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Things Everyone With Sensitive Skin Should Know

ALWAYS read the ingredients.

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Rebecca Hendin / Via Thinkstock / BuzzFeed

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."

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.

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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.

Rebecca Hendin / Thinkstock / BuzzFeed

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

1. REN Skincare Clarifying Clay Cleanser, £19

The cleanser contains chamomile, lavender, and sage, which are all antibacterial and work wonders on calming inflammation.
REN Skincare / Via renskincare.com

The cleanser contains chamomile, lavender, and sage, which are all antibacterial and work wonders on calming inflammation.

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2. Bioderma Sensibio Tolerance+ Skin Care for Neutralising Hypersensitivity, £15

This lotion leaves sensitive skin moisturised and calms irritation.
Feel Unique / Via feelunique.com

This lotion leaves sensitive skin moisturised and calms irritation.

3. Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF30, £39.40

Because sunscreen should be worn come rain or shine. This Dermalogica sunscreen is free from artificial fragrances and colours, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
Dermalogica / Via dermalogica.co.uk

Because sunscreen should be worn come rain or shine. This Dermalogica sunscreen is free from artificial fragrances and colours, making it ideal for sensitive skin.

4. Aveeno Bath & Shower Oil, £7.50

Made with oatmeal and softening oil, this cleanses, moisturises, and conditions dry and sensitive skin.
Aveeno / Via aveeno.co.uk

Made with oatmeal and softening oil, this cleanses, moisturises, and conditions dry and sensitive skin.

5. La Roche-Posay Make-Up Remover Milk, £12

Soap-free, alcohol-free, colourant-free, and paraben-free. It's basically free of anything that's bad for sensitive skin.
Boots / Via boots.com

Soap-free, alcohol-free, colourant-free, and paraben-free. It's basically free of anything that's bad for sensitive skin.

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6. Burt's Bees Sensitive Night Cream, £16.49

This cream moisturises sensitive skin overnight without causing redness or irritation. The added aloe helps calm sensitive skin.
Burt's Bees / Via burtsbees.co.uk

This cream moisturises sensitive skin overnight without causing redness or irritation. The added aloe helps calm sensitive skin.

7. Aveeno Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal, £8.46

Made with natural oatmeal, this lotion is great for sensitive skin. It relieves dry skin and is also suitable for people prone to eczema.
Boots / Via boots.com

Made with natural oatmeal, this lotion is great for sensitive skin. It relieves dry skin and is also suitable for people prone to eczema.

8. E45 Intense Recovery Body Lotion, £6.29

E45 products are made completely fragrance-free, which is perfect for sensitive skin. This lotion is great for dry, sensitive skin.
Superdrug / Via superdrug.com

E45 products are made completely fragrance-free, which is perfect for sensitive skin. This lotion is great for dry, sensitive skin.

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.