Your Skin - Sensibio

Our skin can become sensitive at all stages of our life, due to many different factors. For example, the use of unsuitable cosmetic products can weaken it, since many of them are made out of low-quality ingredients containing tiny particles of dirt, called “micropollutants”.

Other harmful elements that should also be taken into account are: poor water quality, environmental conditions (UV exposure, temperature variations, wind, pollution, etc…), psychological factors (such as stress) and hormonal ones (menstrual cycles, for example). As a mediator between our inner biology and the outer world, our skin is exposed daily to multiple factors that can potentially sensitize it.

A quick reminder: other factors that can potentially cause skin sensitivity

  • Physical ones: UV radiation, hot and cold temperatures, wind, rubbing…

  • Chemical ones: use of cosmetics, soaps, water, shaving of the face (for men), etc.

  • Psychological ones: stress, emotional state…

  • Hormonal ones: menstrual cycle, etc.

  • Internal factors: spicy food, etc.

Sensitive and intolerant skin reacts to stimuli that normally cause no such reaction in other skin types. This acute sensitivity of the skin tends to lower its tolerance level. The more sensitive the skin is, the less tolerant it becomes. In cases of skin sensitivity, the skin reacts only in certain circumstances, and temporarily. In cases of skin intolerance, its reactivity is (almost) permanent, with a tolerance level close to zero.

Skin hypersensitivity is a common condition that affects one third of adult men and women alike, although women are generally more concerned than men. Some types of skin are more sensitive than others for genetic reasons; also, it has been shown that the condition tends to improve as the person gets older.

Skin sensitivity can be the result of a skin disease such as: rosacea, eczema, or seborrheic dermatitis, for instance. But lack of attention and care for the skin or internal and external aggressions can also be factors that contribute to the appearance of the phenomenon.

Woman face

Effective cleansing that respects skin balance

The first and absolutely essential step in a skincare routine is cleansing your face. By doing so, you remove all potential pollutants from your skin that contribute to sensitising it. This is so that the cream or care product you then apply can be entirely effective. Indeed, your cleanser and cream work together as a duo: a cream will be that much more beneficial when the skin has been properly cleaned to start with.

Good hygiene, therefore, requires finding effective & respectful cleansing, especially for preserving the skin barrier function. And this is especially the case when skin is sensitive.

The barrier function means the skin is able to stay sufficiently sealed to resist the penetration of irritants and prevent internal water from evaporating.

With sensitive skin, in particular, the barrier function is often deficient. It nonetheless plays an important role, since it is what regulates what penetrates and leaves the skin.

A cleanser for sensitive skin must therefore protect the skin’s balance, in order to protect the effectiveness of the barrier function.

Understanding the barrier function

To visualise the skin’s barrier function, the epidermis is often compared to a wall of bricks. Skin cells represent the different bricks, and there need to be enough lipids to form the cement that holds them together. Finally, the skin's microbiome (all the micro-organisms that are naturally present on the skin) helps to keep the wall in a healthy state, with a pH between 4 and 6.

  • Dr Sandy Skotnicki, Dermatologist - Canada.

    Cleansers can alter both the skin’s barrier function and its microbiome, which can sensitise skin. This is why it’s important to pay attention to composition.

    Dr Sandy Skotnicki, Dermatologist - Canada.

The risks of poor hygiene for sensitive skin

Water alone cannot eliminate all dirt that accumulates on skin, especially any that is oily or greasy in origin. This is why facial cleansers contain surfactants, which are cleansing agents that are able to remove dirt and residue that are present on the skin. The type of cleanser is extremely important for all skin types – even more so for sensitive skin.


  • There are many kinds of hygiene products such as soap, foaming gel, cleansing oil, micellar water …
  • Surfactants tend to be classed based on their ‘detergence’, meaning their ability to remove dirt stuck on the skin. Harsh surfactants damage the skin's barrier since they destroy the skin’s lipids, essential to maintaining the barrier role.


