Wonder Balm from Vemel

Sensitive skin is likely something we’ve all had experience in some capacity at some point in our lives. In fact, did you know sensitive skin affects approximately 50% of the population worldwide?

But what most of us aren’t particularly in the know about is ‘sensitised skin’, and whilst both conditions present very similarly on the skin with near identical symptoms, the causes and treatments differ significantly. Knowing the root of the sensitivity is everything to be able to properly and effectively give your skin the relief it so desperately wants.

Making The Distinction Between Sensitive and Sensitised

Most of us are familiar with sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is a genetic condition, characterised by a heightened reaction to specific stimuli – it’s symptoms include redness, itching or even a burning sensation in response to specific triggers. Sensitive skin triggers can be anything from certain skincare products to extreme weather conditions. This type of sensitivity is often consistent over time, with the same reactions occurring to the same triggers time and time again – but they can be managed very well with gentle yet effective, hypoallergenic skincare products that are free from harsh ingredients – these can help calm and protect our skin barrier over time, making it more resilient to these triggers.

On the other hand, sensitised skin is not a condition you are born with, but one that develops over time as a result of external factors) lifestyle choices. This means sensitised skin isn’t based in a genetic lottery, it can affect anyone of any age or gender. This skin condition occurs when our skin’s natural barrier function has been compromised, resulting in increased reactivity and susceptibility to irritants. Sensitised skin triggers can vary from over exfoliation and the use of harsh skincare products, to stress, diet and environmental pollutants. This means for those of us struggling with sensitised skin, we are more likely to experience sudden flare-ups of redness, stinging or inflammation, even if there has been no previously visible sensitivity. 

Which Type Are You?

Figuring out which skin type you best align with can take some careful observation and paying attention to the details of your skin behaviour. If you find your skin has always struggled with certain skincare products or environmental factors, reacts consistently to certain triggers, and you even have a family history of similar skin concerns, you are probably dealing with sensitive skin. On the other hand, if you’ve noticed an increase in skin sensitivity or recent reactivity, particularly after changing up your skincare routine or any diet/lifestyle changes – it’s possible you are dealing with sensitised skin. Focusing on when the triggers start and the surrounding events leading up to the reaction can help pinpoint the underlying cause.

How To Manage Sensitive and Sensitised Skin 

Figuring out which type of sensitivity you are dealing with makes it a lot easier to tailor your skincare accordingly. Although a lot of products may claim to be suitable for sensitive skin, it’s important to ensure the ingredient list backs up that claim. Harsh ingredients like certain alcohols, essential oils, synthetic fragrances, sulphates, parabens or chemical sun creams are too harsh and disruptive to our skin barrier for most skin types, even more, so those with any kind of skin sensitivity – so no matter the claims, be sure the product is free of such ingredients before letting them anywhere near your skin. Fortunately, skincare has come along leaps and bounds in regards specifically to sensitive skin, and natural ingredients in particular are making a significant breakthrough as we speak!

Why? Well, beyond the obvious plethora of antioxidant rich and vitamin abundant ingredients that come from nature itself and bode so well with sensitive skin, the process of extraction plays a significant role in a products ability to harness the power of an ingredient without compromising on efficacy and stability – a focus we’ve always had at Vemel to ensure our products are always of the highest quality.

Thanks to recent advances in formulation technology we are able to focuse on incorporating natural ingredients, innovative extraction methods, biotechnological processes, and sustainable cultivation practices. Here are some key trends and advancements: plant-based actives (natural alternatives to synthetic vitamin C or retinol), microbiome-friendly ingredients (like probiotics – watch this space!), green chemistry like co2 extraction, biotech fermentation & cell culture technology (using fermentation to enhance the bioavailability and potency of natural ingredients, such as fermented plant extracts & cultivating plant cells in controlled environments to produce high-quality, consistent extracts without the need for traditional farming, reducing environmental impact!  – something exciting coming very soon!), upcycled (utilizing by-products from other industries (such as food or agriculture) to create upcycled ingredients, reducing waste and promoting a circular economy).

Knowing which products to avoid to protect your sensitive skin is equally as important as finding which ones to opt for. Strong actives within skincare have long been hailed as the products that are going to get results. The reality is ingredients like vitamin C, acids and retinol overly force skin cell turnover, and for those of us with an already compromised skin barrier or sensitised/sensitive skin, natural sources are a much better match. This is because a more reparative and restorative approach is taken with natural skincare, where the focus is on building back the health of the skin, as opposed to forcing new skin cells to the surface. This means you can achieve significant results with a more gentle approach. 

Interested in what you hear? Why not reach out for an extensive 1:1 consultation with our founder Agi. At Vemel we understand that it’s impossible to recommend a product for a specific concern as all skin is different and we each experience different challenges, so a tailored approach is a must to find exactly what works for you. Agi has been busy with so many 1:1 consultations and with her extensive knowledge and love of all things skincare has been able to help so many customers heal their skin and achieve the results they’re looking for!

Ultimately, knowing the type of sensitivity you are dealing with allows you to effectively manage your trigger points, knowing what might cause a reaction to the skin means you know how to avoid a reaction in the first place – all it takes is a little time, a little attention, and a few nature driven skincare products.

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