Itchy/sensitive skin - what can you do?

The ESK blog

Itchy/sensitive skin - what can you do?

25 May 2022

So, you have skin that is itchy irritable and sensitive? Me too!

Here are our top tips to combat sensitive skin;

1. Avoid your triggers. Once you’ve identified your triggers, avoid them like the plague

2. Go for skincare ingredients that help combat sensitive skin;

a.) Sunscreen

Sun is a common trigger for people with sensitive skin so a sunscreen is critical. Dermatologists recommend mineral or inorganic sunscreens that contain zinc oxide for people with sensitive skin. Chemical sunscreens tend to be more irritating. Mineral-based sunscreens primarily reflect ultraviolet radiation (and secondarily absorb UVR).

b.) Niacinamide AKA Nicotinamide/ Vitamin B3

This ingredient has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and skin barrier repair qualities. This is why it is recommended for inflammatory skin conditions including acne, rosacea and dermatitis. It’s also very well tolerated.

c.) Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the largest component of the extracellular matrix- the skin’s scaffolding. It is critical for maintaining hydration and elasticity in the skin, as well as for tissue healing. Losing HA from your skin, leads to loss of skin moisture. For this reason, it is increasingly used in skincare targeting dry and sensitive skin. But not all HA is equal. High molecular weight HA that is used in many serums doesn’t penetrate the skin barrier and instead sits on top of the skin. That’s not necessarily all bad news. It sits on the skin where it forms a barrier, locking in moisture and even attracting water from the air. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acids easily penetrate the skin but can be pro-inflammatory. So having a combination of molecular weights above and below 300kDa is ideal for hydration.

d.) Ceramides

Ceramides are important parts of the skin structure, and apart from maintaining structural scaffolding in the stratum corneum, they also play an important role in moisture retention and skin repair. While the evidence is still emerging, it seems that adding ceramides to skincare can reduce inflammation in the skin. They also improve skin barrier and hydration. There are so many ceramides. Which ones should you look for in your skincare for sensitive skin? Go for phytosphingosine, ceramide I, ceramide III and ceramide VI-II which have the best evidence.

3. Be cautious with certain skincare ingredients;

a.) Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) 

These chemical exfoliators are well known triggers of skin sensitivity.

b.) Vitamin C

Despite its anti-inflammatory effects, Vitamin C products can cause irritation.

c.) Chemical sunscreens

In order to get a high SPF, many sunscreens rely on organic (also known as chemical) sunscreens. Many are irritating and dermatologists suggest using them with caution. 

4. Avoid certain skincare ingredients altogether

a.) Soaps and cleansers with a pH at or above 7

b.) Perfumes in your products
These have a high risk of allergic reactions, especially for people with sensitive skin.

c.) Anything to which you have had a previous reaction


The good news is, we've created a Sensitive Skincare kit designed with powerful ingredients, yet gentle enough to manage sensitivity! And people are loving it...

Anti-Aging Sensitive Skincare Kit

Anti-Aging Sensitive Skincare Kit

A kit designed for sensitive skin that is soft enough to not irritate but strong enough to target fine lines & wrinkles.

  • Boost hydration and brighten skin
  • Rebuild collagen
  • Fight visible signs of aging 

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