin is being considered as “naturally sensitive”, or not.
There is also another form of “sensitive skin” that differs from that of the “naturally sensitive”, in which we named as “sensitive in reaction”. The skin that are “sensitive in reaction” refer to skin that became sensitive due to the influence of aggravating external factors. Factors from climatic aggression (sun, snow, dry climate, etc.), cosmetic aggressions (cosmetic product with harsh or irritating surfactant) to dermatological aggression (laser, peeling and other dermatological procedure.), all contributes to decrease in skin’s capability in functioning as the natural barrier for one’s body. The result is the penetration of irritating agents that induce itching, tingling, stinging and tightness.
As mentioned above, anyone can suffer in certain degree in their skinsensitiveness; however, if judging from the severity, we can further define it into three categories.
First degree: Sensitive
The skin is temperamental and reacts to food, psychological or environmental factors. Skin gets irritated easily, and can display sign of redness. Tightness and dryness followed by itchiness is also often observed, when skin becomes sensitive and reacts to foreign factors. The case of people suffering from sensitive skin is now very common to the modern society. It is now commonly believed that the reason behind the increase in sensitive skin case lies behind the modern dietary and environmental habitat changes and pollutions.
Second degree: intolerant
If sensitive skin continues to undergo aggression, it becomes vulnerable and reacts more aggressively to the foreign factor. When skin is considered intolerant, the skin become so sensitive that even the standard skin care product can cause irritation to the skin. Signs of redness, tightness, dryness and itchiness are more severe in comparison to the first degree, and due to the severe dryness, sometimes pain might be observed with the patient who suffers intolerant skin condition.
Third degree: Acute phase of irritation and allergy
At this degree, your skin is too vulnerable to tolerate any foreign factors. The way that’s one’s skin express this level of intolerance can varies. For the instance of the “Cutaneous allergy”; an abnormal response of the immune system that occurs to predispose people or after repetitive irritation, erythema, itching. Cutaneous flare up or eczema becomes a common signs of the patient. Other factors may also contribute to this severe degree of skin sensitivity, for instance the hormone changes, diseases or when patient undergoes medical procedure or treatments.
Why Eau Thermale Avène
Eau Thermale Avene originates from Avene; a small town in southern France, it is famous for its thermal spring water with healing capability. For the past three hundred years, this thermal spring water has been used to provide treatment to various skin conditions that includes wounds from burns during the great Chicago fire in 1871. This thermal spring water, or now known as Eau Thermale Avène continue its advocacy in the skin treatment by establishing a hydrotherapy center that caters to 8000 patients a year.
Today, by using Eau Thermale Avène as the active ingredient, Eau Thermale Avene has now evolved from a single thermal spring water to become a whole range of skin care products that are widely used and prescribed by the dermatologists around the world. So, Why Eau Thermale Avène? Because this is the brand that is known and has been proven to be effective for reducing or clearing the symptoms of skin sensitivity for the past 300 years.
Even Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sophia Dahl acknowledged Eau Thermale Avène as the best beauty product.
Jolie’s make-up artist Bruce Grayson revealed, “To create Angelina’s Hollywood look the most important first step is to prep and prime the skin. Follow by applying a light, moisturising foundation as the base. Then, to achieve a radiant sheen use a make-up sponge sprayed with Avène Thermal Spring Water to blend concealer into the skin where needed. To complete the fresh-faced look apply a cream blusher to the apples of the cheeks.”
Gwyneth Paltrow says: “A soothing water spray for irritated skin. It’s also good as a quick refresher on a hot day. I know lots of makeup artists who use it, as it helps set makeup.”
Sophie Dahl says: “This keeps my skin from getting dry.”
Eau Thermale Avène is available in selected Watsons and Mercury Drug outlets in major malls