I'm an avid label reader, no matter what I'm buying. Yes, this applies to that new brand of granola in the grocery store, but it also applies to cosmetics and skin care products. I took a deep dive into the labels of a whole bunch of Korean beauty products for sensitive skin in search of all-around great options with soothing ingredients.
First, it's important to note that "sensitive skin" is definitely an umbrella term; it means something different for everyone. My skin gets insanely dry in the winter — I'm talking a physical map of the Sahara on my face — so I opt for gentle oils and hydrating alcohol-free toners. It's very common for those with sensitive skin to have an allergic reaction to specific botanical extracts, so it's best to search for hypoallergenic ingredients with calming effects. And "sensitive" generally isn't the only word that describes someone's skin. It's likely you also fit into another skin type group as well —like dry, dehydrated, or acne-prone. Basically, no one product is going to work for everyone, but finding avoiding ingredients that irritate sensitive skin is the right place to start.
That being said, no matter what kind of sensitive skin you've got, when it comes to choosing the best skin care products for sensitive skin, products with fewer additives and fillers are your best bet. These highly-rated Korean skin care products use non-irritating ingredients to help build a healthier skin barrier one day at a time. They also come backed by user reviews from other people with sensitive skin, and they can't seem to get enough of them!
1. This Gentle Hydrating Toner
The Klairs Supple Preparation facial toner is an incredibly hydrating and gentle toner that's formulated without alcohol or parabens. The amino acids in this toner help to strengthen your skin's protective barrier, and it does a fantastic job of balancing your skin's pH after cleansing without using harsh, drying, or irritating ingredients. The watery gel-like consistency allows for easy absorption, and according to reviewers, it's called the "best toner ever" because it "provides deep hydration" alongside glowing skin.
2. Soothe Inflamed Skin With This Powder Cleanser Made With Rice Bran Enzymes
This hypoallergenic enzyme cleansing powder is loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins. Although it comes in a powder form, it turns into a gentle liquid cleanser when applied to a wet face. And, because it's in powder form, it doesn't contain potentially irritating preservative that are a necessary part of most liquid and foaming cleansers. The rice bran enzymes gently buff the skin while you cleanse, providing a light exfoliation that's much safer for sensitive skin than traditional scrubs. Reviewers with sensitive acne-prone skin can use it nightly without a reaction.
3. This Must-Have Calming Cream For Sensitive Eyes And Rosacea
The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream is formulated with an array of incredibly soothing ingredients — including shea butter and centella asiatica extract — that provide relief to stressed and inflamed skin. This cream gets its blue color from Guaiazulene, a natural ingredient thought to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Reviewers say it's a must-have for sensitive eye areas and rosacea flare-ups. "Amazing cream!" says one. "Thick and beautifully hydrating without clogged pores. Calms most redness and soothes the skin."
4. Seal In Moisture Overnight With This Intensive Sleeping Pack
COSRX is known for its gentle formulas with short ingredient lists and limited additives. Apply sleeping pack as the last step of your skin care routine several nights a week and wake up to more hydrated, glowing skin. The rich formula forms an invisible barrier on the skin that protects you from becoming dry overnight and prevents your other skin care products from evaporating, so you can't get the most out of your skin care regimen!
5. Fade Hyperpigmentation & Brighten Skin Without The Irritation
Using a Vitamin C serum is an effective way of fading sunspots and post-acne marks, but many will leave sensitive skin warm and itchy. The Klairs Vitamin C serum contains a 5 percent concentration of stabilized Vitamin C, that won't break down quickly, and a blend of natural oils that make skin look ultra glowy. And, if you're looking to brighten hyperpigmentation, this serum is as gentle as they come!
6. This All Natural Konjac Sponge For Gentle Exfoliation
This gentle cleansing sponge is made from the konjac root, which is a natural and biodegradable material that has a cake-like consistency when wet. It's great for very gentle exfoliating sensitive skin, and it's got zero synthetic colors or additives. This reusable sponge is infused with activated charcoal to help draw excess sebum out of the pores.
7. This Hypoallergenic Cleansing Balm That's Free Of Mineral Oil And Artificial Fragrances
Designed specifically for sensitive skin, Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity is made without added colors, fragrances, mineral oils, and parabens. It's light, clean, removes all makeup without excess scrubbing, and according to reviewers, "Another great benefit is that it rinses clean and without any residual oiliness."
8. Calm Skin And Help Promote Cell Turnover With This Fast-Absorbing Essence
Essences are pretty new to Western skin care routines, but have long been a staple in Asia. The Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence is a popular dupe for the pricier SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for a fraction of the cost. This essence contains 80 percent fermented yeast extract, which helps to soothe the skin and speed up cell turnover, leading to a more even complexion. It's formulated without alcohol or fragrance, and is mild enough for even super sensitive skin types. To use, warm the product in your palms and gently tap it into your face after cleansing and toning.
9. This Long-Lasting Sun Screen With Calming Green Tea
Made with organic sunflower oil and calming green tea, the Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect sunblock is one of the best Korean options for sensitive skin. It's got an SPF of 50 and even wears well under makeup. "My skin is very sensitive and this sunscreen works great for sensitive skin," says one reviewer. "It is a little thick but the white tint disappears on your face after a few seconds. No greasy feel."
10. These Snail Masks That Soothe, Hydrate, And Protect
People are absolutely loving these TONYMOLY Intense Care Snail Hydro Gel Masks, and that's because of how nourishing and soothing they are. Snail's produce mucin to protect their delicate bodies from irritation caused by slinking around on the ground all day, and their mucin is believed to have similar effects on our skin too. "I have very sensitive skin and this mask did not cause any redness on my face like other masks I have tried," says one reviewer. "My face felt supper soft after using and had a nice glow to it."
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