Managing sensitive skin is a lifelong challenge, because your skin is just waiting on you to make one wrong move and it goes haywire. As a result, many people battling inflammation-prone skin are wary when it comes to testing out new products because there’s always a risk that your skin might react to a particular ingredient in it. One shopping tip: stay away from products with artificial fragrances, colourants, alcohol, soap and preservatives as these substances can cause skin irritation. Instead, look for products that contain ingredients that deliver moisture and help rebuild skin’s barrier layer. Here are 13 ultra-mild products that only give your skin what it needs, nothing more and nothing less.
Shampoo: Innersense Hydrating Hairbath, $45 for 295ml, at Pure Tincture
When you have sensitive skin, it is not just the skin on your face that can flare up. Which is why it doesn’t hurt to also be extra careful when it comes to caring for your scalp. Instead of using chemical surfactants that can strip skin of it’s lipid layer, this creamy shampoo cleanses your hair and scalp with coconut-derived lather. This means that you still enjoy a rich foam texture without any of its drying after effects. In addition, it is also enriched with nourishing botanicals like shea butter, tamanu seed oils, jojoba and rice bran oils to smooth hair cuticles for a frizz-free finish.
Body Wash: Curel Intensive Moisture Care Foaming Body Wash, $24.80 for 480ml
When it comes to cleansing products targeted at sensitive skin conditions, the common problem is that they tend to be non-foaming and leave a film on skin. And for those who love the sensation of a rich lather, that can make bath time less than enjoyable. Don’t compromise on your personal preference with this foaming body wash from Curel. Formulated to strengthen skin’s resilience against external irritants, it protects skin’s barrier layer while thoroughly cleansing skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory and hydrating ingredients so your skin feels squeaky clean after rinsing, but never dry or tight.
Bath Oil: Eucerin pH5 Shower Oil, $23.90 for 400ml
Perfectly balanced at pH5, this shower oil respects skin’s barrier layer while cleansing. It is also rich with skin-compatible lipids to help rebuild skin for a silky smooth finish.
Body Lotion: Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Body Lotion, $36.90 for 200ml
Made with squalane, botanical emollients and fatty acids, this hypoallergenic formula replenishes and locks in moisture, instantly soothing dry and itching skin. It also has a bio-compatible formula which is readily absorbed by the skin so you don’t feel any greasiness or stickiness.
Makeup Remover: Bioderma Sensibio H2O, $41.90 for 500ml
A French pharmacy cult classic, this gentle yet extremely effective cleansing water removes every trace of makeup (even stubborn or waterproof ones) without drying skin out. It is also rinse-free and doesn’t leave behind any residue, making it a staple for many makeup artists’ kits.
Face Cleanser: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $21.90 for 500ml
Widely recommended by dermatologists, this soap-free formula rids skin of impurities without aggravating sensitive skin. Fortified with skin-soothing ingredients, it is also gentle to the eyes and is suitable for use on babies.
Face Mist: Atopalm Real Barrier Essence Mist, $22 for 80ml
When your skin is feeling parched, there’s nothing that feels better than giving it a quick mist. However, for those who have sensitive skin, most face mists can pose a problem since many are heavily fragranced. This scent-free, moisture-rich mist is packed with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to nourish dry skin without further irritating it.
Eye Cream: Eau Thermale Avene Eluage Eye Contour Care, $69.90 for 15ml
The skin around our eyes is about six times thinner than the rest of our face—just imagine how delicate the eye contours must be if you’re already battling sensitive skin. However, you don’t have to sacrifice on efficacy with this ultra-mild eye cream. A gentle form of retinol is used to deliver anti-ageing benefits without the potential irritation, while hyaluronic acid and thermal spring water plumps and soothes skin for an instant dose of moisture and comfort.
Serum: Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Serum, $63 for 30ml
At the heart of this healing serum is Centella Asiatica, a herb which has been used as a skin-regenerating solution for centuries. Super lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin, this serum disappears into skin upon application to provide a cooling sensation to soothe any discomfort and support cellular repair. Redness is instantly reduced and wounds heal faster over time.
Moisturiser: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $49 for 50g
One of the brand’s iconic products, this powerful face cream locks in moisture without greasiness or stickiness even in the harshest climates. Formulated with squalane, it is easily absorbed into skin to rebuild its barrier layer. Also found in this cream is Antarcticine, a glycoprotein that protects against free radical damage and temperature fluctuations so skin feels soothed and comforted all day long.
Face Mask: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask, $40 for 56.7g
Formulated with soothing oats like Colloidal Oatmeal and Avena Sativa Oat Bran, this creamy mask instantly nourishes parched skin while a potent blend of antioxidants help strengthen it against environmental assaults. Within ten minutes, dry patches are softened and redness is diminished.
SOS Balm: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5, $21.90 for 40ml
Suitable for calming unexpected skin flare-ups, this power-packed salve is rich in panthenol, shea butter and glycerin to hydrate, heal and protect compromised skin. Though it has a balm-like texture, it disappears into skin after it’s fully absorbed without any sticky or greasy residue. Thanks to its occlusive nature, it is also suitable for use on minor scrapes and cuts to form a protective barrier.
Sunscreen: Uriage Bariesun Mineral Cream SPF 50+, $42.90 for 50ml
Made purely with mineral UV filters, this sunscreen protects even the most intolerant skin against harmful UV rays without any residue. Thanks to its unique formulation, it is also water-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor use. Aquaspongines and Uriage Thermal Water also replenishes skin with moisture to protect against dryness.