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SENSITIVE SKIN

WHAT IS SENSITIVE SKIN?

Sensitive skin describes a skin type that reacts to irritants, allergies or even autoimmune diseases. This skin type is more prone to inflammation, but the symptoms of inflammation may differ from person to person, often manifesting as various reactions including itching, redness, burning and dryness or even acne, rosacea or contact dermatitis (a type of red, itchy rash).

 

​Discover some of the common triggers that can irritate sensitive skin, and how to best care for your skin the Wild Leaves way.

IN SHORT...

Sensitive skin presents in a wide variety of ways such as:

1. Subjective symptoms
2. Visible symptoms

Stinging, itching, redness, dryness, sunburns - with or without an accompanying rash.

Scaling, peeling, bumps, hives, eczema, patches of redness, rashes

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What can we do about it?

Treating sensitive skin typically involves finding and eliminating triggers, using gentle home remedies to treat the symptoms, diet alterations and finding supportive products for your skin’s needs.  

THE WILD LEAVES SKINCARE RITUAL

FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

Our face wash, algae serum, face oil, and rich cream skincare routine are great for moisturizing and hydrating, supporting well-aging, and protection against the elements. Anti-inflammatory Adaptogen Chai & Adaptogen Turmeric Gold have ingredients to naturally return cells back to their normal healthy state.

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HYDRATATION

Sensitive skin reactions are triggered by irritants leading to inflammation

Finding out what triggers your skin to have a reaction in the form of rashes or irritation is key to soothing the symptoms and finding relief. Here are some general triggers for sensitive skin:​

  • Local reactions to chemicals, fragrances or dyes that come into contact with your skin

  • Clothing or friction due to certain substances that may react on the skin

  • Underlying conditions

HYDRATATION

GUT HEALTH

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

The epidermis (skin’s outer layer) is more permeable.

The composition of the barrier layer, hydro-lipid film and epidermis is more fragile than in normal skin due to weak corneocytes and a lack of lipids. As a result, the skin is less able to defend itself against off pH values, bacteria and other invadors than skin with a barrier layer intact.

What exactly happens in sensitive skin?

Langerhans cells (LCs) reside in the epidermis and keep surveillance in the skin against intruders. When a danger signal goes off, for example, as a result of infection or when the physical integrity of skin has been compromised, they give the T cells the green light to react. Together with cytokines, they create an inflammatory response and use messenger substances to stimulate other cells to also release pro-inflammatory substances. Other inflammatory substances include histamines. This entire inflammatory process stimulates the production of skin cells called keratinocytes. The inflammatory process caused by cytokines and histamines ultimately leads to itching and inflammatory skin changes. (rewrite)

An interesting face about Langerhan cells: They are not only found in the skin. But as dendritic cells that play an important role in the immune system, they are mainly distributed in the epidermis. Since at least 70% of the immune system resides in the digestive system, balancing one can mean balancing the other.

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GUT HEALTH
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Regenerative capacity of the skin

Corneocytes, keratinocytes & other important barrier cells

Keratinocytes are the major cell type found in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), making up about 90 percent of the cells there. They are formed at the basal layer just above the dermis and go through a process known as differentiation as they move up through the skin’s layers and turn into cells, such as corneocytes (described more below). They play an essential protective role by forming a tight barrier that prevents foreign substances from entering the body. They also minimize the loss of moisture, heat, and other constituents in the skin.

Keratinocytes are responsible for restoring the epidermis following injuries. When the epidermal barrier is injured or when pathogens enter the skin, an inflammatory response is triggered: keratinocytes become activated and migrate to the wound, where they start proliferating. 

Sensitive, inflamed skin often reacts with all symptoms at the same time: redness, tightness, scaling and itching. Inflammation helps the body locate the foreign substance, fight it, and directly reseal any injuries. The area becomes red, thick, warm and scales form, as all these symptoms are supposed to protect the body from the intruder. Unfortunately, this is not the case here and this inflammation response causes irritations on the skin.

We just talked about how keratinocytes make up about 90 percent of the cells in the epidermis. Through the process of differentiation, these cells are called corneocytes – keratinocytes in their last stage of differentiation – and compose most if not all of the stratum corneum (outermost part of the epidermis known as the skin’s “brick wall”). 

The outermost cells of the skin are actually dead cells! These cells are made mostly of the protein keratin and are continually shedding to be replaced from below. This process of desquamation (shedding) means corneocytes, also known as squames, are regularly replaced from lower epidermal layers, making them an essential part of the skin barrier property.

Corneocytes contain small molecules called natural moisturizing factors (NMFs), which absorb small amounts of water into the corneocytes, creating hydration in the skin. You may have heard the term NMFs before as they are often found in skincare products, too. Amino acids, for example, are a constituent of natural moisturizing factors. 

Keratinocytes and fibroblasts form a type of communication that is essential for maintaining skin homeostasis and for ensuring a balanced wound-healing process. Disruption of the communication can lead to chronic wounds.

How to avoid triggers and minimize symptoms?

People with sensitive skin may also be able to minimize symptoms by:
 

Taking shorter showers and baths that last less than 10 minutes

Avoiding using very hot water for bathing and washing the hands

Steering away from harsh fragrances, detergents, or other chemicals​

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Saying no-thanks to harsh chemical cleaners​

Patting rather than rubbing the body dry

Testing new products on a small area of skin before applying them to more extensive areas

Using fragrance-free, hypoallergenic products, such as soaps, deodorant, and detergent

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