Selecting the Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can react to a variety of factors including skincare, but the proper cleanser can help keep redness, burning and stinging at bay. When choosing a cleanser for sensitive skin, it’s important to understand your skin’s needs, as well as additional beneficial ingredients to keep an eye out for.

A closer look at sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is characterized by an increased tendency to react to environmental factors, and it can be due to genetic factors2 or a variety of skin conditions. Sensitive skin symptoms can also be triggered by contact with specific products or ingredients.1 A common underlying factor in most sensitive skin can be a weakened skin barrier.

If you experience skin redness, itching, burning and stinging—especially when you apply skincare products—it’s possible you have sensitive skin. Other sensitive skin symptoms include frequent rashes, itching, dry patches, facial redness, reactions to extreme weather conditions and more.1


The ideal cleanser for sensitive skin

There are several options when selecting a facial cleanser for sensitive skin. Our Hydrating Facial Cleanser is a lightweight lotion formula that effectively removes dirt and makeup while rinsing easily away without leaving any residue behind.

Ingredients to look for

In addition to a mild, gentle formula, there are a few additional beneficial ingredients to look for in a facial wash for sensitive skin.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that is naturally produced by the body. Found naturally within the skin, hyaluronic acid is responsible for the skin’s plumpness and volume. This ingredient acts like a sponge that can attract and retain 1,000 times its own weight in water, making it an excellent non-comedogenic hydrating ingredient. A facial wash for sensitive skin that contains hyaluronic acid forms a layer of hydration on top of the skin that enhances its feeling of softness and smoothness. In addition to hydrating the skin’s surface, hyaluronic acid also helps firm, soothe and plump the skin.


Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide plays an important role in soothing and helping to restore the skin barrier, which can help reduce moisture loss and dehydration. This vitamin is also known to help reduce the visible effects of environmental damage so skin appears healthier and more radiant. This multitasking ingredient is gentle and well-tolerated—even by sensitive skin.


Ceramides: Ceramides are lipids that act as “mortar” between the skin’s cellular “bricks” to reinforce the skin’s barrier and help the skin retain moisture. Ceramides also help the skin barrier protect against environmental aggressors like irritants and pollution. Without the proper ratio of ceramides, the skin’s barrier can become compromised, leading to sensitivity and irritation. A facial wash for sensitive skin that is formulated with ceramides helps minimize barrier disruption caused by cleansing, which, in turn, may enhance its resistance to external irritants. All CeraVe products are formulated with three essential ceramides to help replenish the skin barrier.

  1. Baumann, L. (2009) Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice (pp.94-97). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical