What causes skin to be sensitive or reactive?
Skin sensitivities or reactions can be caused by genetics, environmental factors, specific skincare ingredients or even age—or a mix of those elements. Different people also suffer from varying degrees of sensitivity.
Many skin sensitivities are the result of a compromised skin barrier—which can leave skin more susceptible to irritation (The skin barrier is the protective outermost layer of the skin.)
It’s also common to develop skin sensitivities later in life, which can sometimes be caused by biological changes or stress and can be complicated by the fact that skin becomes drier and thinner with age.
What ingredients should those with sensitive skin avoid?
A few common triggers are fragrances, sulfates (like sodium lauryl sulfate) and chemical sunscreen filters (like oxybenzone), as well as acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acid.
Another factor to consider is the pH of your skin. The ideal pH level of skin is around 5.5. The use of products that are too acidic or [not acidic enough] alter this pH and disrupt the skin barrier which leads to irritated skin. Our edited range of products for Sensitive skin types are specifically designed to balance skin PH and strengthen compromised skin barriers. Sulfate free ( as is the whole Freya + Bailey range) and essential oils/ fragrance free, they
What ingredients should those with sensitive skin look for?
We recommend fragrance-free products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin such as Hyaluronic Acid Balancing Serum and Heed Ultra Balancing Cleansing oil. They not only avoid using common ingredients known to trigger sensitivity but products such as Reboot Superfoods Resilience Face Moisturiser include ingredients like niacinamide, that can build the skin’s natural barrier and strengthen its resilience.
Also reach for products with hydrators like ceramides—natural lipids found in the skin—as they help to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Our Heed Ultra balancing Cleansing Oil is abundant with lipids and Omega 3,6,7, 9 which play a pivotal role in reducing inflammation, guarding against red, dry, and itchy skin by improving skin elasticity and barrier functions by sealing in moisture and preventing irritants from seeping into the pores. Omegas also reduce wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
Finally, it’s beneficial to choose a product with a pH level that’s similar to that of your skin. We state the pH levels of all products and have specifically designed the range to be balancing and aligned with the skin's own natural bio rhythm.
Besides skincare, what can people with sensitive skin do to help prevent flare-ups?
A gentle skincare routine is essential to keep sensitive skin healthy and strong, but lifestyle choices also come into play. To help prevent flare-ups, we suggest managing stress, maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet (spicy food can trigger flare-ups in some people), exercising regularly to improve blood circulation and quitting smoking as it depletes nutrients in the skin.