Skincare Products » 10 Best Face Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

10 Best Face Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

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Moisturizers are a crucial part of your skincare routine, but when you have sensitive skin, your skincare is anything but routine. Ultimately, those with sensitive skin need to take extra precautions to find the best ingredients for their specific concerns while skipping those that exacerbate the issue.

The best moisturizer for sensitive skin delivers hydration and moisturization without causing redness, irritation, or breakouts. We curated a list of the best face moisturizers for sensitive skin. Whether your skin is oily, aging, or dry, we’ve got an option for your short list.

Best face moisturizers for sensitive skin overview

How we chose the best face moisturizers for sensitive skin

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including formulations, ingredients, and more to create a short list of the top moisturizers for sensitive skin. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best moisturizers for sensitive skin for each category.

Our picks for the best face moisturizers for sensitive skin

Best overall
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Body and Face Lotion

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Good for face and body
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • May not feel super hydrating to some

Developed with dermatologists and accepted by the National Eczema Foundation, CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Body And Face Lotion is a tried-and-true classic for sensitive skin. Ideal for normal to dry skin types and those with sensitive skin, this lightweight lotion moisturizes your skin with a one-two punch of three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid

This lotion provides all-day hydration courtesy of MVE Technology — a patented delivery system that continually releases moisturizing ingredients throughout the day. CeraVe also works to restore your skin’s moisture barrier, thanks to the not just one but three different ceramides. This lotion is allergy-tested and noncomedogenic.

We should note that this formula has its pros and cons. It’s lightweight, so it absorbs quickly without feeling greasy, but during the dry, cold winter months, it may be too light for some.

Skin type: Normal to dry | Main ingredient(s): Ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Size: 12 oz

Best budget
Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer

What we love

  • 12-hour hydration
  • Doesn’t feel greasy
  • Simple ingredient list

What we don’t love

  • No SPF

If the purse strings are a little tighter these days, you might consider Simple’s Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer. This moisturizer, coming in under $10, is formulated with ingredients that are good for sensitive skin, like triple purified water, vitamin B5, and glycerin. You’ll be happy to know that it skips common irritants, like synthetic fragrances and parabens. 

Simple’s Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer doubles your skin’s hydration and locks it in place for 12 hours. It’s hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and even dermatologist-tested, so you know it’s, well, kind to your skin.

Skin type: All | Main ingredient(s): Pro-vitamin B5, glycerin, bisabolol, allantoin | Size: 4.2 fl oz

Best drugstore
Olay Classic Moisturizing Lotion Sensitive Skin

What we love

  • Formulated with chamomile and aloe
  • 12-hour hydration
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Some users note a strong scent

Another classic for sensitive skin (as you can tell by the name) is Olay’s Classic Moisturizing Lotion Sensitive Skin. Formulated with “good for your skin” ingredients like chamomile and aloe, this oldy but goody has been delivering on its skincare promise since 1952

While the aloe and chamomile help soothe sensitive skin, the glycerin in this lotion does the heavy lifting to draw moisture into your skin and keep it there. Ultimately, users can expect at least 12 hours of hydration from this drugstore favorite. 

Olay’s Classic Moisturizing Lotion is a no-fuss option that works well on all skin types, and the budget-friendly price makes it even more attractive.

Skin type: All | Main ingredient(s): Chamomile and aloe | Size: 6 oz

Best splurge
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

What we love

  • Nourishing lipid formulation
  • Absorbs quickly

What we don’t love

  • No SPF

As its name implies, SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is formulated with a lipid ratio of 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acid. These skincare powerhouses meld together for a deeply nourishing cream perfect for sensitive and mature skin. 

The cholesterol component helps restore your skin’s moisture and supports self-repair. Overall, this fast-absorbing formula is clinically proven to nourish dry skin, improve skin texture, and boost radiance. It’s expensive but worth the benefits.

Skin type: Aging, dry, normal, oily, combination, sensitive | Main ingredient(s): Cholesterol, pure ceramides, fatty acids, and vitamin E | Size: 1.6 fl oz

Best oil-free
Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer

What we love

  • Water-based
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Lightweight

What we don’t love

  • Not great for extremely dry skin

Those with oily or acne-prone skin may want to add Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Daily Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer to their sensitive skincare routine. Specially formulated for sensitive skin, this water-based moisturizer is lightweight, oil-free, and ultra-gentle. 

This moisturizer is free of the ingredients that aggravate sensitive skin, like dyes, synthetic fragrances, and sulfates. But it nicely doubles down on what your skin needs. The water-based formula provides plenty of hydration, while the glycerin locks it in to moisturize your skin without a greasy or shiny finish.

Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Daily Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer can do its part to soothe sensitive skin, but it may not be the best option for those with extremely dry skin — a thicker formula may deliver better results.

Skin type: Oily, sensitive | Main ingredient(s): Water, glycerine | Size: 4 fl oz

Best lightweight
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermallergo Moisturizing Cream

What we love

  • Tested on allergy-prone, ultrasensitive skin
  • No skin stressors, like preservatives, fragrances, or alcohol
  • Airtight pump keeps it sanitary

What we don’t love

  • No SPF

This moisturizing cream is formulated with La Roche-Posay’s Thermal Spring Water and Neurosensine, a combination of arginine and tyrosine that has skin-soothing and anti-aging properties. La Roche-Posay’s moisturizing cream soothes and hydrates dry skin, leaving it soft, calm, and silky smooth. 

This cream is tested on allergy-prone, ultrasensitive skin and formulated without irritants such as preservatives, parabens, fragrances, and alcohol. It’s chock full of the ingredients you want, like shea butter and glycerine, leaving you with a nourishing cream that’s good for your skin.

Skin type: All | Main ingredient(s): Neurosensine, shea butter, glycerin, La Roche-Posay Thermal | Size: 1.35 fl oz

Best night cream
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream

What we love

  • Specifically formulated for sensitive skin
  • Creamy consistency
  • Unscented

What we don’t love

  • Pricey for a drugstore brand

Anyone who’s ever visited a dermatologist for their sensitive skin can probably tell you that Cetaphil often tops their list of recommended products for sensitive skin. That’s probably because Cetaphil is dermatologist-tested and clinically proven to be gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Under the cover, we find that Cetaphil’s Rich Hydrating Cream quenches sensitive skin with a nice dose of hyaluronic acid. Factor in the pro-vitamin complex (specifically, vitamins E and C) and a little olive extract, and you have a rich hydrating cream that beautifully defends against five signs of skin sensitivity: dryness, roughness, tightness, irritation, and weak skin barrier. 

If that weren’t plenty, this cream is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic so that it won’t clog your pores. The thick, creamy consistency of Cetaphil’s Rich Hydrating Cream makes it our pick for the best night cream.

Skin type: Normal to dry, sensitive | Main ingredient(s): Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, olive extract, vitamin E, vitamin C | Size: 1.7 fl oz

Best for mature skin
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

What we love

  • Soft and weightless
  • Hydrates for up to 72 hours
  • Water-based

What we don’t love

  • Some users noted its lack of absorption
  • No SPF
  • Pricey

With a concentrated 30% hyaluronic acid complex, Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream hits our list as the best moisturizer for sensitive, mature skin. 

We know that hyaluronic acid works to draw moisture into your skin. But digging a little deeper, we find that this cream contains powerful humectants, including Pentavitin, which provides hydration for up to 72 hours, and ProHyal+ to further boost hydration. As a whole, Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin silky, hydrated, and more youthful-looking. 

This water-based formula delivers plenty of hydration but dries light as a cloud (hence the name), and it feels weightless on your skin. Further, it’s suitable for all skin types, and it’s noncomedogenic.

Skin type: Normal, oily, mature, combination, sensitive | Main ingredient(s): Concentrated 30% hyaluronic acid complex, hydrolyzed silk | Size: 1.7 fl oz

Best for combination skin
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer

What we love

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Lightweight
  • Absorbs quickly

What we don’t love

  • Although formulated for sensitive skin, some users note a reaction

For those with dry, sensitive, or combination skin, First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer is a thick, rich moisturizer that restores calm. With nourishing ingredients, like shea butter ceramides and colloidal oats, this cream relieves dryness, soothes irritation, and protects your skin from further stress. 

And while this cream is thick and creamy, it’s still lightweight and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a smooth finish. It delivers deep hydration without any adverse effects from alcohol and artificial fragrances.

Skin type: Shea butter, avocado oil, ceramides | Main ingredient(s): Normal, combination | Size: 1.7 fl oz

Best for dry skin
Avène Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Balm

What we love

  • Formulated to calm skin discomfort
  • No overpowering scent
  • Not greasy

What we don’t love

  • Feels a bit sticky

Made with a unique combination of Avène Thermal Spring Water, shea butter, and D-sensinose, this Soothing Skin Recovery Balm is specifically formulated to calm irritated skin. 

