Sensitive vs. Variable Almost every client that I’ve had in my chair would say they had sensitive skin. Given the amount of things that we use on our skin on a daily basis that cause us to break out, get blotchy, itch or burn, not to mention what we rotate in and out of our routine, I would argue that more skin types are variable. There are people with truly sensitive skin, but most likely your skin is temperamental based on other factors. There are so many things that influence our basic skin type, here are just a few:
- Etc, Etc
You probably have a good idea of what skin type umbrella you fall under: dry, oily or combination. All of those simply relate to your oil/water balance. There are also other combinations such as oily with acne, dry and sensitive, combination that gets more oily or dry depending on the season. If you use something on your skin that it doesn’t like, it lets you know, that doesn’t mean you have sensitive skin.
What to do When Your Skin Reacts
If the reaction is immediate and severe, of course, stop using it. But, sometimes it’s not as immediate and the reactions can be cumulative. You also don’t know if it could be your makeup or your skincare, depending on how many things you might have added to either routine. As an example, for about a week I noticed I was breaking out with little red spots all over my cheeks, forehead and chin. I had added quite a number of things to both my makeup and skincare routine (i.e., primer, serum, new moisturizer, new foundation). In order to figure out what was causing it I took these steps:
- Ask, what am I using that’s new?
- Decide which one would most likely be causing the irritation
- Stop using new item(s) and go back to any old faithful or something you used before that you know does not irritate your skin
- Give your skin a day or two, if possible, without make-up
- Continue to monitor your skin for any new signs of irritation once you’ve discontinued using the product(s)
The reason for going without a make-up for a day or two is to determine if it’s a skincare product or a makeup product that is the culprit. In my case, it was the new moisturizer I was trying that did not agree with my skin. I stopped using it, went back to something I had used before, went without make up for two days and treated the spots with Mario Badescu’s Drying Cream. Voila, Clear skin! So is your skin sensitive or variable?