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Best 10 Sensitive Skin Products for a Soothing Skincare Routine

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

When you have sensitive skin, you know that creating an effective skincare routine can feel like a very unfair game of Russian roulette. In many cases, sensitivity also comes with concerns like dryness, acne, or more serious conditions like contact dermatitis. From eczema to psoriasis and everything in between, you have to be mindful of what you use on your face and body when you have sensitive skin. 

Products with harsh ingredients can make a bad situation worse. Meanwhile, products that lack effective ingredients don’t get to the root of your skin concerns, ultimately prolonging your agony. So, thanks to some recommendations from Glowsly members with sensitive skin, we’ve pulled together a list of gentle yet effective items that won’t cause irritation, redness, or swelling. 

Best products for sensitive skin overview:

How we chose the best sensitive skin products

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

Our picks for the best sensitive skin products

Best overall
Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid 100% Pure

What we love

  • Also available in hand pump versions
  • 1% hyaluronic acid concentration
  • Vegan and cruelty free

What we don’t love

  • A little pricey in larger sizes

When you have sensitive skin, more than likely, one of your biggest concerns is dryness. In some cases, that might be seasonal. Or, you might be one of the lucky few who finds themselves fighting flakes year-round. Whichever category applies, maintaining a proper moisture balance is critical to keeping sensitive skin happy. 

Timeless Skincare’s Hyaluronic Acid 100% Pure is a 1% hyaluronic acid serum that works to penetrate your skin deeply. This active ingredient is known for plumping the skin and retaining moisture. While the compact size might not be practical for a full-body treatment, the brand offers an 8-ounce pump bottle for larger applications, working to banish flakes from head to toe.

Key ingredients: 1% hyaluronic acid | Purpose: Hydration | Frequency: Twice daily (morning and evening)

Best budget
Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic

What we love

  • Gentle 5% glycolic acid formula
  • Exfoliates and brightens
  • Aloe vera to soothe skin

What we don’t love

  • Twice daily usage might be too intense

Those with sensitive skin still need to exfoliate — especially if you have eczema, which can lead to a buildup of rough, dry skin. However, finding an effective exfoliator without stripping or irritating the skin can be challenging. 

Pixi Beauty’s Glow Tonic leverages the power of glycolic acid in a fairly gentle 5% potency. While you should always patch test before introducing new products into your routine, this low-irritation toner comes after your cleansing step. It gently removes flakes while using aloe vera to calm and soothe irritated skin. 

However, while the product packaging recommends using it twice daily, you might want to adjust for your needs, as this frequency might be too harsh for some. You might even find that daily use is unrealistic.

Key ingredients: 5% glycolic acid, aloe vera, ginseng, botanical extracts | Purpose: Exfoliation, brightening | Frequency: Twice daily (morning and evening)

Best face moisturizer
Fleur & Bee H2 Oh Yeah

What we love

  • Incredibly hydrating
  • Vegan and cruelty free
  • Reduces the look of aging on mature skin

What we don’t love

  • May be too heavy for oily or acne-prone skin

We can’t stress enough that sensitive skin almost always struggles with dryness. However, there are outliers — like those with oily or acne-prone skin that’s also sensitive. For those skin types, this product pick might not be a fit. But if you’re fighting dryness and have mature skin, Fleur & Bee H2 Oh Yeah is a must-have that’s vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty free.

With shea butter as one of the main ingredients, it’s designed to deeply penetrate and hydrate the layers of your skin. It also incorporates squalane, sea buckthorn oil, CoQ10, and hyaluronic acid to attract and retain moisture. This is a heavier facial moisturizer that can lean towards greasy if overapplied. If you’re concerned about this, use it as a night cream.

Key ingredients: Shea butter, squalane, CoQ10, hyaluronic acid, sea buckthorn oil | Purpose: Hydration | Frequency: Daily, whenever needed

Best protective
CeraVe Healing Ointment

What we love

  • Includes hyaluronic acid and ceramides
  • Hydrates and protects
  • Non-comedogenic, fragrance-free

What we don’t love

  • Contains petroleum jelly
  • May be too heavy for some skin types

For sensitive skin beauties, the perfect routine needs to be flexible. Depending on what’s going on with your skin, you’ll need to add or remove products to boost results. In particular, there will be times when you need an occlusive. This product serves as a barrier to prevent moisture from being leached out of your skin. 

Many people consider the OG occlusive a classic petroleum jelly. While effective at protecting the skin, this product doesn’t actually moisturize since it simply sits on the skin. Elevate your occlusive game with CeraVe’s Healing Ointment. It serves as a protective barrier to prevent moisture from being extracted from your skin.

It’s also infused with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to improve your skin’s natural barrier while soothing irritation. The fragrance-free formula doesn’t have lanolin and is non-comedogenic.

