Hands up if you think that you have sensitive skin. You have probably warned makeup artists and dermatologists about the sensitive nature of your skin, but do you really have sensitive skin? Sensitive skin is a bit different to identify than dry skin or oily skin because there are other conditions with similar symptoms.

(Related: Signs You’re Using The Wrong Skin Care Products)

Los Angeles-based dermatologist Dr. Ava. Shamban states that sensitive skin is defined as skin that reacts with a burning, stinging sensation to even the gentlest of products. If you experience the aforementioned side effects when you apply your moisturizer, cleanser, or any other product to your skin, it is very likely that you are dealing with a sensitive complexion.

Do not think that skin care products are the only triggers that could indicate you have sensitive skin. Ultraviolet rays, extreme temperatures, makeup, and dry skin can also contribute to sensitive skin, according to Dr. Shamban.

(Related: 12 Tried-And-True Face Cleansers That Won’t Irritate Your Sensitive Skin)

It is also important to note that any burning or stinging could indicate sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can range from mild to extreme, so if you are writing off a bit of redness whenever you use your skin care products as just something you deal with, do not be so quick to dismiss it because it could indicate you have sensitive skin.

It is critical to know the difference between sensitive skin and a bad reaction to a product. Dr. Shamban explains that bad reactions tend to be more severe. If you use something that reacts badly with your skin, it can lead to blisters and/or oozing skin.

(Related: The 24 Best Foundations That Will Give You A Flawless Complexion)

A lot of people tend to make the assumption that if they have redness in their complexions, they have sensitive skin. However, Dr. Shamban points out that redness can also indicate other skin conditions:

“Redness can be a sign of rosacea, eczema, or contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to a preservative or a dye. However, if you turn red right after applying a skin care product, that could be a sign of sensitive skin.”

Furthermore, she states that a lot of people think that they have sensitive skin because they may have rosacea but don’t know it. Rosacea can be confusing because those with the condition have sensitive skin, but those with sensitive skin do not all have rosacea.

If you have been reading along and nodding to the signs and have your confirmation that you do have sensitive skin, you obviously want to know how to treat it or whether it goes away.

Unfortunately, it isn’t so simple to get rid of it. It really isn’t something you outgrow. Dr. Shamban states that sensitive skin is now associated with an altered immune status of the skin, so it can be difficult to reverse. She explains that everything in the environment needs to be controlled, including dust mites and other allergens.

For those dealing with sensitive skin, Dr. Shamban says the most important thing you can do is to moisturize your skin. She explains, “When the skin is moist, the barrier function is improved, and you are less likely to react to any ingredient.” She also states that you should use nature-derived oils, such as coconut oil or argan oil, in your skincare routine.

If you’re a fan of DIY recipes, she lists some great ones for sensitive skin in her book, Heal Your Skin. If you have sensitive skin, you do not want to start experimenting with any old hack you see on Pinterest.

Just like you will want to avoid any products with fragrance, you may not be able to reverse or get rid of your sensitive skin completely, but you can stop your face from getting irritated.

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