If you’re someone who classifies their skin as sensitive, there’s something you should know: You’re not alone. Millions of people have skin that reacts adversely to products or external factors like the sun and cold with not-so-fun symptoms like redness, drying, and acne. The best moisturizers for sensitive skin are your saving grace — gentle, lightweight creams that provide deep hydration and keep skin healthy and smooth without causing any unwanted side effects.
There are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when looking for a suitable everyday moisturizer for your sensitive skin. First, there are a few ingredients you should avoid if you can, like alcohol, fragrance, colorants, and preservatives — anything that might provoke irritation. Also, to keep pimples at bay, look for formulas that are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and oil-free. Alternatively, there are certain ingredients you should look for that won’t cause or worsen any unwanted issues. To properly hydrate sensitive skin, look for gentle emollients like glycerin, ceramides, and thermal water, as well as natural additives like almond oil and shea butter. Lastly, to protect your skin from future reactions and to keep you skin soft and smooth for longer, look for formulas with antioxidants or SPF.
To keep your sensitive skin healthy, hydrated, and reaction-free, try one of the five gentle moisturizers listed below.
1Best For Severely Dry Skin: An Intensely Hydrating Cream For Superior Protection From External Irritants
This velvety-rich moisturizer from Perricone MD is perfect for sensitive skin that's severely dehydrated and in need of long-lasting moisture. Formulated with the brand's patented Olive Polyphenols, it smoothes and comforts the skin without any reactive ingredients. It's hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it's super gentle, and it even helps to repair the skin's natural barrier. Free of parabens, phthalates, fragrance, petroleum, synthetic dyes, mineral oil, and other nasty ingredients that can irritate sensitive complexions, this cream is also recommended for post-cosmetic procedures.
2Best For Sensitive, Oily Skin: A Mattifying Moisturizer From A Cult-Favorite French Pharmacy Brand
The best choice as a makeup primer for those with sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat is an oil-free face moisturizer that's made specifically for oily complexions. The formula, which is dermatologist-tested to be suitable on sensitive skin (it's on-comedogenic and oil-free) smoothes and hydrates skin while absorbing sebum all day long. It produces a mattifying effect (hence its name), so if you're looking to rid your face of excess shine, it'll do the trick.
3Best For Acne: A Gentle Moisturizer With Salicylic Acid That Prevents And Reduces Blemishes
Unfortunately, breakouts are a common side-effect of having sensitive skin. Salicylic acid, which is used in Vichy’s Normaderm Anti Acne Lotion, is a highly effective acne treatment that won’t irritate sensitive complexions. In fact, it’s also the best way to reduce flaking from dryness and eliminate blackheads. Win-win.
4Best For Redness: A Color-Correcting Moisturizer From France With SPF 25
Because green sits across from red on the color wheel, Avène’s gentle, green-tinted Antirougeurs Day Lotion is the best way to reduce the appearance of redness on sensitive skin. The gentle formula also reduces swelling, increases circulation, and contains SPF 25 to protect your skin from sun exposure and damage.
5Best Non-Toxic Formula: An Hypoallergenic & Fragrance-Free Moisturizer With Almond Oil That Reduces Skin Irritation
A highly-rated all-natural moisturizer, Weleda's Sensitive Skin Facial Lotion relies on sweet almond oil to calm irritated complexions. Almond oil is a deep moisturizer that will leave your skin smooth, hydrated, and balanced without feeling sticky or heavy or clogging your pores. The formula is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free, too.
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