woman checking her face in the mirror

Sensitive skin can be difficult to manage. With so many factors contributing to sensitive skin, it’s often hard to know what is causing a skin flare-up. A trip to a Fort Collins skin clinic can provide personalized recommendations for your skin situation. Here are six common sensitive skin triggers that can make skin flare up.

Beauty and Household Products

If you start noticing that your skin is red, itchy, or has a rash in certain areas, it could be a reaction to irritating products. Everything from laundry detergent to soap, fragrances, and plants have chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Many people with sensitive skin use specially formulated beauty and household products that remove harsh chemicals and fragrances. It may take some trial and error to find which ingredients and products irritate your skin. Once you’ve determined the cause for your skin flaring up, you can remove or replace those products to avoid future incidents.


Spending long amounts of time in the sun can cause some people with sensitive skin to get heat rash or areas of red, bumpy skin. The best course of action for these people is to avoid being in direct sunlight and to wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Aim for sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it regularly when you are outside, even on cloudy days.

Mental Health

Your mental health is connected to your hormones, which have a huge impact on your skin. Many people see skin flare-ups when they feel stressed, nervous, or worried. Experiencing a skin flare-up can make people more stressed, which only adds to the problem. Finding ways to regulate mental health is a great practice for everyone, not just for people with sensitive skin. Find a relaxing activity like yoga or exercise, or practice ways to calm yourself during stressful situations, such as meditation or deep breathing. Taking good care of your body helps your mental health and your skin.


Certain foods and diets can cause reactions throughout the body, and especially on the skin. Many people experience allergic reactions like hives and rashes from certain types of foods that irritate their bodies. On a lesser level, many people aren’t strictly allergic to certain foods, but they still produce a sensitive skin flare-up. Spicy foods and alcohol are common culprits that can make sensitive skin red and bumpy. Medication can also impact sensitive skin, so check with your dermatologist before taking any new kinds of medicine. If you experience regular flare-ups, try tracking the foods you eat and looking for a pattern between food and flare-ups.


Sweat and the movement of some types of exercise can cause people with sensitive skin to have flare-ups. These flare-ups usually happen during more strenuous activities like running or biking, which cause the blood to pump more through the body and on the face. If exercise causes flare-ups, look for a lower-impact way to get moving, like yoga and swimming. Exercise is important for overall health, including the care of sensitive skin.


Where you live also has a big impact on the state of your skin. Many people experience flare-ups when the air is too dry or too humid. This is especially common with the dry air in Colorado during the winter months when there just isn’t much moisture in the air. Flare-ups can also occur when you move between extreme climates, like traveling from a dry place to a very humid place. Flare-ups can also commonly occur when people get too hot and sweaty during the summer months.

Sensitive skin is affected by nearly everything around it. Flare-ups can occur for a number of reasons, but paying attention to your surroundings and actions around flare-ups can help pinpoint the cause and lead to a potential solution.

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