DRUG­STORE HEROES

You may not have sen­si­tive skin, but you could still reg­u­larly ex­pe­ri­ence skin sen­si­tiv­ity. Kayce Teo nds out in Shanghai what you can do to soothe un­pleas­ant re­ac­tions said to be caused by in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal stres­sors.

Herworld (Singapore) - - NEWS -

There is such a thing as cheap and good.

Let me start by paint­ing a few sce­nar­ios: you travel be­tween cities with vastly dif­fer­ent cli­mates, and your skin feels dry and tight, even ak­ing in some ar­eas; you’ve just sur­vived a su­per­stress­ful work week, and red, itchy patches ap­pear on your cheeks; you try a new skin­care or makeup prod­uct that seems to set your skin on re.

Surely these re­ac­tions mean you have sen­si­tive skin? Or is your skin sim­ply go­ing through a bad phase be­cause of ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal stres­sors?

Peo­ple with sen­si­tive skin ex­pe­ri­ence burn­ing and tin­gling sen­sa­tions, dry­ness, tight­ness, itch­ing and more ev­ery day, be­cause their skin con­di­tion is writ­ten into their DNA (read: in­her­ited).

On the other hand, sen­si­tised skin is an “ac­quired” con­di­tion in which you oc­ca­sion­ally ex­pe­ri­ence the same symptoms as for sen­si­tive skin. The symptoms crop up when nor­mal skin faces trig­gers such as stress, or dras­tic changes in en­vi­ron­ment, life­style and di­etary habits. The symptoms may last days to weeks be­fore sub­sid­ing.

Bad skin mo­ments

Ac­cord­ing to a Lan­comecom­mis­sioned study by the In­sti­tut Fran­cais d’Opin­ion Publique (IFOP) – an in­ter­na­tional polling and mar­ket re­search rm – two in three of the 2,000 Chi­nese and Amer­i­can women sur­veyed have skin­sen­si­tiv­ity out­breaks at least once a year.

This year alone, global searches for “itchy skin”, “dry skin” and “skin ir­ri­ta­tion” each had 10,000 to 100,000 hits a month on Google.

And in Singapore, a poll of 50 women showed that three in four have ex­pe­ri­enced skin sen­si­tiv­ity, even though they may not have sen­si­tive skin. They have “bad skin mo­ments”, or chrono-sen­si­tiv­ity, as Lan­come terms it.

Bad skin mo­ments are caused by ex­ter­nal fac­tors such as UV rays and air pol­lu­tants, as well as in­ter­nal stres­sors like men­tal stress, hor­monal changes and fa­tigue. Your skin re­acts by go­ing into bat­tle mode – it starts pro­duc­ing free rad­i­cals to com­bat the “at­tack­ers”.

When skin ares up, it’s telling you that it’s strug­gling to fend off ag­gres­sors, and its bar­rier is weak­en­ing. A weak and thin­ning bar­rier means that nerve end­ings in the skin are more eas­ily stim­u­lated, lead­ing to fur­ther dis­com­fort. Other side ef­fects in­clude pre­ma­ture age­ing and dull skin, since the cells are un­able to func­tion well.

What you need

… is a so­lu­tion that soothes skin, helps re­pair its bar­rier, and makes it more re­silient – which is what Lan­come’s lat­est in­no­va­tion, Ad­vanced Genique Sen­si­tive ($120), prom­ises to do. The serum is said to hy­drate, soothe ir­ri­ta­tion and tight­ness, and stop tin­gling and burn­ing sen­sa­tions. Use it like a pre-serum (ap­ply be­fore your usual night serum) and ap­ply it nightly for a month at times when your skin has a bad re­ac­tion.

Dr Veronique Delvi­gne, sci­entic direc­tor for Lan­come, says the serum should im­me­di­ately soothe skin and re­duce red­ness by nearly 90 per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to the brand, although the serum soothes dis­com­fort after just one use, you should con­tinue ap­ply­ing it for a full month to reap the long-term benets: re­pair­ing the skin bar­rier, and giv­ing skin a boost so it looks more ra­di­ant and youth­ful. Dis­card the bot­tle after a max­i­mum of two months, as the for­mula is most po­tent at the point of “ac­ti­va­tion”, then grad­u­ally loses its ef­fi­cacy.

Po­tent com­bi­na­tion

The light­weight prod­uct is made up of an en­cap­su­lated an­tiox­i­dant blend (kept in a cap­sule within the bot­tle, and “ac­ti­vated” only when you push down and twist the cap to re­lease it), and a sooth­ing base that con­tains pro­bi­otics.

To ght off skin­dam­ag­ing free rad­i­cals, 98 per cent of the blend is made up of an­tiox­i­dants like fer­ulic acid and vi­ta­min E. The base, on the other hand, has three pro­bi­otics – lac­to­bacil­lus, bidobac­terium ex­tract, and yeast – to soothe skin, strengthen its bar­rier, rm it, and plump it up.

“Fer­ulic acid, de­rived from plant ex­tracts, is of­ten com­bined with other an­tiox­i­dants such as vitamins C and E to treat spots and fa­cial pig­men­ta­tion,” says Dr Tay Liang Kiat, con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist at Der­ma­tol­ogy & Surgery Clinic. “And emerg­ing ev­i­dence sug­gests that pro­bi­otics may de­crease the sever­ity of eczema, char­ac­terised by itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin.”

The prod­uct comes in a handy 20ml bot­tle, which makes it suit­able for travel (a ma­jor trig­ger of chronosen­si­tiv­ity), and en­sures you can nish us­ing it by the two-month mark.

Free of al­co­hol, lano­lin, min­eral oils, sil­i­cone and parabens, the serum boasts a nat­u­rally-de­rived, hy­poal­ler­genic fra­grance. It has been tested on women with all skin types – in­clud­ing sen­si­tive – but if you have con­di­tions such as eczema or rosacea, check with your der­ma­tol­o­gist be­fore us­ing it.

Although there is no limit to how many times you can use Ad­vanced Genique Sen­si­tive in a year, Lan­come re­searchers rec­om­mend that you ap­ply it only in times of peak skin sen­si­tiv­ity, which could oc­cur any­where from one to three times a year.

Bad skin mo­ments are caused by ex­ter­nal fac­tors such as UV rays and air pol­lu­tants, as well as in­ter­nal stres­sors like men­tal stress, hor­monal changes and fa­tigue.

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