BREAKING THE ITCH-SCRATCH CYCLE - HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW…

Struggling with dry skin? Then you’ll be well versed in the seemingly endless cycle of itching and scratching that can be caused by recurrent dry skin or related skin conditions. The itchy feeling causes you to scratch, the scratching causes even more inflammation in the skin, this inflammation causes the skin to become itchy and irritated, and the cycle continues. Sound familiar? Get to know your potential triggers as well as discovering our top tips to break the cycle and restore your skin’s damaged barrier. Ready to ditch the itch?

HOW DOES SCRATCHING AFFECT YOUR SKIN?

When you scratch an itch on your skin, this causes damage to the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), resulting in redness, irritation, broken skin or even bleeding. This broken skin can allow for external irritants such as pollution, UV, domestic chemicals and skincare products to cause a reaction on the skin, or even result in flare-ups of conditions like Eczema. As the skin begins to repair itself, the outer layer of the skin thickens, and can start to look increasingly dry and leathery. Sounds fun, right? While the skin is healing, the urge to scratch may stop for a short while, but the aggravation and inflammation caused by scratching can soon cause that annoying itch to creep back up and continue the cycle. We call this the itch-scratch cycle.

WHAT MAKES ITCHING WORSE? 

There are a large variety of factors that can affect the look and feel of your skin. This can include temperature changes, clothing, chemicals and allergens. If you have a pre-existing skin condition, these external factors can cause an influx of itching, soreness and redness. Skin flaring up? Keep track of what skincare products you’ve used recently, so that you can identify the root of your skin irritation. Making swaps to more natural, skin-calming alternatives to your usual products can reduce the risk of flare-ups and keep that itchy feeling at bay.

HOW DO I BREAK THE CYCLE?

Skin homeostasis is the body’s process of repairing the skin’s barrier function. This skin barrier affects the overall health and functioning of the skin and body, and is made up of a layer of bacteria that lives on the skin’s outer layer - this is called the Microbiome. When there is an unhealthy imbalance of bacteria, meaning that the bad bacteria begins to outweigh the good, this can leave the skin more exposed to external factors that may cause irritation. Incorporating microbiome boosting skincare products into your daily routine will help you restore balance to your stressed skin, protecting from irritation and beginning to alleviate the symptoms of dryness. As mentioned, scratching your skin can leave it susceptible to the effects of external irritants. It is important to give the skin time to repair itself following a period of scratching, to allow the protective barrier to strengthen and get back to doing what it does best. Find products with skin soothing formulations designed to calm the itching sensation, to help you break your bad skin scratching habits.

WHICH INGREDIENTS CAN HELP ME?

Feeding your skin more of what it needs is going to help you hydrate, calm and nourish your irritated skin. Here is a round-up of some key ingredients you should be looking for in your skincare products:

Chicory Root Extract, also known as Inulin, is a prebiotic ingredient that works to feed the good bacteria on the microbiome, overpowering the bad bacteria and restoring balance to the skin’s protective microbiota barrier to preserve its natural health.

Oat Extracts possess anti-irritant and anti-itch properties, which can aid in significantly reducing redness along with any accompanying itchiness. This also acts as a natural antihistamine and can provide long-term itch relief benefits.

Pentavitin is derived from 100% natural corn kernel, and works by trapping water in the outer layer of the skin like a magnet. Unlike hyaluronic acid, it cannot be washed away. Pentavitin provides up to 72 hours of hydration, helping to calm itchy, dry skin.

Jojoba Seed Oil is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E, and even contains healing, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Similar to human sebum, it absorbs into the skin through pores and hair follicles, then diffuses into the outer layer of the skin to leave it feeling soft and supple.

Zeolite is a volcanic mineral known for its powerful detoxifying qualities. It is able to reverse the damage caused by free radicals, as well as eliminating bad bacteria and viruses. Zeolite aids in maintenance of a healthy microbiome to repair and strengthen the skin and reduce inflammation.

Urea increases moisture absorption to the skin by softening and eliminating build-up of dead skin cells. It can be used to treat dry and rough skin conditions and can also help to target fungal infections in the skin.

Orange Peel Oil is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and offers anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities. It helps to strengthen and thicken the outer layer of the skin, boosting protein regeneration and promoting collagen and elastin fusion. It also works to reduce dryness and flakiness in the skin, leaving you with soft, nourished skin.

Get your itchy skin under control with the Intensive Rescue Range, formulated with naturally-active, skin-loving ingredients to rejuvenate, soothe and nourish your stressed-out skin. The prebiotic formula will help you find the balance with your microbiome, giving your skin the protection it needs. Ready to make the switch?