What is Sensitivity?
Although it is often thought that sensitivity is associated with fine textured skin this is not the case. Due to modern day living we are now exposed to more skin irritants and general pollutants than at any other time in history (with the possible exception of the Georgian period where the aristocracy were unwittingly poisoning themselves with white face powder containing arsenic!).
Redness and flushing is far more obvious on pale skin. But whether pale, olive or very dark skinned, we all experience the discomfort of sensitivity in a similar way. When we burn our skin it feels hot and tight, when we eat something that we are allergic to the skin can become blotchy, itchy, red and/or prickly. Pale skin does however react more quickly to heat and cold, hence fair skin burns more easily than olive skin and reacts more easily to severe wind and cold weather.
Common skin conditions and disorders associated with sensitivity:
- Eczema (including dermatitis)
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Many ingredients in skin care and cosmetics can cause irritation, leaving the skin red and blotchy. This type of sensitivity is called ‘acute’ sensitivity. The solution is to simply stop using the product that created the reaction. Chronic sensitivity is different and can continue on for months and even years after exposure to an irritant — whether internal or external.
MV has developed a range of products to help people with sensitive skin.
Cleanse with Gentle Cream Cleanser, removing with a warm (not hot)* damp muslin cloth or face washer.
* With continued use of the MV range, sensitivity should decrease, allowing for a slight increase in water temperature while compress cleansing.
Immediately after cleansing spritz with Rose Hydrating Mist then, while skin is still damp, apply two drops of Pure Jojoba and/or an appropriate Skin Booster. Finally, smooth half a pump or Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturiser over the face and neck.
Where the skin is quite reactive, spritz with spring or filtered water and always apply Pure Jojoba just before your moisturiser.
Unless your skin is extremely dry, avoid the temptation to use a moisturiser at night.
Where there is only mild sensitivity, introduce Signature Mineral Mask as soon as possible to help de-sensitize and strengthen the skin. For a more intensive result, apply the mask three times in one week. This is recommended with a change of season, on the lead up to a special occasion, to address congestion or to speed healing during periods of breakout.
View the MV Mask Ritual video for correct application and removal tips.
NB Always patch test a newly introduced product first and, if irritation occurs, discontinue use.
Oils work wonders from the inside out, first working on the internal organs then, when taken consistently, working on the skin, improving the health of the underlying skin tissue from the inside. The secret is to be consistent; taking your oil of choice 2-3 times a week will not deliver a noticeable result but if you take it every day most will notice improvements to the skin within a few weeks.
First try Udo’s Oil – it's a powerhouse of essential fatty acid oils including omega 3, 6 and 9. Take 2-4 tablespoons a day with food and within 3-4 weeks dry, tight, itchy skin should feel more relaxed, smoother, less red and itchy.
Virgin Coconut Oil can be taken in the same way. Organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil is very beneficial to sensitive skin including those with eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. If coconut oil is extracted from coconut milk it is classified as 100% virgin coconut oil. It contains a high percentage of Lauric Acid, a fatty acid that provides antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you find ingesting an oil difficult, then hide it in a smoothie or use it on a salad.
Stress can impact on the skin and trigger conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis - so don’t just look at making changes to your skin care routine, also look at your lifestyle. If you have sensitive skin or suffer from one of the above skin conditions, consider taking up yoga, meditation, walking or whatever makes you feel more relaxed.
Sharon's Key Tips
MV Organic Skincare's key tips for young and mature skins with mild sensitivity
1. Avoid splashing your face with water either at the sink or in the shower.
In particular, avoid using foaming cleansers and exfoliants as they can strip our protective barrier and exacerbate sensitivity. Instead opt for a gentle cream based cleanser and use a warm (not hot) compress cloth to cleanse.
3. Always protect your skin with a few drops of Pure Jojoba before showering.
4. Avoid exfoliating with traditional scrubs and peels, instead gently compress the face with a warm face washer or muslin cloth. Steam is a gentle way to soften and help remove surface dead skin cells whereas granular scrubs often remove healthy skin cells as well as dead skin cells; therefore resulting in mild trauma.
4. Watch the MV 3 Minute Skin Ritual to get the very most from your MV products.
5. Watch the MV Mask Ritual to familiarise yourself with correct mask consistency, application and removal.
6. Never allow a mask to dry completely, this will draw moisture from the surface of the skin resulting in dehydration and irritation.
7. When using suggested MV products for mild sensitivity, with any form of sensitivity, we always recommend starting out slowly. Initially introducing too many products may trigger a reaction resulting in disappointment and frustration.
8. Avoid using sun screens daily - particularly if you work indoors. Some of the most irritating chemical ingredients are found in sun screens.
9. Avoid wearing heavy make-up to cover your sensitivity/redness. This may only exacerbate the problem in the long term.
10. Avoid using heavy creams at night. Give your skin a rest and treat it to a few drops of an anti-oxidant rich plant oil such as jojoba, sweet almond or avocado.
11. Use natural-based skincare which tends to be formulated with plant oils rather than petrochemicals.
Some common causes:
- Using a new skincare product eg. cleanser, moisturiser or sun cream
- Long term use of skincare containing hydroxy acids eg glycolic, salicylic, malic, lactic
- Over-exfoliating with a granular scrub
- Having an aggressive skin procedure like microdermabasion, chemical/herbal peel or laser treatment
- Post-medical procedure, from certain medication and/or anaesthetic
- Exposure to a harsh climate
- Toxins in our environment the body is unable to process and remove
- Hormonal changes such as menopause and pregnancy
- Tap water (can be very drying and irritating)
- Hot showers
- Granular scrubs
- Alcohol-based products
- Chemical, fruit acid and herbal peels
- Heavily fragranced skincare
- Chemical-based skin care
- Some sun screens
- Chemical-based foundation
- Laser and micro-dermabrasion (when inappropriately recommended)
- Food – where there is an allergy or intolerance
- Certain medications
- Certain auto-immune diseases which affect the skin eg. lupus, psoriasis and scleroderma