Sensitive Skin: Have We All Become Hypersensitive When It Comes To Skincare?

After a relatively mild October, a harsh winter chill seems to have set in and it's wreaking havoc with our skin!  With sales of skincare specifically designed for delicate skin types on the rise, is it possible that we have become a nation who are now overly obsessed with having sensitive skin?

According to Beauty4Media, a report published earlier this year estimated that sales of sensitive/gentle skincare products is worth more than $202 million, with the majority of sales coming from the facial cleanser and facial moisturizer segments. 

Sales trends also reflect this shift towards natural skincare with 71% of facial skincare users saying they are interested in ultra-gentle products. Sensitive and gentle skincare products are also capturing a greater percentage of facial cleanser and moisturizer sales.

So it would appear that consumers are opting for a pared down approach, as almost a quarter of facial skincare users saying they look for products with natural, organic ingredients.

22% seek out products that are free from certain ingredients like parabens or fragrances and 21% are interested in items that are designed specifically for sensitive skin.

What is driving the sales of sensitive skin products though - is our skin more sensitive than ever due to the changing climate? Or are we simply becoming an increasingly cautious nation when it comes to making skincare-purchasing decisions?

Dermatologist Dr. Robin Stones, Medical Director at Courthouse Clinics suggests we could be to blame.

"The subject of skin sensitivity is becoming a frequent topic of conversation -- I have certainly seen an increase in the number of people who come into the clinic saying they have sensitive skin," the doctor said.

"Women are very committed to caring for their skin, but they're often diagnosing themselves with new issues and use so many new products to solve them that they develop irritation." 

"Cleansing religiously, exfoliating too often, and topping it all off with a generous layers of topical products are just a few of the things that can send our complexions into overdrive."

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