In the know: True North

What are the most common causes of stressed and sensitive skin and how should I advise clients to treat it?

There are a number of reasons skin becomes stressed and sensitive. Lifestyle choices can play a big role, as can genetics and weather.

Changes in the weather can have a huge impact on skin sensitivity, especially during the colder months when harsh weather and overuse of central heating can cause the skin to become dehydrated.

The sun can be extremely damaging to the skin barrier, causing sensitivity and irritation. Exposing the skin to harsh chemicals can strip it of its top layer, which removes the protective barrier.

Using the wrong products for the skin or neglecting your cleansing regime can similarly impact its sensitivity. Advise your clients to only use gentle skin cleansers, such as cleansing milk and toners and to avoid products with alcohol.

They should look for cleansers that contain hyaluronic acid, which can boost moisture and help revitalise the skin’s outer layer. Explain that they should never use steaming hot water on their face as this can remove the natural oils in the top layer of the skin.

They should instead opt for water that is just warm. Clients should also apply a good day cream to protect against harsh weather and pollution, and a deeply moisturising night cream to lock in moisture and help rebuild the skin during the night when it’s working its hardest to rejuvenate.

Jan R Behrens is the founder of skincare brand True North and the Future Face skin analysis system. Behrens has more than 20 years’ skincare industry experience and previously distributed brands including Decléor, Carita, Bare Minerals and OPI.