When it comes to sensitive skin it’s crucial to find the right skincare products that doesn’t irritate your skin and treats your skin with some good ol’ TLC (tender loving care). Here I list the skincare products that does exactly that for me.
To get the in-depth knowledge on the subject of Sensitive Skin you can read my previous blog posts What Is Sensitive Skin and How To manage Sensitive Skin. When it comes to choosing the right skincare products for your sensitive skin it’s recommended that you,
A) avoid ingredients that are known to irritate your skin (tested and identified via a dermatologist, see examples here)
B) Reduce the number of skincare products in your skincare regime and chose product with ideally 10-15 ingredients (the latter can in fact be quite difficult).
Whether a brand is promoting their product as “tailored” for sensitive skin, I prefer to look into the ingredients and observe my skin’s reaction, rather than being led by the brand’s marketing strategy. My point is, products branded as suitable for sensitive skin ( including “organic”, “green”, “natural”, “clean” etc.), can easily contain ingredients that triggers your sensitivity. So the key here is to know which ingredients your skin can and cannot tolerate.
And a quick disclaimer
The products mentioned, are products that work for me – they are not “one size fits all” for people with sensitive skin, as what triggers skin sensitivity varies from individual to individual.
But let me crack on with it and show you the products I use to treat my sensitive skin (which is due to my rosacea, read my blog post on it here). All the products ingredients lists (=INCI lists) will be listed in the end of the blog post.
Harsh cleansers such as soap bars, alkaline products or alcohol-based products are obviously no-go. So the keywords here is to go gentle. You want a pH-neutral gentle cleanser that can remove excess oil from your skin without disrupting its barrier function. And equally important; remember to rinse off the cleanser thoroughly, as residue product can be irritating.
To cleanse my face and neck (as a first cleanse) I use 3-4 pumps of the Organic Apricot Kernel Oil* from XELLENCE. It contains ONE ingredient namely: Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil. I massage it into my skin (avoiding my eyes as oils tends to form a film on my contact lenses) in circular motions for about 1-2 minutes. Then gently take it off with a damp flannel. I find oils to be especially good to take off heavy makeup and sunscreens. And a little myth buster: oils can perfectly be used as cleansers by people with oily skin!
NOTE: You don’t have to buy a fancy expensive oil, you could also use an almond oil (much cheaper) from your local pharmacy or drugstore.
For my second cleanse I use a syndet (Synthetic Detergent). Here are the only two I use:
The Lipkar Syndet from La Roche-Posay is actually a shower gel, but I prefer to use it as a non-foaming second cleanse of my face and neck after I’ve cleansed my face with an oil. One pump on my wet face and neck, then rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
The same procedure goes for the Face Wash from Decubal. This is a foaming cleanser, but really gentle on my skin and it only contains 8 ingredients (besides water), bravo! I’m a fan because it gives me the feeling of thoroughly cleansed skin without irritation or any excessive dryness afterwards. And as a bonus it comes in small travel size bottles – perfect for a getaway – so I’ve been hoarding them from my local pharmacy.
The Hydro Balance Face & Eye Cream* from XELLENCE has fast become my new holy grail skincare item, so it deserves a blog post of its own, which will come in the near future. But for the purpose of this blog post it tick all the boxes as a go-to product for sensitive skin:
- it contains no synthetic fragrance, no essential oils, no colorants, all of which often contains allergens.
- consists of 13 ingredients, besides water, using quality natural oils (see INCI list in the bottom of this blog post and note that natural oils and plant extracts can be allergenic too).
- Brilliant for dry skin (as people with sensitive often suffer from, a part of the whole pathogenesis)
- A perfect downsizing product (I use it as a 3-in-1 product working as my serum, moisturizer and eye cream in one application)
If you suffer from both sensitive and oily skin you might find this too oily in consistency, but as the case with any skincare product, it’s a matter of preference. Makeup-wise it gives my skin the most wonderful glow both on its own and underneath my foundation.
