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How to deal with and soothe sensitive skin

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Finding suitable skincare for sensitive complexions can be tricky. Beauty Editor Nadine Baggott explores a two-step approach and the gentle products to invest in.

If you suffer from red, itchy and tight skin, you will know all about the difficulty of dealing with a sensitive complexion. According to EU figures, skin sensitivity is on the rise and now affects two-thirds of us, a figure that has gone up by a third in the past 30 years.


"Sensitive skin is so difficult to deal with because it’s so hard to track down the ingredient that is irritating the skin," explains consumer champion Paula Begoun, founder of skincare brand Paula’s Choice, who has made it her mission to unravel the myths and mysteries surrounding skincare. "You might use a product for years quite happily, then suddenly become allergic to it overnight. Other times you will know within minutes of using a new cosmetic that it disagrees with your skin."

To determine your likelihood of having sensitive skin you need to consider three things: your history of reacting to products and external irritants; how easily you blush; and how easily you tan. Anyone with a history of eczema, asthma, hay fever or skin irritation, who blushes easily and rarely tans is highly likely to have sensitive skin.

Along with a growing number of skin experts, Paula believes all skin should be treated as sensitive. "Perfume has no active role in skincare and alcohol should always be avoided, as well as harsh detergents. So no matter how tough you think your skin is, treat it as if it is sensitive and you will avoid the inflammation and irritation that is now linked to skin ageing."

Find the full story in HELLO! out now. 

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