Choosing Skincare for Sensitive Skin

Working with sensitive skin can be anything from annoying to potentially severely painful. Reactions from products on sensitive skin can most cause at best some redness, but can also cause itchiness, rashes, or hives. So when you’re choosing products, it’s important to be very careful of what products you’re choosing and how you apply them!

Know Your Skin Type

Knowing your skin type is absolutely vital to ensuring that you’re choosing products that will work for you without problems. And particularly with sensitive skin, you want to be positive that your products do exactly what they need to do. Make absolutely sure that you know what your skin type is so that you can properly care for it.

Figure Out What Triggers Your Skin

Different people have different allergies and sensitivities that their skin react to. The most common sensitivities are fragrances and preservatives. Other fairly common ones include dyes, lanolin, and certain essential oils (such as tea tree and peppermint).

If you react to things a lot, it could be worth going to an allergist and finding out what you’re allergic to. If it’s only certain products, and you can find skincare that works fairly easily, it’s usually not worth it.

Look for Products Designed for Sensitive Skin

Many brands have products specifically for sensitive skin. Simple, Neutrogena, CeraVe, and Burt’s Bees are great drugstore options. For more expensive products look to brands such as Clinique, Glossier, BareMinerals, Drunk Elephant, and Philosophy.

Make sure you’re looking for products within these brands that were created for sensitive skin. These products tend to contain lower risk ingredients, making a reaction significantly less likely.

Research, Research, Research

Look up the product you’re interested in. Read reviews, watch YouTube videos of someone with skin like yours testing it, and check the product claims and ingredients. The more severe your reactions tend to be, the more careful you want to be about the products you choose.

Another thing to research is ingredients. If you have a reaction to a product, make a note. If you have a reaction to another, compare the ingredients and see what could possibly be causing the reaction.


If you can, test the product before you purchase it. Though, most beauty product stores aren’t offering testers in store, some may offer small sample containers that you can take home. You can also consider purchasing only a trial size of the product to test.

When you test, make sure that you only use the product on a small area such as right under your jaw or the back of your hand (if places other than your face react as well). This way it’s less to wash off if there’s a reaction!

Most places, especially Ulta and Sephora, will take used products back as a return. If you try it at home and discover that it gives you a bad reaction, you can usually return or exchange it.

Sensitive skin can be really hard to manage, particularly with skincare products. But if you take the time to find products and a routine that truly work for your skin, you can have great skin just as easily as anyone else! Do you have a favorite product that you use on sensitive skin? Tell us about it (and your skin type) in the comments!

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