allergies or skin sensitivities?

allergies or skin sensitivities?

is your skin sensitive, or do you have a hidden allergy?

  1. Is your skin reacting to a product you used to love?
  2. Is pollen making your eyes puffy and watery?
  3. Is it flaring with weird skin patches appearing?

For many of us, skin reactions are a common occurrence, but the relief is only temporary. The inflammation from a flare up can affect the skin in more ways than you might think, causing long-term damage. What can we do to rebuild our skin? Is true recovery even possible? 

are you allergic or sensitive?

It's a good idea to first figure out what your skin is telling (or screaming at) you, so you may address the issue accordingly. Allergies appear in different areas of the body and are not limited to a specific area. Sensitivities occur at the specific site of contact with the irritant. Symptoms may develop with repeated contact or exposure (think repeated contact, skincare or makeup product usage, or friction from mask-wearing).

what causes skin reactions?

Our skin has an invisible shield of fatty acids, ceramides, and lipids that protect us from bacteria and irritants, while also maintaining a healthy moisture balance for us. When irritated, our bodies’ protective defence mechanism is localized inflammation which neutralizes the irritant. Allergies, harsh or stripping ingredients, over-exfoliation, friction, and skin conditions like dermatitis or eczema can all result in inflammation. These flare ups weaken the protective shield leading to redness, itching, roughness, stinging, and even more severe skin conditions.

could skin sensitivity cause hyperpigmentation and wrinkles?

Long-term skin barrier issues also make it difficult for your skin to retain moisture and hydration. The collagen and elastin that keep our skin firm, plump, and supple break down faster, making us more likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles sooner. On top of this, when skin is inflamed and results in sunburns or breakouts, dark and pigmented skin tends to follow in their place. It can take a while for these marks to heal and return to our natural skin tone.

don'ts of sensitive skin

  • Resist the temptation to exfoliate! Your skin may appear waxy, uneven, red, or flaky. These are not cues to exfoliate! In fact, it means your skin barrier is damaged and the deeper layers of your skin are exposed. Take a break from exfoliation, allowing your skin to heal.
  • Shelf your clarifying, acne-clearing products for a while. A damaged skin barrier may also result in increased breakouts and bumps. Naturally, you might think of treating the symptoms with acne products that dry the skin and fight breakouts, but a compromised barrier is the underlying culprit here. Shift your focus to soothing, calming products instead. 


For details on skin reactions and sensitivity, listen to our talk with Aurum here! Aurum @ Portia-Ella

this routine appeases the most upset skin

  1. Cleanse with Beauté Divine - Cleansing Oil for Dry, Sensitive, Reactive Skin
  2. Tone with Face Food Mineral Mist
  3. Calm & Prep with Aurum's Calming Birch Serum
  4. Soothe with (you guessed it!) Soothe: Facial Moisturizing Serum
  5. Nourish with Berry Rich Face + Eye Cream
  6. Protect with Reflector SPF 30 Facial Sun Protection (optional, but recommended)

ingredients to avoid when experiencing a reaction

  • retinol
  • vitamin c
  • alcohol
  • bergamot
  • fragrances
  • azelaic acid
  • AHA
  • BHA
  • harsh lathering
    agents like SLS

ingredients to include

  • peptides
  • green tea
  • antioxidants
  • shea butter
  • cocoa butter
  • amino acids
  • hyaluronic acid
  • ceramides
  • omega fatty acids

see what people are saying about our allergy-safe products!

Calming Birch Serum
I have severe allergies, and when I have a reaction to food, my face swells and get itchy and sore. THIS product has changed my healing. This product is the only thing I use when this happens and it speeds up the healing. If you suffer from redness, or a burning feeling to the skin. I highly recommend this product. It's truly a necessity.
- C. Rae

Soothe: Facial Moisturizing Serum
I was diagnosed with rosacea 3 years ago and have tried so many products on my face since then I've lost count. I figured I'd take a chance on this product and was pleasantly surprised. It's amazing on my skin, it's soothing and keeps your skin super smooth and hydrated as well it helps over time with diminishing the redness on my cheeks. It is not oily at all, your skin just absorbs the natural oils immediately. I use it day and night even my kids have commented on my skin and how nice this product smells, it's definitely worth the money! - Kerri

Super Sensitive Skin Stuff
This is the one. Other people have said it and I’ll repeat it because it’s true! For my combination and sensitivity it was hard to find a moisturizer that could tackle the dry parts and not cause more problems around nose and at the hairline. This one manages it all giving radiant and glowing results, especially when using a charcoal sponge once per week, and layer in the face food and you’ve got a winning team! Thanks for your great advice, PE! - Amy

Beaute Divine: for dry, sensitive, reactive skin
I’ve been using this cleanser consistently for two years, and I’ll never switch! I used to suffer from really bad facial eczema, and also am sensitive to scents/essential oils. This cleanser is the best of both worlds because it’s not scented at all and leaves my skin super soft and hydrated. The bottle lasts a really long time (so the price is worth it) and I also love that it comes in a recyclable glass bottle instead of plastic! It doesn’t clog my pores and feels really soothing when I do get the odd face acne. Basically it’s my ride or die facial cleanser and I’ll cry if this product gets discontinued. - Chanelle