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Sensitive Skin with Pigmentation

According to research, fifty percent of all women worldwide consider themselves to have sensitive facial skin. Asian skin is considered to be one of the most sensitive skin types.

Many women with sensitive skin do not know why they suffer from sensitive skin. What does this really tell the skin care professional? Is the sensitivity because of cosmetic fragrances and / or preservatives? Is it triggered by ultraviolet exposure, allergens or pollutants? Perhaps it is a hereditary component that puts them at risk?

There are many types of “sensitive” skin reactions including dryness, itching, rashes and epidermal fissures. In order to minimize the chances of exacerbating sensitivity, avoid daily use of highly alkaline soaps that can be detrimental to preserving the integrity of the all important lipid layer. Gentle synthetic detergent or mild surfactant cleansers should be used.

People with sensitive skin should avoid stimulating and drying products and situations such as alcohol, scrub, heat, steam, sauna, hot water, direct heat on the face including from blow dryers, extreme environmental conditions, the sun and spicy foods. Irritants and sensitizing ingredients can be harsh detergents, chemicals, essential oils, fragrances, color agents and preservative. All of these can cause sensitive skin reactions.

Fragrance additives are listed as the top offenders that cause many medical skin conditions such as rosacea, acne and atopic dermatitis. People with sensitive skin should use fragrance free products. For those to whom fragrance is important, skin care professionals suggest using a stand-alone fragrance applied to the hair only, not the skin.

Increased keratinization within the follicle

Regardless of ethnic background or skin color, hyperpigmentation is a condition that most people eventually will struggle with. Sun exposure causes darker pigmentation areas on the skin that we often want to diminish.

Skin will either appear lighter or darken than normal with uneven patches of brown to dark discoloration or freckles. Skin pigmentation disorders occur because the body produces either too much or too little melanin.

Melanin is the pigment produced by specific cells call melanocytes. It is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinanse that creates the color of our skin, eyes, and hair. Melanin is our natural protection against the daily onslaught of ultraviolet exposure on skin.

Melanin has two major forms that combine to create varying skin tones:

  • Eumelanin: the brown or black tinted melanin.
  • Pheomelanin: the yellow or red melanin that is more prevalent in blondes and redheads.

These pigments protect us because they deposit themselves closer to the surface of our skin in response to cuteneous inflammation, including that from sun exposure.

Those with a higher percentage of eumelanin tend to be less subject to developing skin cancer, while those with a higher percentage of pheomelanin have a much greater risk of developing skin cancer. New research is also indicating that exposure to ultraviolet rays can trigger sensitivity in the skin.