Another great cream I’ve been using for years is the Toleriane Ultra from La Roche-Posay. A good all-year-round face cream, with a not-too-thin-not-too-rich texture, that I’d reckon would be suitable for all skintypes. And I really appreciate the hermetic packaging preventing germs to contaminate the product. This too contains no fragrance, preservatives or colorants.
Decubal Eye Cream
My trusted holy grail of eye creams which I’ve been using for ages (except for the last 6 months where I’ve been using the above mentioned Hydro Balance Face & Eye Cream). A gel-like texture, that gives a rich moisture without leaving a tacky feeling on the skin. It’s affordable, it gives me just what I look for in and eye cream. Love, love, love. Period!
Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
A little lighter in texture than the Decubal Eye Cream, but it gives nice moisture and goes well under my cream concealer. I generally don’t read the all the faff written to promote a product, using sciency sounding words with additional fancy animation (I’ll wirte a blog post on later). I just (check the ingredients, obviously) test the product and see how it works for me. And the Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream* does that – it works – for my sensitive eye area. The packaging, however, is super silly. Every time I need to close it (pushing down the ball-like applicator) it squirts out a third of what I’ve just used under my eyes. Please re-think it, @Clinique!
The Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream* from La Roche-Posay is equally good (as the Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream), performing the same results on my under eye area (as the other eye creams do), gives good moisture, no sticky feeling, goes well under makeup. I also mention it as a really decent eye cream for all of you that can’t buy the Decubal Eye Cream where you live.
That rounds up the products I prefer for my sensitive skin. I’m very interested to hear which products you use? Leave me a comment below.
XO Cæcilie Johansen, medical doctor, Copenhagen, Denmark
*Products marked with a * are send to me as PR samples, often on my request. I am not obligated nor paid to mention them on my blog or any other of my social media platforms. It is my choice to show these products, as they are a part of my daily skincare routine.
The ingredient(INCI)-lists below are from the respective brand’s websites
Lipkar Syndet – La Roche-Posay
aqua / water, glycerin, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, coco-betaine, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, sodium chloride, sodium laureth sulfate, glycol distearate, sodium glycolate, acrylates copolymer, citric acid, niacinamide, peg-55 propylene glycol oleate, peg-75 shea butter glycerides, polyquaternium-7, ppg-5-ceteth-20, propylene glycol, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide
Face Wash – Decubal
Glycerin, Aqua, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Betaine, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Gluconate.
Hydro Balance Face & Eye Cream* – XELLENCE-SKINCARE
Aqua, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare Starch, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbitan Olivate
Toleriane Ultra – La Roche-Posay
aqua / water, isocetyl stearate, squalane, butyrospermum parkii butter / shea butter, dimethicone, glycerin, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, pentylene glycol, peg-100 stearate, glyceryl stearate, cetyl alcohol, dimethiconol, sodium hydroxide, acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer
Eye Cream – Decubal
Aqua, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Diheptyl Succinate, Sodium PCA, Glyceryl Stearate, Distarch Phosphate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Creatine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 3, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isocetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Sodium Gluconate, Citric acid, Sodium Hydroxide
Pep-Start Eye Cream – Clinique
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Cetyl Esters, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polyethylene, Glycereth-26, Polybutene, Sucrose, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Algae Extract, Molasses Extract, Saccharum Officinarum, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Whey Protein, Lactis Protein, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Caffeine, Phytosphingosine, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Yeast Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Sucrose Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8, Sodium Hyaluronate, Simethicone, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Dextran, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream – La Roche-Posay
Aqua, glycerin, squalane, propanediol, butylene glycol, butyrospermum parkii butter / shea butter, pentylene glycol, niacinamide, dimethicone, polymethylsilsesquioxane, polysorbate 20, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, dimethiconol, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, ammonium polyacryldimethyltauramide / ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, disodium edta, citric acid, acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester