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Things Everyone With Sensitive Skin Should Know

ALWAYS read the ingredients.

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Sensitive skin can be an actual pain to care for. There are so many things to consider: What products should you use? What products should you avoid? How do you get rid of the redness?

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We spoke to dermatologist Jacquie Slater from the International Dermal Institute to find out what to know when buying products for sensitive skin.

Dermatologists describe people with sensitive skin as "individuals who consider themselves to be more intolerant of topical preparations and environmental conditions", Slater says.

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This is a pretty broad definition, so we asked her to really break it down for us. She says people with sensitive skin will have some or all of these skin concerns:

Texture: "Delicate skin may be thinner than average skin types."

Tightness: "Sensitive skin tends to be tighter, which indicates dehydration."

Redness/blotches: "Sensitive skin tends to be red or blotchy because the capillary action (the ability of a liquid to flow to the skin) may be over-reactive.

Flakiness/cracking: "Coincides with dehydrated skin."

Small rash-like bumps: "Not to be confused with breakouts."

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What are the most common triggers of skin sensitivity?

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"The fact is," Slater says, "few people are actually born with sensitive skin. The majority of the individuals afflicted with over-reactive skin have been sensitised by external factors, like changing environments, pollution, and stress."

And although it's difficult to pinpoint the exact ingredients that irritate the skin, there are some common ones that should be avoided. Seriously, avoid these at all costs:

Strong acids: AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), especially glycolic acid, ascorbic acid, and salicylic acid

Strong alkali: Soap and sodium hydroxide

Anionic surfactants: Sodium lauryl sulfate

Chemical sunscreens and emulsifiers

Remember to always read the label, and note that the ingredients higher up on the list have a greater concentration in the product.

What ingredients should you look for when buying products for sensitive skin?

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When it comes to buying products for sensitive skin, Slater says, "only buy products that contain no artificial fragrance, artificial mineral oils, alcohol, artificial colours, and lanolin". Yes, this is possible. You will need products that will calm inflammation, reduce redness, and soothe irritation.

If you don’t want to be stuck reading endless labels, consider stocking up on these go-to sensitive-skin-safe products.

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What sensitive skin products do you swear by? Let us know in the comments.

If you are concerned about your skin sensitivity, be sure to seek help and advice from your doctor. This BuzzFeed post is for general product information and cannot replace professional and individualised medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice.

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