A recent review of published literature showed the proportion of individuals with self-reported sensitive skin to some degree was 71% in the general population [1], an increase of 55% in just two decades [2]. However, in their recently published State of Skin Sensitivity Report, Aveeno points out that “sensitive skin” – usually defined as as “unpleasant sensory responses to stimuli that should not provoke such sensations” — is not a clinical diagnosis by itself. It can encompass a range of skin issues from a reaction to external environmental stressors, a product or ingredient, to a symptom of an underlying skin disease.

In order to better understand the causes of sensitive skin, and explores the connection between body, mind, and skin, the Johnson & Johnson brand conducted an online survey of 1,000 participants (800 females, 200 males, aged 18-65) among self-declared sensitive skin consumers of varying ethnicities. The research validates the relationship between emotions and perceptions of sensitive skin.

Results show that consumers believe stress and ingredients cause the majority of skin reactions. Furthermore, those who identified as extremely sensitive were 200% more likely to have been diagnosed with eczema, rosacea, acne, or allergies than those who identified as slightly sensitive. And one-third of patients with skin diseases like acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea are estimated to struggle with emotional disorders, including anxiety and depression [3]. Additionally, 50 percent of adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis reported that it puts a damper on their social functions, sleep, work productivity, leisure activities, and family relationships [4].

Treating patients goes well beyond simply analyzing their skin. It’s about how their skin impacts their overall emotional well-being, which is something I consistently see with my patients,” said Dr. Mara Weinstein Velez, Board Certified Dermatologist and paid Aveeno consultant. “The mind-skin connection is a powerful one, and the Aveeno brand’s ability to assemble this in-depth report examining the impact of skin sensitivity provides much needed visibility for the dermatology community.

Our brand heritage is built on leadership and expertise in the sensitive skin state, and this report illustrates the meaningful impact sensitive skin has on people’s lives,” added KC Hagin, Commercial Leader for Aveeno at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “We have an obligation not only to provide product solutions but to help de-stigmatize the word ‘sensitive’ and to turn a common struggle into a strength. Aveeno wants to be front and center of the conversation and is encouraging everyone to be proud of their sensitive skin.

To further encourage conversation around what it really means to have sensitive skin, Aveeno is calling on consumers to share their #ProudlySensitiveSkin stories on social media. The campaign aims to highlight various consumer experiences with skin conditions and showcase how people have learned to love their sensitive skin.