Sensitive skin and sensitised skin are not the same thing. While both may sound similar on the surface, the good news is that sensitised skin can be cured — sensitive skin cannot.

The reason why sensitive skin cannot be cured boils down to genetics. It’s a genetic issue that leaves you with skin prone to blushing redness and allergies. Sensitive skin is also normally thinner, which means that blood vessels are closer to the surface and easily irritated. While you can’t get rid of it permanently, you can use calming, gentle skincare products that won’t aggravate the skin.

On the other hand, sensitised skin is a consequence of external aggressors. Think pollution, stress, climate changes, diet, smoking, makeup, or even changes in skincare products all contribute to having sensitised skin. If you find your skin becoming more fragile than it used to be, it could help to take a long, hard look at the skincare products you’re currently using. If you tend to use certain acids aggressively, you might want to put a stop to it in the meantime and allow your skin to heal.

Thankfully, sensitised skin can be alleviated. All you need to do is improve your skin’s natural barrier and eliminate the external factors that cause skin sensitisation. While we know it may require Herculean effort to rid the city of pollution, at least the beauty industry has evolved to provide anti-pollution skincare to the masses. You can also take into account several skincare tips to help minimise irritants that may cause sensitive skin.

Picture: Unsplash/ Noah Buscher

The first step is to pare down your beauty routine. Do you often switch between skincare products? Perhaps it’s time you stuck to the basics rather than pile on the serums, acids, and creams. Less is more in this instance, so stick to a gentle cleanser, hydrating toner, a calming serum, and a lightweight moisturiser. And as always, never forget sun protection. The next step you should take is to hydrate your skin. Sensitised skin equals to dehydrated skin, so be sure to lock in all that moisture with some hydration-friendly products. Try to avoid exfoliating your skin in the meantime, as scrubs and acid exfoliants tend to irritate the skin further.

Then, it’s time to treat sensitised skin with a targeted serum. The key here is to check for ingredients that will calm and soothe skin.

In recent years, tiger grass — or Centella Asiatica — has become a trending skincare ingredient thanks to several notable Korean skincare brands including it in their calming skincare range. Tiger grass is a traditional herb that was discovered in China after its people noticed tigers rubbing themselves against the grass to heal their wounds. In modern times, tiger grass is used to calm redness in the skin. Other calming ingredients include aloe vera, green tea, turmeric, and even oats. Not sure where to begin looking for serums that contain these ingredients? We’re here to help. With these serums designed to combat sensitised skin, you’ll soon be on your way to calmer, happy skin.

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.