Sensitive vs sensitised skin: A guide to caring for both

When it comes to skincare, there are a few skin types that get bandied about: dry, normal/combination and sensitive. The latter, you might identify with - and think you’re treating it - but you might be surprised to learn…you’re not. Here, we breakdown everything you need to know about sensitive skin. Are you born with it? Is it preventable? How do you best treat it? Consider this your definitive guide to caring for sensitive skin.

Do you actually have sensitive skin?

So, you’re in the dermatologist seat and they ask you, “what’s your skin type”. Without hesitation, you answer, “sensitive”. Your skin is constantly switching between dry and oily, prone to irritation after using new products and redness is a recurring issue. Surely you have sensitive skin, right? While you’re not alone in thinking that – with searches for ‘sensitive skin’ nearly doubling in the past five years – it’s not quite that simple.

Sensitive vs sensitised skin

So, what’s the difference? In a nutshell, both sensitive and sensitised skin share the same symptoms, hence why they’re easily confused. Think redness, dehydration, itching and flakiness. Sensitised skin is not a skin type. It’s a skin condition triggered by external lifestyle factors like diet, stress, UV rays or seasonal change, as well as reaction to skincare products. The good news: You do it to yourself, and you can undo it to yourself.

On the other hand, sensitive skin is something you’re born with – but thankfully, can be easily managed. That’s where the right skincare comes in. You might be surprised to learn that most sensitive skincare ranges are formulated to be gentle on sensitive skin rather than actually treat it. That is until now. In a New Zealand grocery first, Glow Lab, has launched a range of affordable, natural skincare formulated to actually treat skin sensitivity.

Glow Lab Sensitive is a complete regime of four products, which use scientifically proven, active ingredients that work together to not only soothe irritation and repair the natural barrier function, but also provide relief from future sensitivity flare-ups. What makes this range a cut above, is the clinical studies behind the active ingredients. “We started researching the triggers behind sensitive skin and sourced scientifically proven active ingredients to address and reduce the signs of skin sensitivity,” explains Dr. Gillian Worth, Head Chemist at Glow Lab.

Left: Fenella's skin before using Glow Lab Sensitive Right: Fenella's skin after

The hero ingredients

SymRelief100®: A natural blend of anti-irritants which soothe and reduce redness and irritation by up to 49 percent after two days.

True Calm™: A blend of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plants including liquorice and green tea, to soothe skin and reduce inflammation by up to 59 percent.

Byungpul Extract™: Sourced from the centella asiatica plant, it acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and healing agent reducing skin sensitivity by up to 47 percent after 10 days.

 To prove the natural range works, Glow Lab sent the new range out to some customers with sensitive skin to put it to the test themselves, before it hits shelves. And well, the results speak for themselves. 

Left: Ben's skin before using Glow Lab Sensitive Right: Ben's skin after

Glow Lab Sensitive is available at leading supermarkets nationwide.