It is tight, itching, and burning; there are skin flaking and reddened skin… Are you slowly losing patience with your skin? Take a deep breath. Your care needs just a little more time and attention.
The experts of Kneipp Skin Research have therefore addressed dry and sensitive skin and for this particular purpose developed a special care line ((link to the landing page Almond Flowers Soft Skin)).
Diagnosis: Do I Have Dry and Sensitive Skin At All?
For the condition of dry-sensitive skin, there is still no clear scientific definition. Generally, it often responds with high sensitivity to influences that are not a problem for normal skin: Thus, the skin has a low tolerance and is easily irritated.
Among other things, this is due to impairment of the skin barrier. This protective coat is like a shell on our skin and prevents it from drying out, from pathogens and from intrusion of contaminants and irritants. In dry skin, however, the natural protective layer is disturbed. One reason: Fat and moisture are lacking. Many processes of the skin are reduced to a minimum. In addition, the skin’s own moisturizing factors such as urea may be lacking.
This becomes noticeable – in the form of visible (clinical), non-visible (subclinical) and measurable (objective) symptoms.
Dry and sensitive skin is therefore not necessarily visually recognizable. Sometimes only invisible symptoms occur: constant burning, tingling or itching. Visible signs are redness, skin flaking or swelling.
- At a glance: Measurable changes that lead to dry and sensitive skin
Measurable changes in dry-sensitive skin Dermatological effects increased transepidermal water loss the skin loses moisture and dries out lower density and thickness of the stratum corneum permeability to pollutants increases elevated pH value of the skin surface the skin barrier becomes fragile and sensitive disturbed hydrolipid layer of the skin surface the skin surface becomes dry and flaky disturbed lipid matrix within the skin barrier the skin loses moisture and elasticity
- Environment and temperature
Environment and temperature
The seasons play a big role, as both in winter and in summer the skin is greatly affected by external factors. In addition, cold- and heat-induced temperature fluctuations caused by heating air and air-conditioning systems dry the skin up and make it more vulnerable. Long-term sun exposure additionally leads to reduction in the skin barrier function.
Occupational groups that have frequent contact with water or chemicals are particularly prone to develop dry and sensitive skin. For chemicals corrode the skin barrier, making it more permeable to pollutants. Work with surfactants, organic solvents, coolants or metals can cause either direct damage to the skin barrier or trigger immunological reactions.
- Hormonal influences
Hormonal changes in the body, such as during puberty, pregnancy or during menopause, can lead to dry and sensitive skin, as the barrier function decreases. Many women report sensitive skin especially in menopause, which is probably due to the fact that the skin becomes thinner and thus more susceptible to negative environmental influences.
In addition to hormonal, age-related changes of the skin, there are other physiological changes over the course of life: Thus, Kneipp® skin research was able to prove that with age the resilience of the skin decreases sharply due to increased skin pH. The skin becomes more sensitive and more susceptible to external influences, and skin regeneration is slowed.
- Individual predisposition and skin diseases
Individual predisposition and skin diseases
Various systemic diseases such as diabetes or renal or thyroid disorders can promote loss of skin moisture and thus dry out the skin. Skin diseases such as psoriasis or atopic eczema likewise lead to increased skin sensitivity by doing damage to the skin barrier.
In science, many other causes for the emergence of sensitive skin are being discussed. For example, stress, smoking, diet, medication, and excessive use of cosmetics are responsible for the occurrence of sensitive skin conditions.
How Do I Take Care of Dry and Sensitive Skin?
Even hot water already dehumidifies the skin. Anyone who thinks that applying a thick layer of moisturizer is all that is needed will be disappointed with the results. “More is better” does not apply in the care of dry and sensitive skin. Regular and especially appropriate care is what matters.
The active compounds thus need to counteract the processes that lead to dry and sensitive skin. Kneipp’s experts consider mineral oil-based care products as unsuitable for the care of dry and sensitive skin. They have a negative effect on the regeneration of the skin, as they are occlusive, i.e. form a film on the skin.
Rather, nourishing and moisturizing substances that support the function of the skin barrier are the basis of suitable products. The further basic requirements are good compatibility and low allergenic potential.
Almond oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and panthenol, for example, have been found in studies to meet these requirements. They are therefore also part of the Kneipp Care Series Almond Blossoms Soft Skin. This includes particularly mild cleaning and care products specifically developed for the needs of dry and sensitive skin.