Ingredients to avoid if you have sensitive skin

Having sensitive skin can be tricky as it may put a damper on your beauty routine. Before you buy any products you’ll need to read the label, and often you’ll come across ingredients you’ll never have heard of, have no idea what they do, or whether they’ll cause a problem. However, if you do suffer from sensitive skin there are some ingredients you need to know to avoid, and by doing so you should be able to enjoy clear, glowing skin that’s not inflamed or irritated.

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Fragrances are one of the key culprits in irritating sensitive skin and are the first thing dermatologists will tell you to cut out if you are suffering. Artificial fragrances can contain in excess of 200 chemicals, and skin may react to one or more of them. Unscented products are also not the same as fragrance-free and it’s essential to be able to read between the lines as to what a product actually contains –


Sulphates can be very harsh on the skin and this is because ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate strip the skin of its natural oils. Sulphates are what cause a product to lather, but they can prove to be too harsh and cause skin to dry out and even crack or peel and can exacerbate blemishes and pimples. Sulphate-free products may not have rich looking foam, but they are far gentler on your skin.

Dyes and colouring agents

Products such as the Avene Sensitive Skin Gift Set available at specifically state that they are free from colouring agents and this is especially important for those with sensitive skin. Dyes can react with your skin and cause irritation, and colouring agents can be very harsh and drying and may cause an allergic reaction.

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Any harsh exfoliants can cause short-term or long-term damage to sensitive skin, and it’s best to steer clear of scrubs or masks that contain anything that may be abrasive to the skin. You can use exfoliating products if you have sensitive skin, but they need to be very gentle and not contain harsh chemicals.

Preservatives, essential oils, triclosan and essential oils should all also be avoided where possible if you have sensitive skin, as they can cause a reaction.

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