• Dr Sandy Scotnicki, Dermatologist - Sensitive Skin Expert.

    Our modern-day hygiene practices, including daily washing with harsh soaps and cleansers, are inhibiting our skin’s barrier function, leaving it vulnerable and sensitive to the outside world.

    Dr Sandy Scotnicki, Dermatologist - Sensitive Skin Expert.

The role of the skin barrier and the microbiome

With approximately 40 percent of the industrialized world self-identifying as having reactive or intolerant skin, it is fair to say that sensitive skin is a common concern.

 

And while it often coincides with eczema, dermatitis and rosacea, many people with sensitive skin do not have an associated dermatologic disorder.

 

In patients with no associated condition, it is increasingly felt that our modern-day hygiene practices, including daily washing with harsh soaps and cleansers, are inhibiting our skin’s barrier function, leaving it vulnerable and sensitive to the outside world.

Skin is our body’s largest and most vital organ. No thicker than our hair, our skin helps to regulate our core temperature and functions as a gatekeeper to trap hydration in and keep allergens & irritants away.

 

To understand how daily washing and cleansing can lead to sensitive skin, imagine our outer most skin layer, also known as the stratum corneum, as a brick wall with the bricks as our skin cells and the mortar holding the bricks together, as our natural oils or lipids.

 

The stratum corneum is inhabited by a community of microorganisms, known as the skin microbiome, which helps maintain the skin’s brick wall architecture by contributing to its optimal pH range of 4 to 6. The microbiome also plays an important role in supporting the skin’s immune system by preventing pathogenic organisms from invading.

 

Harsh cleansers can damage both our skin's barrier function and microbiome by stripping our skin off its natural oils (mortar), resulting in our brick wall to weaken and break down. Our skin thereby loses its ability to protect and defend itself from environmental stressors, allowing bacteria and allergens to enter the skin, which will lead to sensitive skin. This is why it is very important to pay attention to a product's formulation.

When it comes to cleansers for sensitive skin, look out for:

  • Formulated with a pH similar to healthy skin (pH 5.5)
  • Contain non-irritating surfactants
  • Fragrance-free
  • Formulated with minimal ingredients and at the optimal dose

Avoid cleansers with:

  • Harsh, abrasive surfactants such as sulphates
  • Allergenic fragrance

 

Both Sensibio facial cleansers have a pH of 5.5, are fragrance-free and contain ultra-mild cleansing surfactants that respect the skin barrier. Both products follow Bioderma’s minimalist formula protocols- using the minimal amount of INCI ingredients formulated at the optimal dose thereby reducing the risk of allergy or intolerance. This is especially important for those suffering from sensitive skin.

Hygiene & skincare

Sensitive skin

The Sensibio range

Symptoms of sensitive skin include tingling, overheating, tightness, feelings of discomfort, and diffuse or localised redness.

BIODERMA’s solution: Sensibio, a range dedicated to sensitive skin. In addition to the iconic Sensibio H2O micellar water, a cleanser for sensitive skin, the range includes cleansing and care products that are recommended by dermatologists: facial care products for sensitive skin, anti-redness products, and more. Choose the routine suited to your skin!