Do you ever feel as though your skin reacts to everything?
Do red, irritated patches appear everywhere?
To understand skin irritation, it is important to first understand the anatomy of skin inflammation..
What is inflammation?
Inflammation begins as a response by the body to keep out infection.
When our skin gets damaged, it sets off a number of biological events involving the blood vessels, cells and the immune system.
If a foreign body like pollen impairs the immune system, this creates inflammation referred to as immunogenic inflammation, cells get killed off in the wounded area, and the surrounding cells register this as danger.
In response our immune cells come rushing in, sending out chemical messages that mean danger, this action attracts white blood cells our warrior cells, the primary agents for fighting off intruders.
They put up a great fight, releasing a toxic mixture of hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals to destroy the unwelcome foreign bodies, such as viruses, cellular debris and bacteria.
This process results in the pain, redness, swelling and heat, associated with inflammation.
SO TO RECAP
- Some of the chemicals released by the hero white cells reach all the way to the dermis.
- Once there, they engorge blood vessels creating a histamine action.
- This raises the temperature of the wounded site, killing the invading foreign bodies.
- This in turn creates inflammation, making skin appear sensitized and irritated.
Fortunately after a while, the body does go back to its natural homeostatic state.
Other causes of inflammation
Skin can also become inflamed, after it has repeatedly been exposed to UV rays and pollution, which creates tiny micro scars within the skin, this can be caused by even the smallest amount of sunburn.
Even stress can be a contributing factor, which is the first step towards premature ageing.
Fortunately there are some exciting anti-inflammatory ingredients emerging, among them copper peptides and Vitamin C, when these two ingredients are combined, they can make a real difference to the vitality of your skin.
These are my in-clinic tips that I recommend to those suffering from inflamed, sensitive skin
- Use gentle products: This won’t necessarily guarantee you won’t have a negative reaction, but it does imply that the product you use may not contain common allergens
- Intelligently formulated products: Look for those containing anti inflammatory ingredients such as Canadian willow herb or turmeric powder, non steroidal ingredients, that calm and soothe even the most sensitive of skin conditions.
- Ensure they are free of alcohol, even natural grain alcohol: This is far to astringent for sensitive skin, or really any type of skin
- Ensure they are hypoallergenic: This terminology usually implies that common sensitizers have not been added to the formula
- Ensure they are Fragrance-free: This is really important because synthetic perfumes are the #1 cause of allergic skin reactions. None of our products use artificial perfume, and many of them are specifically designed for calming inflammation in the skin, such as SOS soothing complex.
- Sulfate-free: Harsh and irritating detergents like Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate should be avoided at all costs.
None of the Naked Chemist products contain any of these harsh, irritating ingredients that will compromise the acid mantle and protective barrier.