Key ingredients: Petroleum jelly, ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Purpose: Protection, hydration | Frequency: Daily, whenever needed

Best body wash
Cetaphil Flare-Up Relief Body Wash

What we love

  • Fragrance-free
  • Approved by the National Eczema Association
  • Contains colloidal oatmeal and shea butter

What we don’t love

  • Doesn’t offer instant soothing results for flare-ups

If you’re experiencing any kind of skin flare-up, you know that it can be an all-consuming experience. In short, the only thing that occupies your mind is how to make your skin stop itching. When this happens, you’ll need to fine-tune your entire skincare routine — including your shower product lineup. 

During the middle of a flare-up, you need to ditch scented washes or soaps with questionable ingredients and prioritize items that help calm your skin and restore harmony. Cetaphil’s Flare-Up Relief Body Wash is a gentle colloidal oatmeal-based formula that’s unscented. If you’re in the middle of a flare up, however, don’t expect immediate relief from a single wash. Your symptoms should improve within two to three days of use. 

Along with promising 24 hours of dryness relief, it also works to soothe irritated skin. It gently cleanses without stripping your skin of critical moisture and natural oils. Plus, this pick is dermatologically tested to be safe for sensitive skin. You can also rest easy as this body wash carries the National Eczema Association’s seal of approval.

Key ingredients: Shea butter, colloidal oatmeal, soybean oil, glycerin | Purpose: Hydration, soothing irritation | Frequency: Daily, whenever needed

Best face mask
Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask

What we love

  • Matcha provides antioxidant protection
  • Contains bakuchiol, a gentle retinol alternative
  • Ideal for acne and oily skin

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

Sensitive skin can often fall into the troubled skin category as external (and sometimes internal) triggers lead to inflammation and irritation that can be difficult to banish. Again, you’ll want to focus on gentle products, as picking skincare items that contain harsh additives can lead to a vicious cycle of increased irritation, inflammation, and itching. And we all know that leads to scratching and blemishes — and the pattern continues.

When you need something to give your skin a deep dose of TLC, the Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask is a solid choice. This gentle clay-based face mask is packed with not just matcha (green tea) but other skin-friendly ingredients like bakuchiol, willow bark extract, and the brand’s signature blend of jojoba oil and willowherb. Because it can absorb excess oil, it’s a great option if you have sensitive skin and struggle with acne or oil production.

Key ingredients: Matcha, bakuchiol, kaolin clay, willow bark extract | Purpose: Hydration, reduces redness, controls oil production | Frequency: 2-3 times a week

Best body moisturizer
Derma:B CeraMD Repair Body Cream

What we love

  • Works to control itchiness
  • Combination of ceramides and panthenol
  • Unscented

What we don’t love

  • Chemical/medicinal scent might not appeal to all

Whether you’re struggling with winter itch or are in the middle of a flare-up, you need hydration that puts a stop to the scratching. Remember, scratching — while initially satisfying — just makes a frustrating situation worse. 

This K-beauty entry from Derma:B is a ceramide-rich hydrating cream moisturizer that soothes, protects, and calms your skin. It’s specifically designed to stop the itch — and we can attest to its effectiveness. It contains panthenol (vitamin B5) to further hydrate and restore your skin’s barrier. The rich cream absorbs quickly without leaving a heavy film on your skin. 

The CeraMD cream is also unscented and safe for sensitive skin, including babies. While it can instantly improve the feel of your skin, consistent use also aids in moisture retention. However, while this product is deemed fragrance-free, it does have a scent that we describe as medicinal or slightly chemical since it lacks masking scents.

Key ingredients: Ceramides, panthenol | Purpose: Hydration, itch control | Frequency: Daily, as needed

Best exfoliator
AprilSkin Calendula PHA Hyaluronic Peeling Gel

What we love

  • Safe for face and body
  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate

What we don’t love

  • Only available online

Exfoliation, when you have sensitive skin, can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you need to cleanse your pores and remove dead skin. On the other, if you use products that are too harsh, you can encourage irritation. More importantly, if you’re battling conditions like eczema, your face isn’t the only part of your body that needs to be exfoliated. 

AprilSkin’s Calendula PHA Hyaluronic Peeling Gel is a gentle gommage-style exfoliator that’s not just for your face. It works by loosening dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and capturing them in the formula that leverages PHAs and Papain enzymes. This vegan product is effective without causing any stinging or irritation. 

Just remember, if you’re in the middle of a flare-up, hold off on exfoliating until it subsides. Trying to exfoliate while battling the root causes of a flare-up can exacerbate irritation. Adjust your exfoliation schedule depending on your skin’s sensitivity level.

Key ingredients: PHA, Papain enzymes, hyaluronic acid, calendula | Purpose: Exfoliation | Frequency: 2-3 times a week

Best spot treatment
Bushbalm Dark Spot Oil

What we love

  • Designed for use all over the body
  • Controls hyperpigmentation
  • Available in 2 scents

What we don’t love

  • Takes up to 1.5 months for results

One of the most frustrating side effects of a sensitive skin flare-up is that it can leave you with blemishes. These are best treated with an effective dark spot corrector that’s not overly harsh.

