Is your skin sensitive?

At Simple® we believe that skin is born to be sensitive. With everything our skin has to tolerate – the weather, air conditioning, stress, pollution and more, it’s no surprise it sometimes gets a little irritated.   When we talk about sensitive skin, we aren’t talking about a skin type; we’re talking about all skin. Because it’s just how skin naturally is. And that’s no bad thing. Our skin is a living organ and it’s designed to tell us when something isn’t right.  Blemishes, dryness, tightness, breakouts, redness; these are all signs that your skin is sensitive. At Simple®, we understand how skin works,  we appreciate what it goes through every day and are considerate about what skin needs (and what it does not). Because skin is born to be sensitive, Simple® is born to be kind.

How skin works Read more

Skin is amazing! Did you know it is the largest organ of your body and the only one you can see! Your skin is essentially made up of 3 layers. Let’s start with the top layer:
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1. The Stratum Corneum – or ‘The Barrier’ as we call it
This layer is made up of dead epidermal cells, which are held together by a special waterproof cement. Even though this Barrier layer is pretty tough, but just like a wall it can crack and leak if it is not looked after properly or if something damages it. And if this happens, you may well experience signs of sensitive skin. Thankfully this layer replaces itself almost once a month, but by being kind to our ‘top layer’ you can keep it looking and feeling at its healthy best every day.
2. The Epidermis – we like to call this the ‘middle layer’
In the Epidermis, new cells are produced. These cells are called keratinocytes and they go through a process called ‘terminal differentiation’; it’s the process of change from a normal cell into the special building blocks that make up the Barrier layer. During this process they even make their own natural cement.
3. The Dermis – the ‘bottom layer’
Finally, the ‘bottom layer’, the Dermis. The Barrier and the Epidermis layers have no blood supply of their own, so all their needs are provided by the Dermis. Tiny blood vessels called capillaries carry nutrient and oxygen rich blood very close to the Epidermis, giving it the fuel it needs. Whereas the Epidermis is nearly all cells packed tightly together, the Dermis is nearly all a matrix. We don’t mean the Keanu kind; the matrix we’re talking about is made by cells called fibroblasts. It’s this dermal matrix that gives the skin support, plumpness and flexibility. It’s made of proteins including collagen and elastin, and lots of water.
The three layers of the skin sit on a layer of fat. We don’t usually think of having a layer of fat as a good thing, but when it comes to your skin, this layer is vital for much needed support and cushioning.

What is Sensitive Skin? Read more

Have you ever experienced slight red patches on your skin, areas of dryness or blemishes? Maybe even itchy skin, a tingle, tightness or a stinging sensation? These are all signs of skin sensitivity.
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So what causes this?   Our skin Barrier should keep things that will irritate your skin out, however for your Barrier to work properly it must contain the right amount of moisture. We expose our skin to many things that can dry our Barrier out or weaken it: air conditioned offices, centrally heated homes, harsh chemicals, cold weather and too much sun are common examples. Another thing that is important to your skin Barrier is its PH level. At the surface of your skin the pH is 5.5; this is slightly acidic. Your Barrier can cope with changes in pH at the surface but regular or big changes in pH will also weaken your skin Barrier.
Our skin is a living organ and it’s designed to tell us when something isn’t right. Our nerve endings sit right underneath the skin Barrier at the very top of the living layers of the skin and they detect everything that comes in contact with your skin, 24/7. The nerve endings that detect harsh chemicals, pollutants and irritants usually have nothing to do at all! Until of course the Barrier gets weakened and something gets through the Barrier that should not. All your skin cells are programmed to react if they detect something they don’t think should be there. And it’s these reactions that can lead to redness, tightness, a stinging sensation, blotches or breakouts.
So that’s how external factors can impact your skin, but your skin can be affected from the inside too.   Hormones are needed to keep your skin healthy and are brought to your skin by the tiny blood vessels in the lower layers. It is the job of hormones to tell every cell in your body what it should be doing. Most of the time the hormones’ message for your skin is– “just keep doing today what you were doing yesterday”.     However, there are times when there are sudden and dramatic changes in your hormones (maybe the time of the month, when you are stressed, during pregnancy or during your teenage years), which can cause your skin to react, again leading to redness, dryness, or maybe blotches or breakouts.  

