Be sure you're shopping for the right skincare for sensitive skin with this online pocket ingredients dictionary

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Sensitive skinned readers will know I regularly urge everyone to swot up on the ingredients in their skincare, first and foremost, and to check them when shopping for beauty - but aside from the obvious culprits (read my checklist of ingredients to avoid in skincare if you’re sensitive here ), how likely are you to remember those long  scientific names? Not very - especially as some of them are still written in Latin - and we know that labels can’t always be trusted either.

So what if you could carry a beauty dictionary around in your pocket for when you’re scanning the aisles for new products and need to know what octyldodecanol or glyceryl oleate is (nope, no idea either)? Enter Skin Matters, the app by top facialist and skincare expert Joanne Evans - available now in the App Store, the 99p app allows you to search (with the very helpful predictive text for those tricky names) any ingredient from a product INCI list  in order to see in simple terms whether it would suit your skin and what exactly it does.

On downloading the app you’ll be prompted to select your skin type and any conditions you experience, as well as your age, so that the information of any ingredients you search is tailored to you - after all, what works as a wonder-cure for one person’s skin may be kryptonite for another’s. You can even browse through your profile and discover which ingredients you might want to look out for in products to improve your skin; a little too granular, perhaps, but useful if you’re keen to optimise your skincare.

As founder Joanne says, “People just don’t know what their skin needs. The key is to get to know your skin and the ingredients in the products you are using and this app allows you to do just that. It allows you to develop the knowledge of what ingredients work best for you."

The app itself isn’t flawless - on entering a few ingredients from a range of skincare packages on my desk, a couple weren’t in the database, but for the most part I had success in finding everything I was unsure of. I’ll admit, when I’m at my desk I’ll usually use Paula Begoun’s website  for this - in researching products before I even dare patch test them  it’s a necessary step - but having an app to hand that does the work for you while you’re shopping is priceless for anyone who regularly buys skincare products. And given that you’re here… I’ll assume that’s you. We’ll all be beauty swots in no time.

Skin Matters, £0.99  App Store