Sensitive Skin: 4 Types and Treatments

Redness, flaking, blemishes, and irritation are all ways that sensitive skin can manifest, either alone or in combination. If you struggle with constant itching and redness, you probably devote a lot of time to finding a skin care regimen that treats your sensitive skin symptoms. However, it can be hard to tell which products will soothe your skin and which might make irritation worse. The best way to find products that treat and preserve your skin is to discover what causes your sensitivity problems. Your symptoms most likely come from from four types of sensitive skin issues. By identifying your symptoms, either alone or with a dermatologist, you can learn which types of skin care ingredients to avoid and which can help treat your sensitive skin.
This article will discus:

  • Four Types of Sensitive Skin
  • Sensitive Skin Treatment


Most sensitive skin falls under one of the following categories. Some sensitive skin conditions can overlap, so read thoroughly to identify where your sensitive falls.

Type 1: Acne

Acne can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Oily skin
  • Higher than usual levels of bacteria

The severity ranges from mild clogged pores to chronic inflammatory cases. On top of these major causes, many common skin care products and cosmetics contain ingredients like coconut oil and Isopropyl Myristate which can cause different grades of cosmetic acne. If you have acne, ask a dermatologist for safe product suggestions, or pay attention to the ingredients of your skin care products so you can find patterns for what irritates your skin. Also, consider environmental factors, including sun exposure, temperature, and humidity.

Type 2: Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic sensitive skin issue involving bumps, pimples, flushing, and even broken blood vessels on the face. Little is known about the cause of rosacea. Theories about its origin include:

  • Genetics
  • Too much exposure to the sun
  • Poor stability of the vascular system

Treatments with the best results include anti-inflammatory creams with caffeine, sulfur, sulfacetamide, and various antibiotics. They can help prevent facial flushing and also reduce the appearance of redness and inflammation. For some people, natural ingredients like green tea, chamomile, and licorice extract can calm irritation as well.

Type 3: Burning and Stinging

Burning and stinging of sensitive skin can be caused by a variety of substances. Many of them include acids and chemical exfoliants like:

  • Lactic acid
  • Azaelic acid
  • Benzoic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Vitamin C

Although these ingredients can all be effective skin care treatments for some people, they are often too harsh and irritating to be used on sensitive skin.

Type 4: Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is caused by either allergies or irritants. It takes the form of an inflamed rash that can burn, itch, and peel. The allergies may be caused by environmental factors like pollen and mold, or by ingredients in products used on your face. Either way, when your immune system overreacts to these allergens, it can cause redness on sensitive skin. Irritants can range from household chemicals and food preservatives to perfumes and colorants. A common test for these reactions is to rub the product or chemical on the skin and assess how the skin reacts over 24-48 hours. If you have a tendency toward skin irritation, it is best to avoid potentially irritating products with fragrances or colors whenever possible.


Once you narrow down your sensitive skin issue to one of the four categories, the next step is to find the treatment that proves the most beneficial. To start, try the following sensitive skin treatments:

  • Use gentle, unscented soaps and shower gels that hydrate the skin.
  • Apply lotions and moisturizers that contain shea butter or other protective moisturizers to continue replenishing the skin.
  • Eat healthier to increase the longevity of the skin.
    • Pick fruits and vegetables containing vitamins like A and C.
  • Drink water to maintain the skin and keep it hydrated.
  • Use sun block in the summer. This can prevent sun damage on already sensitive spots.

Try not to overload on products when you have sensitive skin; that can make it hard to know which products might be causing irritation. If you find an adult acne treatment or routine that works for you, keep using it; if unexpected reactions start, stop using that treatment and talk to your doctor. NV Perricone‘s skin care line features a number of products that are ideal for sensitive skin. If your issue is acne, the Skin Clear regimen can treat the blemishes without irritation or overdrying. The Gentle Cleanser soothes and calms with ingredients like Olive Oil Polyphenols and extracts of Green Tea Leaf and Chamomile. It pairs perfectly with the Nutrient Fortifier to smooth, hydrate, and refine even very red and peeling skin.

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12 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Well all i can say is help my skin hurts. I have tried so many products but they all irritate i am really hoping you can help. I am sensitive but dry but oily aaarrrgggghhhh please consider me

  2. [...] of cancer. So if you haven’t yet tried this great oil, now may definitely be the time to do so!Depression is something that affects around 1 in 7-8 people in America each year. By far one of the …ing that affects around 1 in 7-8 people in America each year. By far one of the biggest mental [...]

  3. The way we are is normal we should just leave it alone.

  4. My skin is dry and sensitive and I’ve tried so many different products. My favourite product line to date has been the trilogy sensitive skin line which I’m craving at the moment as my skin has just gone haywire! There cleanser is fantastic but I feel that I need another gentle exfoliating cleanser such as a gentle enzyme cleanser (which generally work well for me as they don’t have particles that irritate my skin) If you have sensitive be carefull not to strip the skin of moisture and alway use a gentle cleanser!!!!

  5. women should take care her beuty..its natural it needs to care

  6. i would love to be a product tester.

  7. [...] Sensitive skin can be broken up into four different types of skin issues, all of which are caused by slightly different genetic or bacterial issues. [...]

  8. I’m always trying products which claim to lessen the red skin my Rosacea causes, but I’m still looking for one that asctually works.

  9. I think its amazing that skin’s sensitivity is recognized as coming from a certian reason. My sensitive skin is from acne treatments or washes and then I’m fighting many probem issues opposed to just what I started with.

  10. I would be very curious to find out how the gentle cleanser compares to the citrus cleanser. That was the one recommended for me when I took the skin quiz, however I have been having such bad allergies lately that I am ready to change my sensitive skin answer from “somewhat” to “very”!

  11. I am exactly the person that had great skin all through high school, now in my late 30′s I keep getting hormonal and seasonal acne, sensitive skin, allergies to products, redness…you name it. I’ve seen Dr. Perricone’s products, but I’ve never used them regularly beyond a store sample. I’d love to see if this treatment could work for me.
    ~ Jordan

  12. I Love Perricone products and his books. Everyday people tell me how youthful my skin looks. I know it’s because of the Perricone products I use.