Sensitive skin is a common condition but given its subjective nature, it is often difficult to accurately pinpoint frequency in the human population.
Scientific literature does suggest that its occurrence is high - with between 60-70% of women and 50-60% of men reporting some degree of sensitive skin.1 This makes the condition a prime opportunity for new product development of topical products that can assist in alleviating symptoms.
While the term ‘sensitive skin’ generally refers to inflammation-prone skin, it is a highly personalised condition that varies from person to person. The disorder is commonly thought to occur as the skin’s protective barrier breaks down. To make classification easier, it is classed into objective and subjective symptoms.
Objective signs refer to the physical changes observed in the skin, including redness, swelling or sores, while subjective symptoms refer to itching, burning and pain sensation often experienced by the affected person.
While most of these symptoms can be treated topically and by avoiding certain irritants, it is important to remember that skin irritation can also be a sign of a more serious and underlying condition. It is therefore advisable to visit a dermatologist if these symptoms persist - even with the use of topical products that are specifically targeted at assisting a specific skin condition.
Common causes of sensitivity
Certain medications, especially those for hypertension can cause dehydration - resulting in dry and irritated skin. Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during the menstrual cycle can also affect the skin, as can medication used during cancer treatments. Other causes include:
- Contact Dermatitis
This refers to inflammation that occurs in the skin when exposed to an irritant. Laundry detergent for instance can cause minor damage to the surface, and in response, your body tries to protect itself from this perceived threat with an immune response.
Dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin, can also be caused by an allergic response. When your skin has an allergic response, it means your immune system is in overdrive and the body will try to protect itself by releasing T-cells.
This skin condition causes redness and swelling in the face and neck. It can start as flushing of the cheeks and sometimes spread to the ears. It is believed that fair-skinned people and those with a family history are more at risk.
Also referred to as atopic dermatitis, this condition causes dry, itchy patches of skin to appear. Usually, eczema occurs in children, but it can also happen in adults. People will get rashes in these areas that are usually itchy and bumpy. On darker skin, this may be harder to see.
Photodermatoses is an abnormal reaction to sunlight within the skin itself. In people with this condition, the UV rays in sunlight may trigger a person’s sensitive immune system, causing a reaction in the skin. A reaction to sunlight in someone with photodermatoses could cause a rash, blisters, or scaly patches to appear on exposed skin. The reaction gets worse the longer the sunlight touches the skin.4
How Oleon can help
Hypoallergenic moisturisers and lotions may reduce dryness without irritating sensitive skin, but the ingredients in the formulation depend on the type of skin sensitivity. For instance, people with very dry skin may respond well to ingredients such as urea or lactic acid, while simple oils, such as shea butter or coconut oil, may work better for others..5
Specialist skincare is one of the largest growing segments in the health and beauty market. At Oleon, our Radia® and Jolee® ranges offer excellent performance for the development of skincare products that target sensitive skin while ensuring less greasiness and a unique sensorial touch. The products are stable across a wide range of water in oil and oil in water formulations too.
Widely used ingredients in this application are:
Why not contact our highly trained and specialist team to assist you with the correct information on how to develop products for the skin care sector? Contact us today for more information.