Unfortunately, it’s hard enough just finding products for sensitive skin that won’t cause a bad reaction in the first place. That’s why we have chosen the best skincare products for sensitive skin, guaranteed to be free of likely irritants and rich in ingredients that calm, fortify, and soothe the skin. They are mild, soothing, and free of fragrances and other irritants, but they also still have a real impact on the appearance of the skin.
1. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
A balm cleanser is one of the best ways of keeping the skin clean without causing irritation, and this is one of the best balm cleansers on the market. It breaks down makeup and sunscreen easily, without the need for rubbing and tugging on the skin, which can trigger irritation. If you’re a big makeup wearer with sensitive skin, it’s a must-have!
As with all Clinique products, it’s fragrance-free and has a short ingredient list that’s unlikely to irritate. In fact, it contains vitamin E-rich safflower oil, which actually has a soothing effect. You can use it alone or follow it up with a foaming cleanser if your skin is a little oilier. Find it at Sephora!
2. First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser
Anyone could benefit from this gorgeous cleanser, but it’s especially great for those with sensitive skin. Though it comes out from the tube as a cream, it foams up with water, so even if your sensitive skin is a little oily, it’ll still feel good. The formula is surfactant-based but sulfate-free with a low-pH that preserves the acid mantle, and a few added soothing ingredients that give the skin a boost. It’s great at removing makeup, so you can use it alone or rely on it as a second cleanser. Buy it from Sephora!
3. Purito Centella Unscented Serum
This fantastic product for sensitive skin comes to us from Korea, but unlike most K-beauty products, it’s fragrance-free. It’s a very light serum made with extremely gentle ingredients focused on hydrating the skin and bringing down inflammation. The star ingredient is centella asiatica extract, which is potently skin-calming, along with a few more concentrated anti-inflammatory compounds derived from the plant.
It also features multi-purpose niacinamide, fortifying ceramides, lots of different hydrating agents, and anti-aging peptides. It’s a fantastic formula for all skin types, and those with extremely oily skin can even use it instead of moisturizer. It’s available on Amazon.
4. Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair Moisturizer With 250mg CBD and Ceramides
CBD is another one of our favorite ingredients for sensitive skin. Taken from the cannabis plant, this compound has soothing effects that are so powerful that it can topically reduce pain. This impeccable formula pairs 250 mg of CBD with barrier-repairing ceramides, vitamin E-rich sunflower oil, and a few other soothing extracts and compounds. Though it is very creamy, the ingredients themselves are non-comedogenic, so it’s appropriate for everyone, especially when your skin is the most irritated. Buy it from Sephora!
5. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
It was formerly only available as a prescription medication for rosacea, but nowadays, azelaic acid is available in cosmetics, and we couldn’t be happier! It’s one of the best products for sensitive skin, helping to bring down redness, rosacea flare-ups, and even acne. This ingredient has a mild exfoliating effect that is just gentle enough for sensitive skin. It comes in the form of silky cream, but it’s a treatment first and foremost. You can use it all over the face or just as a spot treatment. Order it online from Amazon!
6. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides
A good moisturizer is a must-have for all skin types, but finding a good one for sensitive skin isn’t always easy. Lala Retro is a lovely choice from Drunk Elephant because it’s made with mild ingredients that still have an impact. This moisturizer has a creamy, whipped texture that’s ideal for normal and dry skin, and it’s made with moisturizing and fortifying ceramides, antioxidant-rich botanical oils, and peptides that help stave off the early signs of aging. Pick it up from Sephora!
7. Paula’s Choice CALM SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer Broad Spectrum
Sun exposure is one of the easiest ways to exacerbate the condition of sensitive skin, so having a great daily sunscreen is very important. If you’d rather keep your sensitive skincare routine short and simple, a moisturizing sunscreen like this Paula’s Choice one is the way to go. It protects the skin with mineral sunscreens, which are less likely to irritate, and yet it doesn’t leave a white cast.
It also includes a range of oils, humectants, and antioxidants to nourish, protect, and hydrate the skin. It has a creamy texture, so it’s best for dry or normal skin. Have it mailed to you by Amazon!
8. The Inkey List Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) Gentle Exfoliating Toner
This is one of the best exfoliants for sensitive skin. It comes in the form of a toner, which is very easy to work into a soothing routine. It’s still stronger than other products on our list, so it should be introduced slowly.
The active ingredient in it is a chemical exfoliant called gluconolactone, which is a polyhydroxy acid. PHA is a larger structure when compared to other chemical exfoliants, so it doesn’t penetrate as quickly into the skin, which allows it to exfoliate more gently, with a reduced chance of irritation. It also includes antioxidant niacinamide along with a few hydrating agents. Buy it at Sephora!
9. Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF50+ PA++++
This is another amazing Purito product for sensitive skin. It’s a high-powered sunscreen made to be as gentle as possible with both soothing centella asiatica and niacinamide. While it is made with chemical sunscreens, the ones used here are new to the market and known for being very stable, offering high protection against both UVA and UVB and for being unlikely to irritate the skin or sting the eyes. This sunscreen has a light texture, but it’s rich in hydrating agents that might leave a sheen on the skin. You can get it on Amazon.
10. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
This balm is famous for its reparative effect on the skin. It’s a thick cream that is perfect to have on hand immediately after some sort of flare-up or at times when your skin becomes severely flaky due to sun exposure or irritation. It’s made with dimethicone, which creates a protective layer over the skin, along with hydrating panthenol and glycerin that pull moisture in. For those with severely dry skin, it’s a phenomenal moisturizer, but for anyone else with sensitive skin, it’ll just be good to have on hand. Grab it from Dermstore!
11. Avène Hydrance AQUA-GEL
Those with oily or combination sensitive skin still need to moisturize, but it can be difficult to find something with a pleasant texture that’s also gentle on the skin. Here comes this gel moisturizer that sinks in instantly to load the skin up with moisture but is free of oils or any heavy-feeling emollients. It includes a range of protective marine extracts, soothing centella, glycerin for hydration, and a few silicones for that silky, matte feel that locks in moisture. You can get it at Dermstore.
12. Indeed Labs Bakuchiol Reface Pads
Traditional anti-aging ingredients are often too intense for sensitive skin, so sometimes the best route is to choose something gentler, even if it’s less effective. We love these bakuchiol pads because they offer both gentle anti-aging effects thanks to the skin-restoring effects of bakuchiol, and soothing effects thanks to niacinamide and allantoin. They can be used by all skin types, and since they come as pads, they are quick and easy to use. Shop for them at Ulta!
13. Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist
Traditional toners with alcohol are not a great idea for sensitive skin, but calming face mists like this one are perfect. This toner can be sprayed over the skin, and it has a quick cooling effect that’s pleasant at any time of day. It includes a radish root ferment filtrate that helps to support a healthy microbiome along with butylene glycol and glycerin for hydration. The soothing agents in here are oat and ginger extracts, which help bring down redness. Order it from Dermstore!
Photos via @lefreaks_, Sephora, Nordstrom