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Reactive Skin

What is Reactive Skin?

Reactive skin, commonly known as sensitive skin, is the skin type that causes people with sensitive skin to have irritation, stinging and burning sensations with any topical application. Reactive skin conditions are more sensitive to different factors of varying harshness that are tolerated by normal skin.

Causes and Triggers

Reactive skin can be genetic but the level of skin sensitivity varies from person. The causes of reactive skin can include both environmental aggressors and external factors.

Environmental factors include:

  • Drastic changes in the environment
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Wind
  • UV rays exposure

External factors:

  • Spicy foods
  • Fragrances
  • Alcohol
  • Fabrics and dyes in clothing

Visible Signs of Reactive Skin

Reactive skin is characterized by an unpleasant sensation and visible reactions when the person comes into contact with the stressor whether it be environmental or external factors. Skin sensitivity varies from person to person, which is why reactive skin conditions are difficult to address. Some visible signs include:

  • Cracked and dry skin
  • Broken blood vessels presented in rosacea
  • Inflammation
  • Red rash
  • Tenderness


While you cannot fix reactive and sensitive skin, it can be relieved with facials and special treatments. Going to the spa to receive facial treatments that help target reactive skin can help soothe any flare-ups. This is done by using active ingredients and hydrating serums that will keep your skin refreshed, cleansed and soothed. Facials for reactive skin should contain limited ingredients that are gentle and fragrance-free. Ingredients that help alleviate sensitivity should be included such as products with hyaluronic acid.

Sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 or higher should be worn daily as a protective layer to your skin. Sun exposure is a major contributor to skin irritation. Additionally, remember to keep your body hydrated by drinking fluids and using a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type as it is known that dry skin can cause reactive skin.

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