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Sensitive Skin: The Surprising Causes, and How to Improve It

Anyone with sensitive skin knows the struggles. Itchy, scaly patches. Redness that won’t go away. Crazy reactions to new products. Where does this come from? And is there any way to make it stop? Our ZENTS skin care experts weigh in on sensitive skin, and the best ways to soothe it.

What causes sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin can be something you’re born with, something you develop as a result of your daily activities, or a symptom of an underlying condition. Here are the most common causes:

  • Frequent hand washing or sanitizer/alcohol wipe applications

    Even with gentle soaps and products, constant washing and sanitizing can lead to chapped, scaly skin. Overly dry or injured skin that can no longer protect nerve endings can lead to even more severe skin reactions. This can become something of a catch-22, as irritated skin is more susceptible to being infiltrated by germs.

    Watch Healing Hands Ritual with ZENTS Founder, Cord Coen

  • Skin disorders or allergic reactions

    Eczema, rosacea, and allergies can cause skin to break out, itch, and crack. Sometimes the culprit is a laundry detergent or dryer sheet containing ingredients that create an allergic reaction.

    Sometimes sensitive skin is a result of contact dermatitis, which occurs due to contact with fabrics or materials that irritate the skin.

  • Excessive exposure to skin-damaging environmental factors

    People who spend a lot of time outdoors experience skin sensitivity from sun, wind, and intense heat or cold. Skin that is regularly exposed to these elements is likely to become easily irritated and inflamed.

  • Genetic factors, age, gender, and race

    Although less well-defined, genetics may play a role in your level of skin sensitivity. Your skin’s level of natural protection against irritants and dryness can be related to your gender, your race, or other genetic factors. Similarly, your skin may change in sensitivity as you age due to a shift in your body’s skin-related processes.

How can you soothe sensitive skin?

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to soothe your skin and reduce sensitivity. Try some of these sensitive skin tips:

  • Choose a gentle cleanser

    The best body wash for sensitive skin will contain hydrating ingredients and will be sulfate-free. Sulfates are a known irritant that strip necessary natural oils from your skin. It also increases your skin’s permeability, making it easier for any other questionable ingredients to penetrate your skin and cause even more sensitivity.

    ZENTS Wash is sulfate-free and uses gentle fruit extracts to cleanse and exfoliate. Instead of being heavily foamy (a telltale sign of sulfates), ZENTS Wash has a rich milky texture.


  • Avoid soaps with harsh ingredients

    Many bar soaps contain strong detergents and antibacterial chemicals. While sometimes necessary for your hands, it’s best to keep these overpowering ingredients away from the rest of your skin.

    ZENTS Luxe Soap uses Neem, a natural and gentle oil with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Neem can even improve skin conditions such as psoriasis.


  • Moisturize

    Moisturizing products help skin hold onto moisture, so it can resist overdrying and abrasions. The best moisturizer for sensitive skin will contain natural, powerful ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil to help rebuild your skin’s moisture barrier.

    ZENTS Probiotic Lotion uses probiotic peptides, organic shea butter, and hyaluronic acid to soothe and drench sensitive skin.


    ZENTS Concreta can be used on cracked skin and areas prone to dryness, like hands, elbows, and heels. This intensive balm combines coconut oil, organic shea butter, and paracress to bring back the glow.


  • Try fragrance-free products

    Some may find that their skin is very sensitive to any product containing fragrance. Fortunately, you can find luxe, restorative body care products that are 100% fragrance-free.

    Our UNZENTED collection was created for those with sensitivities, to bring all the powerful ingredients without any added aromas. Wash, Lotion and Concreta are all available with no fragrance. You can even treat yourself to a fragrance-free Bath Truffle!


  • Research and test ingredients

    People with sensitive skin should test new products before applying to a large section of their skin. Here’s how to do it:

    – Apply a small amount behind one of your ears, and leave it on overnight.
    – In the morning, observe any reaction.
    – If you don’t see bumps or irritations, the product should be safe for use.

We love our sensitive souls! Have you had success with our sensitive-skin-friendly products? Let us know on Instagram at @zentsofficial 💛💛

Jerobin, et al. “Antibacterial activity of neem nanoemulsion and its toxicity assessment on human lymphocytes in vitro.” October 2015. Retrieved from

Kumar, et al. “Neem (Azadirachta indica): Prehistory to contemporary medicinal uses to humankind.” July 2013. Retrieved from

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