While Avène’s Thermal Spring Water and D-sensinose soothe skin discomforts like tingling, burning, and tightness, the shea butter and squalene do the heavy lifting to provide 24 hours of continuous hydration. Like many of the best face moisturizers for sensitive skin, Avène Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Balm skips the preservatives, fragrances, and parabens that could irritate your skin.

Skin type: Dry, sensitive | Main ingredient(s): D-sensinose, Avène Thermal Spring Water, shea butter | Size: 1.3 fl oz

For sensitive skin, ingredients matter

If your skin leans into its sensitive side, the formulations of the products you choose can be make or break(out). While your checklist should include skin-nourishing and hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, you should keep irritating fragrances and alcohol to a minimum.

CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Body And Face Lotion is a dermatologist-created moisturizer containing all of the ingredients sensitive skin needs — and none of the things it doesn’t. It’s a no-fuss way to take care of sensitive skin, and as an added bonus, it won’t upend your budget. 

How to pick the right sensitive face moisturizers for you

When shopping for the best face moisturizer for sensitive skin, it’s equally important to look for what the moisturizer contains as what it doesn’t. 

Ingredients to look for


Humectants are substances that draw water into the skin — so it’s easy to see how they can be a crucial ingredient in moisturizers. The best humectants hydrate your skin without leaving it feeling heavy or oily. Common humectants include glycerin and hyaluronic acid. 


These are also good ingredients to look for in a moisturizer. They’re typically used to relieve dryness, itching, and scaling. Butters, oils, and fatty acids all fall under the category of emollients, and some of the more common ones you’ll see in face moisturizers are shea butter, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. 


These are moisturizing agents that create a barrier to trap moisture in your skin. Those with sensitive skin that runs on the dry side may want to keep an eye out for occlusives like petrolatum and beeswax. It’s also worth noting that oils and butters, like shea butter, can also act as occlusives.

Ingredients to avoid


While fragrances can do plenty to improve your experience when using a particular moisturizer, the trouble is that fragrances are notorious for containing mysterious ingredients. Not only are fragrances known to cause allergic reactions, but with all the mysterious ingredients within them, it’s difficult to know what you’re actually putting on your skin. 


Alcohol is often used in skincare products to help ingredients penetrate the skin or give the product a more lightweight feel. The problem is that alcohol can be very drying, and if your skin is already sensitive, the alcohol in your face moisturizer will only exacerbate the issue. It’s probably best to avoid any alcohol in your moisturizer, with one notable exception: Those with oily skin may prefer a face moisturizer with alcohol, as its drying effects would be desirable. 

Skin type

All skin types are not created equal, so when shopping for the best face moisturizer, it’s important to keep your specific skin type in mind. If your skin is dry, oily, sensitive, or mature, it’s crucial to shop accordingly. Those with dry skin should keep an eye out for creams over lotions, as the thicker consistency is better for their specific skincare needs. 

Likewise, if dryness is a concern, look for a moisturizer formulated with occlusives and emollients that’ll not only moisturize your skin but also create a barrier to trap moisture where you need it most. Moreover, whereas someone with sensitive skin should choose an alcohol-free moisturizer, those with oily skin won’t need to worry about that ingredient because, again, its drying effects could prove beneficial by keeping oil in check.

Skin soothers

Those with sensitive skin should keep a keen eye on the ingredient list for any moisturizer on their short list. While fragrances and alcohol should typically be avoided, skin soothers are essential. To that end, you should be on the lookout for the best skin-soothing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, colloidal oats, aloe, olive extract, and chamomile. The above will do the heavy lifting to hydrate, moisturize, and comfort your skin.


What do dermatologists recommend for sensitive skin? 

Dermatologists typically recommend products that are fragrance-free and overall kind to the skin. If sensitive skin is your concern, your dermatologist will likely recommend products like CeraVe and Cetaphil.

Can you have both dry and sensitive skin?

Yes. In fact, sensitive skin can be a factor for any skin type, whether your skin is normal, oily, or a combination. Those with dry and sensitive skin are likely to notice that their skin is not only dry and tight but also prone to redness, itching, flaking, rashes, or other types of discomfort. 

What’s the difference between moisturizing and hydrating?

While the terms hydrating and moisturizing are often confused and used interchangeably, they’re, in fact, two distinct processes. Hydrating your skin means that you’re boosting its water content. In terms of skincare, humectants are great for hydration, as they work to pull water (from your moisturizer) into your skin. Moisturizing, on the other hand, is about creating a barrier to trap moisture and prevent water loss.