Actually, your skin might be sending out an S.O.S. right now.

Is your skin red, itchy, blotchy, flaky, or easily irritated?

All signs point to your skin being over-sensitive! But before you conclude that you have sensitive skin, you might be suffering from sensitised skin instead. 

Reports have shown that about 60% of the women population over-claimed to have skin sensitivity. The truth is, fewer people have sensitive skin in actuality. 


So what’s the difference between sensitive skin and sensitised skin? Keep reading as we share how to differentiate between the two, plus, the emergency remedies for it!

Often misunderstood, what is the real sensitive skin?

If you have skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis, welcome to the official sensitive skin club! 

You may wish to change it, but unfortunately, you can’t when you’ve won the genetic lottery. Sensitive skin is a skin type that you are born with. Unlike normal or healthy skin, your hypersensitivity does not just go away (sorry to speak, you have to live with it for the rest of your life). Don’t despair just yet because it can still be managed over time. 

The difference is, sensitive skin is more delicate and structurally different from others. To be more specific, your protective barrier is typically thinner and weaker. One common sign is that your skin may look “transparent” as you can see the blood vessels and veins beneath it. 


Irritants easily penetrate your skin layers and cause skin inflammation. Thin skin makes it more vulnerable for irritants to enter faster, which also explains why your skin is more reactive. It is also often accompanied by dryness as your thin skin has issues with retaining moisture or increased trans-epidermal water loss to the environment.

What happens when an irritant enters your skin? You may experience burning, itching, redness, or even peeling – it is your skin’s natural anti-inflammatory response! This happens when your skin feels threatened and counteracts by sending your immune system into overdrive mode. 


Though it can’t be “fixed”, we’ve got it covered!

We know exactly what it feels like when your eczema starts to flare up! Don’t be stressed (because stressing can make it even worse). Please stay calm!


Life may not be fair to your skin, so you may just have to put in that extra hard work and effort to compensate for what your skin is lacking. Do provide your skin with extra-extra protection! The key is to focus on building and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. 

1. Invest in skincare products with emollient ingredients and key actives such as ceramides, jojoba oil, and squalane to nourish, hydrate, and strengthen your skin barriers. 

2. Avoid using harsh skincare ingredients that may further strip away your skin layers such as strong acids and peels. Of course, you should still be exfoliating with mild and safe exfoliators.

Your skin does not belong to the above? Stop being so “sensitive” about it! 


Jokes aside, it’s no wonder why most people confuse sensitive skin with sensitised skin as even people with normal skin type may experience sensitised skin from time to time. You’re not alone!

Also, the good news is: it’s not permanent. Yay! 

Unlike sensitive skin, sensitised skin is a skin condition that is acquired and may be caused by various factors. The symptoms are the same, such as dry/dehydrated skin, as well as red and inflamed skin. It may also be restored overtime, or come and go by eliminating the triggers such as:

  • Environment

It’s common to experience winter rashes in cold climates as the environment strips away up to 25% of your skin’s moisture. Excessive hot showers and baths may lead to skin redness or even peeling. Constant exposure to heavy air pollution and UV rays may also damage the skin barrier and cause sensitised skin. 

  • Lifestyle 

Poor diet, heavy smoking, certain medications, and overconsumption of alcohol may weaken your skin’s structure and trigger sensitive skin symptoms. 


For the majority, it’s due to the wrong usage of products such as over-cleansing and excessive exfoliation (are you guilty of it?) or the overuse of skincare with high concentrations of retinol and/or chemical peels for prolonged periods. 

  • Physiology

They are right about the pregnancy glow! Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can also affect your skin’s sebum production, and therefore affecting your skin’s barrier. 

And interestingly, stress also has a great influence as it decreases your skin’s immune system function and its ability to self-repair (so we ain’t kidding when we say don’t stress).

  • Intrinsic Factors

Ageing is an inevitable process of life, and as we age, our skin’s regenerative ability will slow down, making it more susceptible to external aggressors.

P.S. If you have sensitive skin to begin with, it may also be further sensitised through the above triggers.


So, what now? 

1. It’s of course to get your game plan on! These triggers can be eliminated. All you need to do is to identify the root causes and nurse your skin back to its optimal health. 

2. While you are monitoring your skin closely, it’s time to go back to the basics! Keep your skincare routine simple by paring down to what’s necessary. 


3. Steer away from skincare products that contain strong acids, and high concentrations of retinol and Vitamin C for the time being. 

4. Focus on restoring and strengthening your skin barrier with soothing serums that calm and hydrate your skin. Slather on moisturisers with nourishing oils and prebiotics to rebuild the skin barrier and increase your skin’s resistance to external aggressors.

5. Eliminate irritations and always conduct a patch test before using any new products to make sure that they are suitable for your skin. 

SOS emergency remedies:

For a fail-proof solution, our Limited Edition ést.lab ActivCalm Quick Soothing Ritual Kit is a must-have. Inside this rescue kit includes our ActivCalm Quick Soothing SOS Serum to calm and soothe, ActivCalm Anti-Stress Hydra Cream to strengthen and hydrate, and a Limited Edition Rose Quartz Skin Soothing Cryo Massager to cool down angry skin.

Other than these treatments above, you may also like to try out other products from ést.lab’s ActivCalm range that’s purposefully formulated to relieve sensitive skin from genetic influence or triggers. 

You’ve asked and we’ve answered. Treat your sensitive and sensitised skin with these remedies pronto! Because the longer you wait, the worse it may get…


Don’t worry if you need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us for help. 

In good hands,