How to reduce skin inflammation


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Anti-inflammatory skincare is the next wave in cosmetic science. Join us for a deep dive into the process behind skin inflammation, the problems it causes, why it’s far more common than most of us realise and how to solve it.

The word ‘inflammation’ covers a range of skin conditions we usually think of as separate. Sunburn and day-to-day UV damage, acne, skin infections, allergic rashes, eczema and psoriasis are all inflammatory conditions that come and go but over time can add up to skin being in a near-constant state of low-grade inflammation.


How to reduce skin inflammation

Ask Lucy

Recognising inflammation

Ongoing inflammation shows up as persistent outbreaks of the above conditions, but also as ordinary long-term dryness, redness and sensitivity. What’s important to know is that long-term low-grade inflammation plays a key role in skin losing structural resilience and developing lines, discolouration and dull texture. The longer the inflammation goes on, the faster this process occurs.

Who is at risk?

Everyone! Around the world, skin sensitivities and atopic conditions are on the rise, starting in childhood with growing rates of eczema, and increasing with age. One in four adults in the US today receives treatment for a skin condition, rising to half of adults over 65. The most common risk factor is everyday UV damage, which over time causes skin atrophy, pigmentation, wrinkling and malignancy. It also depletes naturally occurring lipids and damages cellular DNA. Sunburn does the same thing, but in a mega-dose.

Modern skincare can also contribute to skin inflammation. Products made with low-quality chemical ingredients or excessive concentrations of actives, and layering many products that contain different ingredients can irritate the skin and disrupt the skin’s barrier function, leading to inflammation and dehydration.

People who do ‘wet work’ or frequently wash their hands – such as hair and skincare therapists, chefs, and medical staff – are at particular risk for dehydration, as lack of moisture in the skin prompts the inflammatory response, and can lead to chronic eczema. And sufferers of autoimmune diseases like diabetes and psoriasis – which have been rising in the population over recent decades – often suffer inflammatory skin conditions associated with these diseases.

What’s going on inside

When your skin is inflamed, it’s a sign your body is dealing with some kind of internal or external stressor (or a mix of both) – sun, allergens, chafing, dehydration, bacteria, pollutants – provoking your immune system to release hormones, enzymes and free radicals in a bid to fight off the invaders and allow the skin to repair to a smooth, resilient surface that can hold moisture in and resist further irritation.

How to decrease inflammation

The key to treating inflammation and restoring balance and resilience to skin is to soothe and calm using ingredients that actively boost our body’s natural healing mechanisms. What this means is:

  • Richly hydrating from the outside to combat moisture loss
  • Encouraging external healing so the skin barrier can repair and protect against irritants
  • Nourishing with vitamins and actives to repair damage at a cellular level
  • Avoiding over-stimulating the skin with irritating or unnecessary ingredients

The Sans solution

Our Sans Superdose Sleep Infusion Masque brings together the newest anti-inflammatory skin science and the Sans philosophy. It’s a reparative overnight treatment formulated with a synergistic blend of native New Zealand actives and 5% vitamin B5, clinically proven to soothe inflammation, boost hydration, repair environmental damage at a cellular level and heal the skin barrier. Our minimalist approach means every ingredient is selected to do exactly what’s needed and no more, so as not to over-stimulate skin.

One key ingredient is Vitamin B5, which converts into pantothenic acid, which then makes coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is necessary for the production of steroids and fatty acids, which soothe inflammation.

Medical grade Mānuka honey has an anti-bacterial action that aids healing, while native New Zealand Red Algae extract calms and de-reddens skin. Kawakawa extract helps down-regulate inflammation and fight microbial activity, and native Mamaku rapidly hydrates and holds moisture in the skin while offering antioxidant and antipollution properties.

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