How your skin can react to harsh chemicals and irritants

Your skin will react in different ways to harsh chemicals and other irritants. You feel and see this reaction in different ways; itch, sting, tightness, redness, blotches and breakouts. These are the symptoms of sensitive skin.

All the sensations you feel through your skin are detected by the skins cells. One group of cells that does this are your nerves. Our research has shown that nerve endings sit right underneath the Barrier at the very top of the living layers of the skin. These detect everything that comes in contact with your skin, from the temperature of the air to the texture of your clothes.
The nerve endings that detect temperature and touch are working all the time. The nerve endings that detect harsh chemicals, pollutants and irritants usually have nothing to do at all! Until of course the Barrier gets weakened and you have something on your skin that gets through the Barrier that should not. Your skin detects this and you feel it as a tingle, tightness, sting or itchy sensation. Your skin’s way of telling you something is wrong.

We do not have nerve endings that can detect all possible irritants, but there are other cells that ‘patrol’ the skin looking for things that should not be there. In fact, all your skin cells are programmed to react if they detect something they don’t think should be there - clever isn’t it! These reactions can lead to redness, blotches or breakouts. Another way your skin tells you something is not quite right.

When it comes to applying products, if the product is too harsh your skin will let you know! Your skin is sensitive to that product!
Sensitive skin is a real phenomenon. Our scientists have shown that people who are sensitive to certain chemicals have more nerve endings that can detect that particular chemical. Studies have shown us that some people are naturally more sensitive to harsh product ingredients. It is impossible to know which chemicals and other irritants you could be sensitive to, everyone is different and there are many things we could come into contact with that we may be sensitive to. It therefore makes sense to use products that you know do not contain things that are known to cause irritation. Two skin care ingredients that are known to irritate are retinol and glycolic acid, these can be found in anti-ageing products. It is also the reason we never use artificial perfumes, colours or harsh chemicals in our products - they are unnecessary, so why risk them upsetting your skin?