What to Look for in Sensitive Skin Products

When considering skincare for sensitive skin , it’s essential to read labels carefully since the ingredients in a product are just as important as the ingredients that are not. There are also several key terms to look for, including fragrance-free and non-irritating, as well as seals of approval from various dermatological organizations.

Find the best skincare for sensitive skin

Less is more when it comes to sensitive skin care , and the basic sensitive skin products are cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. This minimalistic approach applies to ingredients as well, and the shorter the ingredient list the better. Fragrance-free products are also a wise choice for sensitive skin.5 It’s also important to stop using any product that causes redness, burning or itching—and keep irritated skin protected from the sun. In the event that a skin reaction occurs and does not improve within a few days, a trip to the dermatologist may be in order.

Facial cleanser and body wash for sensitive skin

Cleansing is an essential first step in any skincare routine, and sensitive skin care is no exception. There are a variety of options when it comes to cleanser for sensitive skin , and those with drier skin might want to opt for a non-foaming face wash for sensitive skin , while those with oily or acne-prone skin may prefer a gel-based formula.6 For cleansing on the go, a micellar water can be a gentle yet effective cleanser for sensitive skin . Regardless of skin type, additional beneficial ingredients in a facial wash for sensitive skin include ceramides to help restore the skin’s barrier1 along with  for hydration.3

The face isn’t the only part of the body that can experience sensitivity, and a body wash for sensitive skin can help soothe skin. The same ingredients found in facial washes are effective for cleansing and calming skin on the body as well—and some products can be used from head to toe.

Moisturizer and lotion for sensitive skin

Those with sensitive skin often have a compromised skin barrier, which can lead to dryness. A face moisturizer for sensitive skin should be used morning and night (or more often if necessary), and options include lightweight lotions for oily and acne-prone skin as well as creams for drier skin that can benefit from a richer moisturizer. The same applies to body lotion for sensitive skin , which is an important skincare product that should be used as often as needed to help keep skin hydrated. Remember, ceramides that help restore the skin’s protective barrier are a beneficial ingredient in any moisturizer for sensitive skin .1

In addition to daily face moisturizer and body lotion for sensitive skin , a skin protectant ointment can temporarily protect and help relieve chafed, chapped or cracked skin. Petrolatum is an excellent non-comedogenic skin protectant ingredient that creates a barrier on the skin to help lock moisture in.7 Those with sensitive skin may want to look for a lanolin-free formula to avoid the risk of related sensitive skin reactions. as well.8

Sunscreen for sensitive skin

Those whose skin tends to react to skincare products need to be careful when selecting sun-protection products. Many dermatologists recommend a mineral-based sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to help provide effective broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays while being gentle on sensitive skin. All skin requires broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that should be used as directed (in addition to other sun protection measures) to help prevent the damage that can lead to visible signs of skin aging and skin cancer, but sensitive skin can be especially aggravated by UV rays.5 (All CeraVe sunscreens, whether they contain mineral- or chemical-based sunscreen filters are developed by dermatologists and suitable for sensitive skin.)

  1. Meckfessel, M. H., & Brandt, S. (2014). The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology71(1), 177-184.
  2. Baumann, L. (2009) Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice (pp.126-128). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical
  3. Baumann, L. (2015) Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (pp.77-80). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical
  4. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/sensitive-skin-products#1 rel="noopener noreferrer"
  5. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/sensitive-skin-20-questions#1
  6. Baumann, L. (2015) Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (pp.20). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical
  7. Baumann, L. (2015) Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (pp.48-50). rel="noopener noreferrer" New York: McGraw-Hill rel="noopener noreferrer" Medical
  8. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(09)00865-3/fulltext