Rodan + Fields / Blog / Skincare Guides

RED ALARM: Why Is My Skin So Sensitive All of a Sudden?

Key causes and treatments for sensitive skin.

Rodan + Fields Soothe Regimen pictured on a mirror surface with a towel in a marble bathroom

Change is in the air and on your skin. Dryness, itching, stinging and inflammation can smack you in the face without a warning! It can happen any time of year. Those in the know understand how to help correct and prevent the red alarm. Learn to identify the triggers, adopt the best practices, and escape the dreaded temper tantrum on your face.

Why is my skin suddenly reacting to everything?

Your lipid (moisture) barrier consists of corneocyte cells glued together with protein and fats such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. Circumstances can dry the skin, break it down and weaken the barrier which becomes sensitive and no longer locks in moisture or keeps out environmental irritants.

What Is Skin Sensitivity a Symptom Of?

Sensitivity influencers include heredity, new products, skin treatments, over scrubbing, medications, mechanical abrasion (for example, irritation from a helmet or cap) or even a dirty cell phone. Environmental irritants include pollen, bacteria, pollution, extreme weather, high elevations, sun exposure, or wind.

How Do You Treat Sensitive Skin?

Reactive skin is sensitive, unpredictable and requires patience.  

  • Avoid these until your skin is stronger: Loofahs, buff puffs, wash clothes, deodorant soap, sulfates in soaps, sun exposure, chlorinated water, spicy foods, hot beverages, or alcohol.
  • Avoid washing your face/body with hot water or taking saunas and steam baths.
  • Decrease stress through exercise, yoga, meditation, or even by wrapping a cool towel around your neck. 

Next, take charge like a BOSS! Add a humidifier to moisturize the air and your skin. Wear and use natural fabrics; cotton, linen, or silk and clean them with hypoallergenic laundry detergent.

Even if the products are created for sensitive skin, ALWAYS patch test new skin + hair products 3X3: Apply each new product three times a day for three days on the same area to test for sensitivities. Better to have a small red spot than a full face uprising.

Shun the sun, seek shade, wear protective clothing, sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat. Think old style Hollywood!

Every day that you care for your skin– it cares for you. Strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier with Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Regimen for healthier, calmer, more supple-looking skin.  This nurturing skincare routine for sensitivity calms dry, itchy skin for better sleep and comfort and instantly soothes skin while it replenishes and protects from environmental aggressors.

But there is more! SOOTHE also helps your skin behave through unique advanced technologies created for reactive skin.

  • RFp2 skin-soothing technology balances and pacifies sensitive or stressed skin.
  • RF3 Antioxidant complex fortifies and protects against environmental aggressors.
  • Colloidal Oatmeal helps relieve dryness, itching, strengthens and comforts the moisture barrier.

A perfect companion to your SOOTHE Regimen is the SOOTHE Rescue Mask. This barrier-boosting mask instantly delivers softer, smoother, fresher-feeling skin while soothing dry skin + visible redness over time.  Be extra cool and keep SOOTHE Rescue Mask in the fridge (just like me! SO refreshing!)

But what about full body sensitivity?

Be aware that heat intensifies redness, may permanently dilate capillaries, and increases the risk of product irritation. Limit the warm shower to five minutes or your bath to 10 minutes. Pat your skin dry and apply one of the following moisturizers to help hold in moisture and comfort skin.

  • ESSENTIALS Daily Body Moisturizer helps retain moisture and conditions skin with Sunflower and Jojoba Seed Oils. RF D-cell technology comforts skin and tackles dry, flaky skin as it helps retain moisture.
  • For crepey or older skin use Active Hydration Body Replenish to drench skin and help prevent future moisture loss, resulting in younger-looking, younger-acting skin.

Final advice

  • Be patient with results
  • Be consistent and use the SOOTHE Regimen twice daily for better results.
  • Be inspired! Once you get your skin under control, slowly patch test and introduce new products such as the REDEFINE Regimen for aging skin.

Article by Mary Radford, RN

Mary Radford, RNBA, has an extensive background in Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, and Aesthetic Spas. She worked side by side with Dr Katie Rodan as a Registered Nurse in her Dermatology office before being recruited to Rodan + Fields in 2004, where she currently focuses on Field Education + Tools.

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