We know how difficult it can be to find the right skin-care essentials when you have specific health conditions, like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, dry eye, or just all-around sensitive skin and eyes. Not every product is made for everyone. If your skin becomes inflamed or stings after using a formula, especially one that contains fragrance, alcohol, or harsh exfoliants, it’s considered sensitive. The good news, though, is that there are tons of products for sensitive skin, whether you’re looking for a non-drying face wash, a lightweight foundation, or even a gentle shampoo. people with sensitive skin should seek out products that are both hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog your pores), and that contain active ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. See below our 2020 selection.
Avène Eau Thermale Micellar Lotion Make-Up Remover
Unlike makeup remover wipes (which can lead to irritated, broken-out skin), this gentle, no-rinse cleanser, toner, and makeup remover doesn’t contain any alcohol, soap, or oil. Plus, it’s spiked with soothing ingredients like chamomile and hyaluronic acid that hydrate your skin as you’re cleansing.
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Eye Makeup Remover Pads
An ultra-gentle formula and small pads make these perfect for eye makeup removal. They definitely get the job done. See the full ingredients list here.
Paula’s Choice Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser
This cleanser comes out as a clear gel, and then transforms into a creamy, foamy cleanser as you massage it into your face. Reviewers all raved that it easily washed away the day—no scrubbing or double-cleansing necessary—leaving their skin fresh and surprisingly hydrated. See the full ingredients list here.
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser $75 SHOP
This ultra-hydrating, super-conditioning face wash leaves your skin feeling impossibly fresh, bouncy, and healthy. It comfortably and gently cleanses, offering up a velvety texture and milky lather, as well as concentrated pitera, SK-II’s signature ingredient rich in vitamins, organic acids, minerals, and amino acids.
Ren Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm
Ren Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm $48
Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator $40SHOP
This cult-favorite refreshing gel-cream provides an instant moisture boost—and is now formulated to deliver almost twice as much hydration as the brand’s first iteration. The activated aloe water included in the formula helps your skin to create its own internal water source (so it can continually rehydrate itself). It sounds like magic, we know. Hyaluronic acid also comes into play by plumping, hydrating, and soothing your skin for hours on end.
Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Balancing Oil
If you’ve never tried a face oil before, we suggest giving this one a shot. Formulated without synthetic fragrances (which our derms warned sensitive skin folks against) and parabens, this oil is also infused with tea tree oil, which can be a good blemish-fighting ingredient—especially if your skin reacts poorly to more traditional BHAs, like salicylic acid. View all ingredients here.
Ren’s Evercalm line of products works to stimulate lipid production and repair sensitive skin on a deeper level. Their Overnight Recovery Balm uses activated oils (including olive, almond, borage, and linseed) to moisturize, strengthen your skin barrier, and flawlessly relieve irritation. An added bonus is that the line protects against pollutants know to irritate the skin.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
This treatment cream should be a staple in any sensitive skin-specific routine. The scientifically-proven blend of essential lipids, like natural cholesterol, pure ceramides, and fatty acids, restore your skin’s elasticity and hydration cycles. Ingredients like vitamin E and essential oils also work in tandem to provide hydration and barrier protection. It’s fast absorbing, full of antioxidants, and visibly quenches the skin. You will not be let down by this thick, velvety, and plumping formula.
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum
This face serum is packed with the skin-repairing reishi mushroom and redness-soothing chaga and cordyceps mushrooms that are typically used in Chinese medicine to help heal irritated, out-of-whack skin.
Peter Thomas Roth FirmX – 360 Eye Renewal Eye Cream
This eye cream is formulated with hyaluronic acid and diamond powder (fancy!) to help minimize fine lines around the eye area. Our reviewers love the cream’s subtle iridescent quality, which undoubtedly comes from its diamond powder ingredient. See the full ingredients list here.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Eye Cream with Cotton Extract
Hot take: Eye cream isn’t just another useless step in your skincare routine—it’s actually super important, especially if you’ve got sensitive skin, since the skin surrounding your eyes is not only thin but also easily irritated by the wrong products. This fragrance-free formula, which is made with moisturizing cotton extract and olive fruit oil, should do the trick.
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Tinted Face
Reviewers loved how this sunscreen went on as a cream, and then had a light, powdery finish after application. The lotion’s sheer tint also helps prevent any white residue concerns that can come up with mineral sunscreens. See the full ingredients list here.
Best Mask for Sensitive Skin: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask Hydrating and Soothing
Check out the ingredients for this hydrating mask and you’ll find centella asiatica extract, better known as cica. That powerhouse ingredient is known to help with redness and inflammation—which helps to explain why our reviewers reported feeling so “glowy” after using the mask. See the full ingredients list here.
Drunk Elephant Juju Bar
This multitasking bar looks toward thermal mud and bamboo powder to cleanse and gently exfoliate your sensitive skin simultaneously. It is also 100 percent fragrance- and soap-free and has a pH level of 6.34, so it definitely won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.
Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash
If your skin feels itchy, red, or irritated when you jump out of the shower, it’s time to enlist the help of this gentle body wash. Not only does it cleanse your sensitive skin without irritating it, but it also hydrates, soothes, and softens rough patches and redness.
Cetaphil Pro Eczema Soothing Moisturizer
Beloved by dermatologists, Cetaphil is known as being one of the best skincare brands at the drugstore. Meant to soothe very dry and sensitive skin, the Pro Eczema Soothing Moisturizer includes colloidal oatmeal, a unique combination of ceramides, and fila grin complex to retain your skin’s moisture and protect it from irritation.
Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream
Another well-loved and affordable brand is Eucerin. Their Advanced Repair Cream is enriched with ceramide-3 to help even the driest skin replenish its moisture. It’s fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and is incredible for sensitive skin types. It’s repairing, moisturizing, and calming no matter what.
Skinfix Eczema+ Targeted Body Balm
Skinfix’s body balm provides targeted therapy and is a natural, medicinal alternative to hydrocortisone creams and steroids. Colloidal oatmeal offers up much-needed itch relief while natural shea butter and skin protective sweet almond oil nourish as well as alleviate eczema symptoms.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15
There’s no need to worry about irritating your sensitive skin with this cult-favorite tinted lip balm, thanks to the formula’s gentle and hydrating ingredients (see: antioxidant-rich grapeseed oil and moisture-retaining sugar).
Shampoo & Conditioner
Free & Clear Shampoo and Conditioner
It might sound weird, but your scalp is really just an extension of the skin on your face, so there’ no reason why you shouldn’t treat them similarly. That means using a gentle, non-irritating shampoo and conditioner—like this pair from Free & Clear—that’s free of dyes, fragrance, parabens, and formaldehyde.