What defines sensitive skin?
"Sensitive skin is actually quite complex and many people can actually present different types of attributes," Dr Forbes explains. "So the idea of sensitive skin, by most a clinical definition, is actually one that's often reacting, normally it's quite reactive to lactic acid. If you exhibit this response, this redness reaction to lactic acid.
"But more often I think people refer to it around sensitivities. So actually it can be people who, as they are applying different sort of products or they're doing different things with their skin, they're noticing it's reacting. And those reactions can be as varied as we looked at. There might be signs of redness or it might be signs of itching, irritation, inflammation, stinging, just all the different external and internal factors."
What ingredients bring calm and comfort to sensitive skin?
"We've used the ginger root and bisabolol combination in a number of our products that helps soothe," Dr Forbes explains. "In these products, both of these ingredients work on the inflammation pathway to help soothe and calm. But both have different parts of the pathway. So by actually calming that inflammation, you are providing that degree of comfort to how you can make the skin feel in a more rested state."
How do the key ingredients of Seeking Silence work in tandem to address the needs sensitive skin?
"We're really looking at the sort of four different streams. So we look at both soothing and calming. So soothing being addressing that underlying irritation, calming being at addressing the redness and inflammation. And then we look at fortifying and hydrating. So the first part, trying to actually resolve some of the uncomfortable sensations and then you're looking at how you can actually benefit the health of the skin to hopefully protect it better for the future. So when we look at hydrating ingredients to try to deliver moisture and hold moisture in the skin and fortification to help build that, help improve the skin barrier function so the skin's able to protect itself better."
"So often, I mean there can be many triggers but commonly people with sensitive skin can often have a really thin outermost layer of the skin, stratum corneum," Dr Forbes continues. "If that's thin and has been compromised, you're more likely to be susceptible to external aggressors irritating the skin and also you lose a lot more moisture from the skin which leaves it more vulnerable."
What other products can be used to create an optimal skincare regimen?
"Seeking Silence has certainly been built from the ground up to really address all of those signs of sensitive skin," Dr Forbes, who was involved in the development of the new product, explains. "We've got a number of other products in our range which we've tested as being suitable for sensitive skin. The cleansing milk and the B and tea toner is definitely the recommended product combination that we'd look at. But we also, depending on your skin type, it can then be that we also have a cleansing oil, which is suitable for sensitive skin and In Two Minds facial cleanser, which is more for combination skin.
"We developed that one last year and it's actually been tested suitable for sensitive skin as well. We have a serum and you can start to blend this product with some of our emollient oils if you need richer hydration."
Seeking Silence is available at Aesop signature stores, select stockists, counters in department stores across the globe, and at aesop.com.