What is "sensitive skin" and what can I do about it?

“Sensitive skin” is a term used by individuals who perceive their skin to be more reactive or intolerant to skincare products than the general population. It is a self-diagnosed condition. There is no clear medical definition or accurate diagnostic tool for “sensitive skin.” Individuals with “sensitive skin” most typically experience stinging, burning, itching, or tightness when a skincare product is topically applied.

General recommendations for individuals who have “sensitive skin” include:

The use of skincare products with the fewest ingredients.

Avoidance of skincare products that contain retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids.

The use of fragrance free moisturizers, cleansers, or sunscreens.

The use of physical sunscreens (those containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) over chemical sunscreens.

The use of soap-free cleansers (either a mild cleansing bar or a mild liquid cleanser.)

A thorough evaluation by a dermatologist.