Bushblam is a brand that’s made a name for itself, creating skin-friendly products for some of the most sensitive skin on your body — your bikini area and underarms. Originally intended as a post-treatment solution for waxing and shaving, the brand’s Dark Spot Oil can control hyperpigmentation and discoloration anywhere on the body.

Available in two scents (piña colada and Bermuda), this gentle spot treatment oil uses jojoba seed oil to soften and hydrate, while lemon peel oil works to minimize the appearance of dark spots. You’ll want to use it religiously for four to six weeks for the best results.

Key ingredients: Jojoba, lemon peel, tea tree, grapeseed oils | Purpose: Hyperpigmentation | Frequency: Daily

Best brightening
Beekman 1802 Golden Booster Vitamin C Brightening Serum

What we love

  • Gentle brightener
  • Contains high-potency vitamin C
  • Can be used daily

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

We’re rounding out our top picks with a fan favorite from Beekman 1802. The Golden Booster Vitamin C Brightening Serum is packed with vitamin C from the amla berry, which contains 20 times more of the vitamin than oranges. Meanwhile, it also protects your skin from environmental stressors. 

Although you can use the Golden Booster alone, it’s intended to be paired with a moisturizer. It’s especially ideal for sensitive and dull skin. With consistent use, focus groups found that after four weeks, respondents had more even and brighter skin tones.

Key ingredients: Amla berry (vitamin C), ashwagandha | Purpose: Brightening | Frequency: Daily

Customize your routine to your skin’s needs 

Having sensitive skin can be frustrating, we know. However, it doesn’t mean you have to struggle with irritation or the fallout of a flare-up. You’ll most likely want to prioritize gentle ingredient lists that make hydration a focal point. The Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid 100% Pure Serum is a great starting point for boosting hydrating. Meanwhile, Pixi Beauty’s Glow Tonic gently cleanses your pores and removes dead skin with a simple 5% glycolic acid formula. 

How to pick the right products for you

Picking the right products is vital to address your skin’s unique needs. Likewise, you need to pay attention to the product ingredients and active ingredient concentrations to ensure they’re compatible with your specific skin concerns. 


With sensitive skin, you always need to cater your product picks to your specific concerns, as well as any sensitivities you might have. Generally, people with sensitive skin are encouraged to avoid products such as retinol or salicylic acid because they can be too harsh. Instead, you’ll find that gentle active ingredients that tend to be well tolerated are hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, squalane, and even less irritating chemical exfoliators like glycolic or lactic acid. 

However, this is not an absolute; you also need to consider your skin type. If you have acne or oily skin, you might need to use a product with salicylic acid to control breakouts and oil production. 

The trick is to adapt to your skin needs. Rather than picking a product with a higher concentration of salicylic acid, opt for a cleanser or topical serum with a lower percentage. You’ll still get oil control and effective pore cleansing, but you’re less likely to experience excessive irritation from overexposure to harsh ingredients.  

When to incorporate products

While there’s a general order of operations for skincare products, you need to consider what’s happening with your skin when you plan on using them. If you’re not experiencing a flare-up, then the generic below lineup makes sense: 

  • Cleanser
  • Exfoliator
  • Toner
  • Serums
  • Moisturizer

However, you might need to hold off on exfoliation when you’re in the middle of a flare-up, such as contact dermatitis or eczema. Aggressive ingredients can put your skin in a vicious feedback loop of irritation, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation. When dealing with a flare-up, you need to first figure out what’s causing it and control those factors before introducing exfoliation. 

Skin conditions

Sensitive skin — like many conditions — sits on a spectrum. While many people don’t think of acne or oily skin as sensitive, it points to an imbalance usually addressed by controlling acne production and thoroughly cleansing the pores. Meanwhile, other concerns like eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis might seem more obvious as a skin condition. 

Along with considering your skin type, pick products specifically catering to your skin concern. If you’re fighting a condition like eczema or contact dermatitis, you need to find non-irritating products and determine what underlying trigger is causing the issue. Spoiler alert: Stress is often a major trigger for eczema. With psoriasis, work with a dermatologist to get to the source. Or, if you have psoriatic arthritis, work with a rheumatologist. 


Which brand is best for sensitive skin? 

This depends on your body chemistry, as well as the type of skin sensitivity you’re experiencing. However, we do recommend the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid 100% Pure serum as it aids in boosting moisture — dryness is a common issue for sensitive skin. 

What products should you buy for sensitive skin?

You can’t approach sensitive skin as a one-size-fits-all affair. First, figure out your skin’s sensitivity, what’s triggering it, and consider your skin type. As a general rule, avoid scented products with chemical fragrances and those that contain harsh additives or mechanical exfoliants that can worsen inflamed skin. 

Is CeraVe good for sensitive skin?

Yes, CeraVe is good for sensitive skin. The brand’s products carry the National Eczema Association seal of approval, demonstrating that the company’s skincare offerings are safe for the most sensitive skin types and conditions.