Skin isn’t as sensitive as you might think. In fact, the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) acts as a protective barrier for your body, keeping harmful substances out and locking moisture in. However, sometimes your skin’s natural defences can become weakened, which compromises the moisture barrier and leaves your skin susceptible to external irritants, such as harsh ingredients and allergens. Some people believe this to be sensitive skin, but it is more accurately known as reactive skin.
There are many reasons why your skin might become reactive. One of the main causes is trans epidermal water loss (TEWL). Water is very important for healthy skin. Cold weather and central heating, hot weather and air conditioning can deprive skin of its moisture, leaving it feeling dry, sensitive and reactive. Dirt and pollution can also weaken the skin’s natural barrier and make it more reactive.