In recent years, research has revealed new findings about the prevalence of sensitive skin in the U.S. This research has shown that individuals with delicate complexions experience a higher incidence of adverse reactions due to cosmetic products.
How common is sensitive skin? A 2019 study concluded that between 60 and 70 percent of women and 50 to 60 percent of men have some degree of skin sensitivity. Of those, approximately 50 percent report discomfort due to itchiness, dryness, and inflammation.
Fortunately, facial moisturizers for sensitive skin can prevent many of these skin irritation issues. Some can even alleviate symptoms associated with them. How do you know where to start when it comes to finding safe products that won't cause you discomfort?
Keep reading for our guide to sensitive skin and the top 12 facial moisturizers for dry skin.
Sensitive Skin 101
Do you have sensitive skin? If so, there's nothing more important than providing a consistent moisture barrier. One that hydrates, soothes, and restores your skin's compromised surface. However, selecting a product that won't irritate can feel like a challenge.
You have to research the right moisturizer carefully. That means avoiding products and ingredients that could further exacerbate an already-upset face.
What makes skin feel itchy and upset? The two main culprits are:
- Environmental factors
- Products with irritating ingredients
Whether you're suffering from rosacea, dry skin, or irritation, these conditions all share something in common: inflammation. What do we mean by skin inflammation? This state occurs when the skin's outer layer gets damaged or otherwise compromised.
What causes this damage? For starters, overexposure to the sun, dehydration, or contact with certain chemicals and products.
What can you do to ease the skin discomfort and soothe its sensitivity? It's vital to treat dry skin with specialty products crafted from the finest organic ingredients.
You should also regularly moisturize to calm your skin and strengthen its protective moisture barrier.
What to Look for in a Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
Look for moisturizers labeled for sensitive skin. They should also contain the wording "hypoallergenic."
What are hypoallergenic lotions? Creams formulated specifically to avoid common allergens.
What other characteristics should you look for? Try to find moisturizers that include descriptions such as:
Which ingredients should you avoid? Steer clear of moisturizers with commonly-occurring irritants such as alcohol and fragrance.
Unfortunately, these two ingredients remain prevalent. Particularly in conventional skincare products that you can buy at the grocery store or pharmacy.
With these tips in mind, let's take a look at the best 12 moisturizers for sensitive skin.
These choices carefully adhere to the suggestions above. They've also been tested in the lab to gauge how well they moisturize skin.
Finally, each formulation has been rated by real-life consumers. These end-users then ranked them based on absorption, scent, and texture.
1. Ultra-Light Daily Moisturizer by Good Skin Organics
Good Skin Organics has gone the extra mile to ensure their Ultra-Light Daily Moisturizer hydrates and shields sensitive skin without irritating it.
How? By relying solely on high-quality organic ingredients. These ingredients include:
- Sweet almond oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Grape seed oil
Despite all of the organic oils whipped up into this formula, the moisturizer feels lightweight. It quickly absorbs and leaves no residue.
The cream also includes anti-aging peptides and fortifying antioxidants. They contribute to a rejuvenated glow and gentle hydration.
Apply once or twice daily to the face and neck for a feather-light layer of non-greasy moisturizing. It works well under makeup, too. Give this formula a try and get ready to love your radiant, healthy skin.
When coupled with Good Skin Organics' Night Cream, expect to see improved texture and tone. You'll also enjoy an increase in your skin tone as well as greater firmness and elasticity. Best of all, your skin will feel luxuriously soothed.
2. Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion by Clinique
Another excellent formula for sensitive skin? The gold standard of the cosmetic industry, Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion.
Dermatologists have thoroughly tested this allergen-free, fragrance-free formula. They recommend it for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Their research has demonstrated that it effectively moisturizes for hours. Yet, it never feels heavy or greasy. In a six-hour trial, it increased moisture by upwards of 41 percent.
3. Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream by Caudalíe
Nighttime moisturizing is critical for those suffering from sensitive skin. Caudalíe's Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream ramps up the hydration while you sleep. It features skin-protecting antioxidant resveratrol. This key ingredient increases skin moisture and improves texture.
According to one lab test, it increases hydration levels by upwards of 43 percent. Users also report a "smooth" feeling after using it. They note that the moisturizing lasts all night, which translates into waking up with glowing skin.
4. Oil-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin by Neutrogena
If you're looking for a fast-acting formula to soothe your face, Neutrogena's Oil-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer fits the bill. It can instantly calm irritation. Its hypoallergenic formula and dye-free and alcohol-free moisturizer keeps skin hydrated without any irritation.
Clinical studies have shown that the formula works for up to 24 hours. It moisturizes and improves the quality of sensitive skin.
After all, irritation is the result of a compromised skin barrier. So, it's vital to look for long-lasting products like Neutrogena's.
