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VMV Hypoallergenics Answers: What Is Sensitive Skin?

For those with sensitive skin, VMV Hypoallergenics is a dream come true. Founded by a leading dermatologist/dermatopathologist, all of the brand’s formulas are created to be as allergen-free as possible, omitting 76 of the most common allergens, including fragrances, dyes, parabens and preservatives. This week, the brand is kindly sharing its unique insight into the world of complexion issues—and dispensing pertinent advice for people of all different skin types and concerns.

What is sensitive skin? Sensitive has become a bit of a catch-all term to define a wide variety of skin conditions, from medically-managed diseases to acne and everything in between. It does cover a broad range of concerns but, strictly speaking, ‘sensitive’ refers to skin that tends to experience sensations like stinging, burning, prickling, tingling, itching, or slight pain, with or without redness, swelling or other signs of irritation. (A tendency towards acne isn’t usually considered sensitivity.)

What causes sensitive skin? There are several possibilities including contact or photocontact dermatitis, which are allergic or irritant reactions to chemicals (including natural extracts—remember natural ingredients are also chemicals). Most people who develop such reactions have an allergic tendency, often with a background of atopic dermatitis, asthma, rhinitis, or reactions to drugs or to their jewelry, foods, clothing, cosmetics, or other things. Dry weather can either cause or worsen sensitivity. And if skin gets so dry that it cracks, microorganisms can enter the fissures and cause more dryness and sensitivity.

Both men and women can have sensitive skin, although it is somewhat more common in women. The reason for this may be that women tend to use more products. Men’s rituals tend to be more limited and change little over time. A good rule of thumb: the more products in use, the higher the risk of a reaction.

What to do? Think defense. Prevention alone, if accurate and consistent, can mean vast improvements. Avoid allergens and irritants. If your skin is very sensitive, ask your doctor for a patch test to identify the substances you need to avoid. In the cold months, be extra generous with skin-safe moisturizers. Here’s wishing you the best of skin health!

If you have sensitive skin, consider investing in any of VMV’s hypo-allergenic products!

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