Causes of skin sensitivity

Do you feel like your skin is not quite as it should be? Well, you may have sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is not technically a clinical condition – instead it’s a term used to describe skin that overreacts to things that for most people normally wouldn’t cause a reaction. Sensitivity includes:

  • Occurrence of unpleasant sensations like stinging, burning, itch, and tingling in response to stimuli that normally should not provoke these sensations
  • No marks, sores or any visible skin disease that would explain these sensations
  • Skin can appear normal or there can be redness
  • Sensitive skin can affect anywhere on the body, especially the face

There are many factors that are thought to contribute to sensitive skin, such as:

  • Gender; women tend to report sensitive skin more than men
  • Menstrual cycle; hormonal differences have been linked to skin sensitivity
  • Age; the older you are the more likely you are to have sensitive skin
  • Environment; exposure to weather conditions like wind, sun or cold can contribute to skin sensitivity

The outermost layer of your skin, the stratum corneum (SC) or skin barrier, has been connected with skin sensitivity. People with sensitive skin have been shown to have disruptions in the lipids that hold the skin cells together in the SC. This can lead to the skin barrier not working as it should, making it more susceptible to potential irritants. In fact, the SC of people with sensitive skin can be easily disrupted, and must be cared for accordingly.

Normal-to-sensitive skin care routine

A key step to protect and maintain the skin barrier for normal-to-sensitive skin is hydration. Proper hydration helps your skin barrier to recover from any damage and to maintain its ability to protect you from potential irritants. If your skin is sensitive, ensure you look for a moisturiser that doesn’t contain ingredients that can potentially irritate, such as fragrances or dyes, to ensure you’re supporting the barrier function without making sensitivity any worse.

You can also try to use soap-free cleansers and always use sun protection.

Benefits of DermaVeen OatActiv+® for normal and sensitive skin 

The DermaVeen range with OatActiv+® hydrates & protects dry & sensitive skin by locking moisture in, and soothing skin prone to itch and irritation, so it helps skin get back to how it should be. OatActiv+® is a 100% natural Colloidal Oatmeal that provides benefits in 6 ways:

  1. Hydrates by acting as a natural emulsifier and humectant, to soften skin.
  2. Prevents skin moisture loss.
  3. Soothes skin prone to itch and irritation through antipruritic and antioxidant properties.
  4. Protects by restoring the fatty matrix between skin cells helping replenish the skin barrier.
  5. Balances the skin’s normal pH levels*.
  6. Supports skin barrier restoration and repair.

Explore the DermaVeen range here, and feel the DermaVeen difference yourself.

*DermaVeen washes, lotions and creams are pH balanced

Getting to know your sensitive skin

If you’ve ever experienced sensitive skin, you’re not alone. Despite sensitive skin not being a condition on its own, it is recognised as a syndrome where your skin overreacts to things that should not normally cause a reaction. From stinging, burning, itching, or tingling, the cause of your sensitive skin can be individual (like gender, age or environment) or due to a physical disruption in the outermost layer of your skin.

Colloidal Oatmeal is an ideal ingredient for sensitive skin, as it can form a protective layer that not only reduces skin water loss, but also soothes, hydrates and nourishes skin.

Frequently asked questions about sensitive skin


Treatment of sensitive skin first involves addressing any underlying causes and avoiding things that trigger sensitivity. Management involves using soap-free cleansers, non-irritating moisturisers that contain ingredients such as Colloidal Oatmeal or ceramides, and sun protection.


Due to potential defects in the skin barrier, sensitive skin may be more prone to dehydration.


If you have sensitive skin, try to use a soap-free cleanser as well as a non-irritating moisturiser.


As the main difference in products for sensitive skin is the lack of potentially irritating ingredients, they should be fine to use on normal skin.


Moisturising sensitive skin can help the skin barrier keep water locked in to hydrate the skin and if the moisturiser contains colloidal oatmeal it can form an additional protective layer on top of the skin.



No, dry skin can be a cause of sensitive skin, but dry skin can also be a condition on its own.