For those with sensitive skin, knowing which skincare products to add into your regime can be a challenge. This is particularly true when it comes to active ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, especially if you have ever experienced an unfavourable reaction to them previously which can understandably leave you feeling a little skeptical. 

Read on as we look at the different types of sensitive skin and learn some helpful tips for introducing AHAs successfully for this often-unpredictable skin type. 

What defines sensitive skin? 

Studies show that globally more than half the population identify as having sensitive skin. As all skin types have some degree of sensitivity, the concept of sensitive skin can be confusing so let us look at some key factors to help understand what typifies sensitive skin.  

For many people, sensitive skin is often just a temporary side effect which among other things can occur from being overzealous with skincare. Over exfoliating or combining too many actives all at once can sometimes cause the skin to become irritated and sensitised. The solution here generally involves discontinuing the contributing offenders and allowing the skin to return to balance and self-resolve before continuing with a modified, ‘less is more’ approach.  

True sensitive skin can be a little trickier to navigate than temporarily sensitised skin as it can tend to be hyper reactive even without over stimulation. This skin type may stem from a genetic predisposition to sensitivity and begin in childhood, or can come about over time due to the skin’s biological aging process, which causes the skin’s tolerance to external influences to decline. 

Sensitive skin has a much lower tolerance than other more robust skin types, tends to flush easily, burns faster when exposed to UV, and involves intrinsic (internal) factors that cause the skin to react.  

Sensitive skin is often confused with sensitised skin, which contributes to many people believing their skin is sensitive and they are unable to use certain skincare or ingredients. Still unsure of the difference? Head over to the journal here where we discuss sensitive vs sensitised skin in a little more detail.  

Alpha-H Skincare image
Alpha-H Skincare image

What products are best for sensitive skin? 

When choosing products for sensitive skin, look for gentle products that contain ingredients that help to fortify the skin barrier and those that have been tested as safe for use on sensitive skin with minimal irritation. A gentle pH balanced cleanser such as Balancing Cleanser is key, as is a nurturing moisturiser or serum such as  Vitamin E Serum, which in addition to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Vitamin E, also contains Ceramides to help restore, strengthen, and protect the skin microbiome helping to keep sensitive skin balanced and calm. 

Are there any special tips when introducing new products into my regime? 

Sensitive skin is different for everyone, and tolerance varies from person to person. Problems can still arise from even the most carefully formulated products, so it’s always advisable to start low and go slow. This is particularly important when introducing active ingredients or products that temporarily disrupt the skin barrier such as chemical exfoliants. Introduce any new products gradually and preferably one at a time. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Sensitive skin 

Provided your skin barrier is healthy, having sensitive skin does not necessarily mean you will not be able to tolerate AHAs. Look for formulations specifically targeted towards sensitive skin such as Generation Glow and introduce slowly 2-3 times a week or on alternate days or evenings to begin with.  

Generation Glow is a gentle essence containing naturally derived AHAs. Harnessing the effective resurfacing properties of accelerating acids Generation Glow has been formulated with natural skin supporting botanicals and post biotics to enhance suitability for more delicate skin types. It is suitable for sensitive skin as well as those who have previously encountered sensitised skin concerns.  

Generation Glow has been dermatologically tested as safe for sensitive skin, is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, is vegan and cruelty free.  


Still unsure which product is right for you? Click here to book in for a virtual Skin Consultation with one of our qualified Skin Specialists, to find your bespoke routine tailored to your individual needs