Sensitive skin is a condition of hyperreactivity to environmental factors or topically applied products. Skin sensitivity is associated with disrupted skin barrier function, which causes increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and allows penetration of irritants. Environmental pollutants, exposure to UV light or cosmetic products as well as stress, hormonal changes, cold weather can cause or worsen sensitive skin.
Sensitive skin reacts more easily to cosmetic products. Generally, this abnormal response is produced by substances, which are not commonly considered irritants.
Sensitive skin can be characterized by a spectrum of symptoms and can be divided into 4 subtypes: acne type (prone to acne, blackheads, whiteheads), rosacea type (prone to redness, flushing and hot sensations), stinging type (tendency to burning or stinging sensations) and allergic type (prone to skin flaking, itching and erythema). But they all share one common factor, that is inflammation.