The role of the skin barrier
With more and more people self-identifying as having sensitive skin, it is fair to say sensitive skin is a common concern.
In patients with no associated condition, it is increasingly felt that our modern-day hygiene practices, including daily washing with harsh soaps and cleansers, are inhibiting our skin’s barrier function and leaving it vulnerable and sensitive to the outside world.
Skin is the body’s largest organ and one of its most vital. No thicker than a human hair, it helps regulate our core temperature and functions as a gatekeeper to trap hydration in and keep allergens and irritants out.
To understand how daily washing and cleansing can lead to sensitive skin, it is useful to think of our outer most skin layer, known as the stratum corneum.
Cleansers can disrupt both the skin’s barrier function and the skin’s ecosystem which can lead to sensitive skin. This is why it is very important to pay attention to its formulation.
My prescription tips to choose a cleanser for sensitive skin
When it comes to cleansers for sensitive skin, I suggest :
- Must be formulated with a pH similar to the skin
- Contain low-irritating surfactants
- Formulated with the fewest amount of ingredients and at the optimal dose
X Harsh, abrasive surfactants like sulphates
X Allergenic fragrance