5 lifestyle factors causing sensitive skin and what to do about it

Banish dry, tight and itchy skin this winter by understanding what might be causing it and how to soothe it. 

Itchiness, dryness or redness are common symptoms associated with sensitive skin – a problem that is on the rise and affecting more and more people every year.

The main problem: a dysfunctional skin barrier. Your skin barrier is made up of the outermost layer of skin cells (corneocytes) suspended in a waxy layer of lipids (forming the skin’s lipid bi-layer). Over-washing or damage from the environment strips away these essential lipids, leaving gaps between the corneocytes. Your skin’s moisture escapes through these “gaps” causing your dry skin, and it also allows impurities to enter your skin, causing sensitivity.

Take a look at these five lifestyle factors that are known for causing sensitive skin: 

  • Stress: When we stress, our bodies produce stress hormones, known for causing inflammation. These hormones may aggravate sensitivity. Stress is also a big trigger for conditions like eczema and psoriasis
  • Soap and detergents: Some soaps and detergents contain harsh surfactants that may affect the skin’s barrier function, leading to dryness and sensitivity. This may include the soap you use to wash your hands and body, your laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid.
  • Diet: Food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies may cause skin upset for some people, resulting in redness, itching, rashes etc. This may include – but is not limited to – sensitivities to gluten and wheat, dairy, peanuts, eggs and more. 
  • Hot showers: There’s nothing like a hot shower in winter, right? But sadly, contact with hot water may increase sensitivity and dryness. That’s because hot water strips skin of its natural moisture and protective oils, making it prone to dryness and discomfort. Hot water may also damage the keratin cells in the epidermis, preventing them from locking in moisture. Wash your face and body with lukewarm to warm water instead.
  • Change in temperature: The cold winter months are generally the time in which dryness and sensitivity is at its worst. It’s also the time in which most people, who suffer from eczema or psoriasis, experience flare-ups. Low humidity, colder temperatures and icy winds reduce our skin’s moisture levels, making it difficult to retain moisture, often leading to redness, dryness, sensitivity and flaking.

How to restore dry and sensitive skin in three steps:

  1. Rehydrate: While applying moisturiser gives your dry skin instant relief, it is only a short-term solution. Rehydrating the skin is only one half of the job – you need to also repair the skin barrier, otherwise, you’ll need to keep applying moisture and the skin doesn’t return to its normal healthy state. 
  2. Repair: The key to long-term healthy skin is to rebuild your skin barrier. Choose a skin care product that contains a proprietary type of lipid-restore ingredient – Ceramide-P – that rebuilds your skin barrier while it rehydrates for smooth, supple and itch-free skin on your face and all-over body – any time of the year. 
  3. Protect: Once you’ve restored the skin barrier, you need to protect it to prevent future damage. Opt for a product that also corrects your skin’s pH levels, which in turn will boost skin health and immune function. 
Containing Ceramide-P, Niacinamide, Amino Acids and Shea Butter, this skin treatment is ideal if you’re suffering from Sensitive Skin Syndrome. Source: Lamelle

TRY: We love Lamelle’s Serra skincare range, designed to sooth, treat and protect dry, sensitive and itchy skin. If you have SSS (Sensitive Skin Syndrome) – a dermatological medical condition different to regular dry and sensitive skin – then Lamelle Serra NSB Cream (R770.00) may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Serra NSB Cream was created for those suffering from Sensitive Skin Syndrome, a diagnosable associated neuro-sensitivity condition, or those who’ve experienced some relief with the Serra range but require even more assistance in alleviating hypersensitivity. It contains Ceramide-P, Niacinamide, Amino Acids and Shea Butter.

For more information on sensitive skin, visit Lamelle Research Laboratories.


For more on beauty, visit Get It Magazine.

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