If you have sensitive skin and don’t use a gentle cleanser, your skin will react immediately. You have probably already experienced tingling, stinging, redness and feelings of tightness or burning sensations, all the main symptoms. A poorly chosen cleanser can aggravate your skin’s sensitivity and perpetuate the vicious cycle of inflammation.

  • Dr Michèle Sayag, allergologist
    Dr Michèle Sayag, Allergist - BIODERMA.

    There’s a wide range of surfactants and some can be inappropriate or too harsh. When used, the surfactant interacts with the skin’s own components, and if poorly chosen, it can deteriorate the skin’s hydrolipidic film and barrier function. Too much stripping is just as bad as not enough cleansing.

    Dr Michèle Sayag, Allergist - BIODERMA.

All over the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has once again made cleanliness a central part of life, the simplest act of hygiene to fight against contagion. Beyond washing hands, cleansing your face also deserves a new look at old habits, especially when masks need to be worn for long periods. The trouble is that often sensitive skin tolerates cleansers poorly. It needs a gentle and high tolerance cleanser, free of perfume, and preferably one that requires no rinsing. One that is capable of eliminating pollution particles and all residue that is susceptible to provoking a reaction. One that also respects the skin’s pH, to preserve the microbiome. The issue at stake? The skin's barrier, always and forever. Indeed, a facial cleanser’s essential role is to protect the skin's barrier, the foundation of healthy skin.

  • Dr Sandy Skotnicki, Dermatologist - Canada.

    When patients don’t have any other pathology, more and more we suspect that today’s hygiene habits, in particular daily washing with harsh soaps and cleansers, inhibit our skin’s barrier functions, leaving it vulnerable and sensitive to environmental conditions.

    My advice for choosing a cleanser for sensitive skin:

    • Be sure that it is formulated with a pH similar to that of skin
    • It contains a gentle surfactant
    • It has no perfume
    • It is formulated with a minimum of ingredients, all at the optimum dose
    • No harsh surfactants that strip, such as sulphates
    • Perfume can be an allergen.

    Dr Sandy Skotnicki, Dermatologist - Canada.

Skin is an ecosystem on its own, a sort of dynamic exchange platform that contributes to vital functions and has its own internal biological clock. Day and night, skin doesn’t have exactly the same role, which affects the cleansing routine.

For those who prefer a rinse-on cleanser, we would recommend our Sensibio Foaming Gel. If you prefer a non-rinse option, our Sensibio H2O Micellar Water is ideal. But many of you are asking "Does micellar water clean skin?". Yes, it does! Our Sensibio H2O Micellar Water removes 99% of make-up and pollutant particles and 78% of heavy metals.

Skin prepares itself to play a protective role against the environment during the day. For it to be effective, you need to cleanse your face to remove all impurities that accumulated overnight, the moment when cellular activity it as its most intense. Skin will become more resistant and ready to receive cream and care for the day.

cleanse face in the morning

To eliminate all of the day’s impurities, skin activates its renewal, detoxification and regenerative functions. It becomes more permeable, and therefore fragile when faced with outside aggressive factors that can penetrate more easily. This is why it is so important to cleanse your face before going to bed.


cleanse face before sleep

If it feels tight after you’ve cleansed your face, then the product you’ve used doesn’t work for you.

Morning and night at the least for your face, and more often depending on your lifestyle and needs (sports, climate, activities…). All potential factors of irritation, such as saltwater, sunscreen, perspiration or make-up should be removed as quickly as possible.

BIODERMA product photo, Sensibio H2O 500ml, Micellar water for sensitive skin

Non-rinse daily cleanser

Sensitive skin Normal skin

Micellar technology

Sensibio H2O

The original Cleansing Micellar Water. Soothes and respects the skin's balance.

For whom ?

Adults, Adolescents

Rinse-off daily cleanser

Sensitive skin

D.A.F. patent

Sensibio Gel moussant

The soothing micellar cleansing gel which reinforces the skin's natural hydration.

For whom ?

Adults, Adolescents