What causes skin to react?

What causes skin to react?

What is reactive skin?

Reactive skin, otherwise known as hypersensitive skin, is a very common type of skin sensitivity, where skin can show visible symptoms such as dryness, redness, irritation, bumps, contact dermatitis and allergic reactions, skin reaction lines and bruising — or non-visible symptoms such as burning, itching or stinging sensations.

While there is no definitive cure for reactive skin yet, understanding how your skin barrier and function impacts upon your hypersensitivity flare-ups can help you to relieve and reduce its symptoms. So, here’s all you need to know.

What triggers reactive skin?

There are three key signs and symptoms that are commonly experienced by sufferers of reactive skin — a compromised skin barrier, hyperreactive sensory fibres in the epidermis, and redness (often as a result of inflammation).

Simply put, the skin's structure is like a brick wall. The skin cells are bricks, and everything else is the mortar that holds it together with ceramides and fatty acids. The skin barrier helps to protect your body from external aggressors and locks in moisture to help keep your skin balanced and healthy-looking. If your skin barrier becomes compromised, you’ll experience an increase in trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), which means your skin will be unable to fend off external aggressors and irritants — such as certain skincare/beauty products, cleaning products/chemicals, pollution and even climatic factors such as sunlight that can cause skin reactions to the sun’s rays — as efficiently — which can result in hypersensitivity.

What causes uncomfortable skin sensations?

In reactive skin, the over-stimulated sensory fibres in the epidermis react much faster and stronger than those in balanced skin, triggering unpleasant and uncomfortable skin sensations often described as stinging, burning or feelings of tightness — none of which show any visible symptoms.

In more extreme cases, these non-visible symptoms can be accompanied by dryness and bumps or redness. Although these are all symptoms commonly associated with breakout and blemish-prone skin, unless they are accompanied by the unpleasant physical sensations this isn't considered to be reactive skin.

What’s the difference between reactive skin and Rosacea?

Similarly, redness can lead to Rosacea when experienced alongside the sensations, but redness is not exclusive to hypersensitive skin, and Rosacea is a disease unlike reactive skin. Rosacea requires the correct course of treatment, prescribed by a medical professional, while reactive skin is a skin concern that comes and goes.

Make your goal futureproofing your skin barrier

Helping to reinforce your skin barrier is the key to helping alleviate the symptoms of reactive skin. A stronger skin barrier means that fewer aggressors and irritants will be able to penetrate the skin, which in turn means that you’ll experience less irritation and fewer reactivity flare-ups.

Our hero ingredients to help soothe reactivity

  • White Mushroom Extract: Rich in antioxidant phenols, White Mushroom Extract (Albatrellus Confluens) helps reduce signs of sensitivity and prevents skin redness.
  • Beta Carotene: A potent antioxidant, Beta Carotene (from Green Algae) helps protect skin against sensitivity-tiggering free radicals.
  • Camelina Sativa Seed Oil: Rich in omega 3 and 6, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil helps strengthen the skin barrier and reduces feelings of irritation.

Want to know more about which of our bioactives are best for your specific skin concern? Our bioactive Ingredients Glossary will tell you all you need to know.

Our 3-step routine for rapid relief from reactive skin 

Hypersensitive skin doesn't need to be a burden. With the right skincare routine, it can be brought back into balance, and sensitivity and redness can be soothed. 

Step 1Evercalm™ Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask. Clinically proven to significantly calm, soothe and reduce skin redness after 30 minutes, it delivers immediate comfort for irritated skin and a weekly calm-maintaining face mask for sensitive and reactive skin, thanks to our powerful White Mushroom (Albatrellus Confluens), which acts like a topical painkiller.  

Step 2Evercalm™ Redness Relief Serum. Clinically proven to visibly reduce redness after only 30 minutes, while soothing signs of sensitivity in seven days (including, dryness, itching, discomfort, flakiness, tightness or burning sensations), this silky serum is an everyday go-to for calming the visible signs of reactive skin. It’s also infused with our unique Defence Complex, so it’s proven to strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier and help protect from pollution too. 

Step 3Evercalm™ Barrier Support Elixir. Clinically proven to help repair and strengthen the skin barrier withing 14 days, this lightweight facial oil has been created to combat dryness and signs of hypersensitivity or irritation. Packed with 7 naturally nourishing oils, the soothing microbiome-friendly formula contains 100% natural-origin ingredients that leave skin instantly feeling more supple, comforted and hydrated.