At SEEN, we’re all about creating non-irritating, non-comedogenic hair-care products that deliver stronger, smoother, healthier hair while respecting every skin type, as well as additional skin concerns like acne, eczema, or a dry, flaky scalp. The impact that hair care can have on sensitive skin has always been top of mind when formulating our products, but it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between “sensitive” and “sensitized” skin. The good news is that SEEN is appropriate for both! 

Sensitive and sensitized skin can have similar symptoms, including redness, burning, itching, overall irritation, and even breakouts. The main difference between the two is that sensitive skin is a skin type, and sensitized skin is a skin condition. The bottom line: You’re born with sensitive skin, but sensitized skin is a specific reaction that can be repaired.

You have “sensitive skin” if…
When specific environmental factors such as skincare changes and weather have had an effect on your skin for an extended period of time (or all of your life), it’s likely you have sensitive skin. Because this is a skin type, it’s primarily dictated by genetics—and when you have sensitive skin, hormonal fluctuations and stress can play a role in skin irritation as well.

You have “sensitized skin” if…
Sensitized skin often looks and feels the same as sensitive skin, and experiences the same redness, dryness, and irritation. The difference is that sensitized skin is an unexpected reaction to a specific internal or external aggressor, whether sun exposure, extreme weather, new skincare products, a professional treatment, medications, or even a change in diet. A primary cause of sensitized skin is personal-care products that strip the skin of its essential moisture, and in turn compromise the skin’s barrier. This includes common hair-care ingredients like sulfates (which can be drying or irritating for some), as well as overly-aggressive skincare.

Another factor to consider is that skin allergies to specific ingredients can occur out of nowhere, even if your skin has been tolerant in the past. In this case, it’s best to identify the culprit based on anything new you’ve introduced to your personal-care, laundry, or housekeeping routines. If you experience any sort of skin reaction that doesn’t improve by eliminating any new or questionable ingredients, it’s best to schedule a visit with your dermatologist.

Although SEEN can’t “fix” sensitive or sensitized skin, our non-irritating hair-care products can help reduce reactivity and give skin an opportunity to recover. SEEN has replaced the most common skin-irritating ingredients and allergens with gentle alternatives—without sacrificing the smoothing, softening, shine-enhancing results you expect from your hair care. In fact, the fragrance-free versions of our Shampoo, Conditioner, Deeper ConditionerBlow-Out CremeCurly Creme, and (always fragrance-free) Magic Serum have all received the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance™. This means that those with sensitive skin can enjoy happy, healthy skin and beautiful hair without worry—and those with sensitized skin can get their skin’s health back on track while having good hair days in the process.