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Sensitized Skin: Expectations vs. Reality.

From what we’re seeing in the treatment room, sensitized skin is on the rise. You may be thinking - what is the difference between sensitive skin and sensitized skin? Sensitive skin is a skin type that is reactive or easily irritated, while sensitized skin is a temporary disruption of the skin barrier.

What Is Your Skin Barrier?

Your skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin and determines how healthy your skin is, protects from external stressors like UV radiation and pollution, and helps retain water to keep your body and skin hydrated.

Dealing with stress and anxiety, over-using active skincare ingredients, or taking prescription medications, such as Accutane, can cause a damaged skin barrier.

How Can You Tell If Your Skin Barrier Is Damaged?

  • Your skin may feel dry, itchy or rough

  • You have inflamed acne

  • Your skin may be dehydrated (lacking water) or look dull

  • You have a skin condition called Rosacea

  • You may have delayed wound healing

What Can Cause A Weakened Skin Barrier?

  • Smoking

  • Stress

  • Overusing acids / over exfoliating

  • UV radiation / sun exposure

  • Too dry / too humid if an environment

  • Allergens

  • Pollution

  • Prescription medications like accutane

Since we’re seeing more clients come into the treatment room with sensitized skin, we’re relying more on facial treatments focused on hydration and barrier strengthening. At Chateau Glow, when a client comes into our treatment room with concerns of excessive dryness, dehydration, irritation or redness, we know exactly how to help with these concerns.

We specially designed the Glow Up Facial to address all skin concerns including sensitized skin. This facial has over 60 different ways to customize each treatment depending on the client’s concern each visit.

Our go-to approach focuses first on rehydrating the skin and using skin pH balancing ingredients such as plant stem cells, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid. We also use therapies such as Nano-Infusion or O2 Infusion to refresh and strengthen the skin barrier. As for delayed wound healing or depuffing the skin, Gua Sha or facial lymphatic are our favorites to incorporate into our treatments.

We finish treatments with a Hydrojelly mask or LED light therapy - both of our finishers are ideal for soothing and calming inflammation.

What To Avoid When Experiencing Sensitized Skin:

Skin Treatments

These treatments typically include more aggressive exfoliation and will take a bit more time for the skin to recover. These treatments include:

  • Microdermabrasion

  • Chemical peels

  • Dermaplaning

  • Laser resurfacing

There are more things than you would think that should be avoided at home when dealing with sensitized skin.

  • Over exfoliating: specifically using harsh exfoliating scrubs or strong percentages of AHA/BHA.

  • Retinoids or otc retinol

  • Products with heavy fragrance/essential oils, alcohol and sulfates

  • Taking very hot or very cold showers

To repair a damaged skin barrier, it’s important to focus on hydration and protection. Using a gentle cleanser (either a creamy or gel consistency) morning and night. Using an occlusive moisturizer that contains ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, or aloe vera and daily sun protection are a must. After some time, you can add a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid or antioxidants as your next step up. It may take some time to rebuild your damaged skin barrier, but don’t give up! Focus on following a simple routine, and your skin barrier will be healthy in no time!


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