Skin sensitivity and its symptoms, including redness, itching, and stinging and burning sensations, are now a top skincare concern among consumers globally. The figures speak for themselves, as between 2001 and 2017, incidences of sensitive skin among women increased by 50% in the Western world and as much as 56% in countries such as Japan1.
When developing skin care ingredients that will support brands launching products to address any consumer trend it is essential to understand all the factors involved. DSM has therefore carried out a new consumer insight study in China to find out more about why so many people there experience skin sensitivity and what personal care solutions they are looking for. In addition to gathering consumer insights, which have long been a key aspect of DSM’s trends research, for this study we also interviewed dermatologists. People often seek help from dermatologists when they are experiencing skin sensitivity, so understanding the perspective of other stakeholders supporting and influencing consumers has an important role to play in bringing appropriate skin care solutions to market.
Common triggers of skin sensitivity
Sometimes there can be genetic reasons for skin sensitivity or it can be caused by allergies. However, the dermatologists interviewed also see skin as a protective barrier that can easily become imbalanced by external factors. They identify various triggers which while not directly causing skin sensitivity can certainly exacerbate the symptoms. Some of these, such as environmental pollution, or cold, dry air in the winter and humidity and sun in summer are more or less impossible for people to change. This is not the case however with factors such as diet, lifestyle, and, above all, skin care habits.
Skin care habits and skin sensitivity – a vicious circle
Dermatologists point to three skin care related triggers for irritation and sensitivity: using the wrong type of skincare product for your skin; over-using skincare products; and excessively harsh cleansing regimes involving scrubs, brushing and exfoliation.
Wanting to purify and deep cleanse the skin at the end of each day is a natural response of consumers, especially after exposure to smog and dust. However, if the products people use aren’t suitable for their specific skin needs or are too stringent then this causes the skin to thin and show signs of sensitivity. To address this people may then step up their cleansing routine, making the skin even more sensitive – so they introduce even stronger products that weaken the skin barrier even more. And so the cycle goes on.
Wanted - new skin care solutions for sensitive skin
With so many consumers experiencing the symptoms of skin sensitivity there is a clear need for new, targeted solutions. Products that soothe unpleasant sensations and repair and protect the skin barrier have an essential role. And, to help consumers break the cycle of skincare over-use and misuse, – in terms of both products and active ingredients per product.
To build on the valuable insights coming out of its study, DSM has developed a number of ready-to-use formulations for customers looking to bring sensitive skin care solutions to the market. As mists are popular, we have developed a soothing spray that contains ALPAFLOR® SCUTELLARIA AO - our natural and organic certified skin care plant extract proven to soothe irritated skin and protect the skin barrier. This natural skin care bioactive is also featured in our ultra-comforting transforming mask along with our Alpine “survival star” ALPAFLOR® EDELWEISS AO, an organic certified skin care ingredient for an effective skin barrier protection.
Start to formulate now and download our full line up for sensitive skin.