What causes skin sensitivity? Read more

There are many things that can cause sensitive skin. Read on to discover what could be affecting yours; some of them may surprise you!
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1. The environment – outside and in

2. Dirt and pollution

3. Hard water

4. Cleansing

5. Lifestyle

6. Hormones

7. Stress

8. Diet and hydration

9. Ingredients in skincare products

10. Clothes and jewelry

11. Household cleaners

Can age effect skin sensitivity? Read more

A lot of women tell us that their skin has got more sensitive as they have gotten older. The good news is that skin generally becomes less sensitive with age, however there is a reason that it can often feel like the opposite.
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The rate at which the skin replaces its Barrier slows down as we get older, so skin can take longer to repair . So, when you skin is sensitive, you may notice it for longer. Research suggests that we can be sensitive to different things throughout our lives. For example younger people are more likely to say stress causes skin sensitivity while cold weather affects those of us mid-life. Hot weather and rough fabrics can aggravate older skin. So, no matter what your age, it makes sense to be kind to your skin and avoid upsetting it with harsh ingredients because skin sensitivity can impact all of us, regardless of age.

Skin type, ethnicity and skin sensitivity Read more

Skin sensitivity can affect us all; regardless of skin type and ethnicity. However, what causes sensitivity can vary.
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Caucasian skin tends to have more visible symptoms, such as redness, and it’s more likely to react to climate changes – like wind. Darker skin tones are less sensitive to UV light because it contains more melanin, while Asian skin is more likely to react to certain foods, such as spicy foods. All skin is unique and what triggers skin sensitivity for one person may be very different to another, even if we belong to a similar ethnicity.

Men and sensitive skin Read more

Men can experience sensitive skin, especially as it’s subject to daily shaving.
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To make shaving a little kinder to your skin, shave after a shower; the warm water will have cleansed the pores and hair follicles in your face making your shave less abrasive. Always finish your shaving regime with a soothing balm or moisturizer.

Our Top Tips for Sensitive Skin Read more

So now you know what can cause sensitive skin, but how can you decrease the sensitivity and improve the look and feel of your skin?
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With 50 years of knowledge and expertise here are our top tips to help you with your sensitive skin.

1. Choose the right products

2. Hydration

3. Adjust with the seasons

4. Stress Less! 

5. Sun exposure

6. Get a good skincare routine in place

7. Be gentle 

8. Quit smoking 

9. Find the right foods for you 

10. Deep sleep 

11. Patch test  

12. Keep skin fresh and clean! 

Sensitive skin terminology Read more

Some of the terminology used when talking about sensitive skin, products and ingredients can be very confusing. So here’s a little breakdown of all the key terms to help you makes sense of sensitive skin.
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Dermis — The dermis is a layer of skin below the Epidermis and consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain.
Sensitivity — This is a result of a reaction to something.
pH balanced — Human skin has a pH of 5.5. Pure water has a pH very close to 7. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. pH balanced means that the formulation has been carefully produced to ensure it’s suitable for skin.
Allergen —An allergen is any substance that can cause an allergy. 
Irritant — Something (e.g. an ingredient) which causes skin to become inflamed or painful. 
Rash — A rash is a change of the skin which affects its color, appearance or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell and may be painful.  
Hypoallergenic — a cosmetic or product which has been formulated specifically for skin which tends to be sensitive to reduce the chance of reaction.
Dermatology — the branch of medicine dealing specifically with skin and its diseases. A doctor who specializes in this area is called a Dermatologist.
Dermatologist tested — this means a product has been tested by a qualified dermatologist to ensure it is safe for use on skin. All Simple® products are dermatologically tested.

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