5. Dermatologist Solutions Centella Cica Cream by Kiehl's
What's one of the best hypoallergenic moisturizers on the market? Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Centella Cica Cream. Its hydrating properties stem from the powerhouse centella asiatica, a skin-healing herb alternately known as tiger grass, gotu kola, and cica.
Never heard of centella asiatica or cica before? Don't worry. You're not alone.
If you have tender skin, however, you'll want to make a note of it. For 3,000 years, this botanical skin savior has helped heal wounds. Even people with the most delicate skin tolerate this ingredient well.
It's rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and antibacterial properties. It has been proven in labs to fight free radicals, prevent damage from environmental stressors, and regulate collagen synthesis.
This formula's allergy-free composition ensures that individuals with sensitive skin avoid irritation. Testers also reported that it soothes skin and alleviates redness. What's more, you won't have to worry about alcohol or fragrance with this cream, either.
6. Absolue Revitalizing Eye Cream by Lancôme
Longing for an eye cream that won't cause redness or upset around tender eye areas? Lancôme makes a fantastic product that many testers swear by. Of course, with a brand like Lancôme, you're going to pay for this luxurious eye cream.
Nonetheless, if you're worried about hydrating your eye-skin area, this product delivers. It's proven to increase hydration by upwards of 41 percent. Users also noted that their skin felt smoother after applying the product.
Because this product is hypoallergenic and free from the harsh fragrances and chemicals that can upset skin, you don't have to worry about adverse reactions.
7. Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe
CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream is a body lotion. It works just as well for the face, though.
Its dermatologist-recommended formula is perfect for sensitive skin. Crafted with ceramides, lipids that are components of the skin's natural structure, it soothes even the most irritated skin.
What's more, the cream contains no fragrances or dyes.
It does, however, contain hyaluronic acid.
What's hyaluronic acid? A substance naturally found in the skin. Proven to retain water, it keep tissues moist and lubricated. As a result, this moisturizing cream creates a protective skin barrier.
What if you're looking for something designed specifically for faces? CeraVe also makes an Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30.
Like the body cream, it doesn't contain irritating ingredients. Ninety-two percent of those who have tested it report more hydrated skin.
8. Regenerating Skin Nectar by Alastin Skincare
At this point, you may wonder what dermatologists recommend when it comes to caring for sensitive skin. That's an excellent question. One of the top dermatologist-recommended moisturizers is Alastin Skincare's Regenerating Skin Nectar.
Made with healing arnica, fatty acids, and vitamin E, it's perfect for sensitive complexions. This moisturizer reduces the appearance of redness and inflammation, and it calms skin.
The nectar also supports the skin's ability to produce fresh, healthy collagen and elastin. Both of these are critical to a youthful appearance. Finally, the formula's high antioxidant activity will leave your face looking dewy and radiant.
9. Pure Nilotica Melt Nourishing Balm-to-Oil by LXMI
Do you suffer from eczema? If so, then you understand the challenges associated with finding a face moisturizer that doesn't upset your complexion.
Fortunately, we've got your answer. LXMI's Pure Nilotica Melt Nourishing Balm-to-Oil is the Holy Grail of eczema face treatments.
Manufactured from just one ingredient, a special form of organic shea butter, it's silky, spreadable, and does not irritate. It helps calm and heal painfully red, inflamed, and bumpy skin. It also proves effective for spot treatment.
Because it contains no preservatives, dyes, and fragrances, you don't have to worry about unforeseen reactions. Best of all, it provides all-over protection that seals moisture in place.
10. Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream by Eau Thermale Avène
Does a red glow persist on your face? If so, give Eau Thermale Avène's Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream a try. It alleviates sensitive skin irritation and helps repair compromised complexions.
How? With high levels of fatty acids.
Designed to help sensitive faces bounce back quickly, it absorbs rapidly, leaving no trace of heaviness or greasiness. Yet, it makes skin feel moisturized and protected for hours.
11. Purely Age-Defying Firming Face Oil by Jurlique
Jurlique's face firming oil is an anti-aging restorative treatment that won't upset fragile skin. It's crafted with gentle extracts of safflower and avocado and macadamia oils. This product makes skin feel balanced and clear.
It also reduces the appearance of redness and evens out skin tone, removing splotchiness. It achieves all of these results while leaving skin extra firm, youthful, and silky.
12. Nourishing Youth Serum by Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare
Created by leading dermatologist Steven Wang, M.D., this liquid serum face moisturizer is excellent for those looking for mild hydration and a lighter weight feel. Dr. Wang designed his formula specifically with sensitive skin in mind.
As a result, it contains a blend of soothing ingredients. These elements include moisturizing squalene and calming aloe leaf juice. The product's also packed with plenty of plant oils for an impressive hydrating result.
Yes, you'll pay a higher price for this product. That said, it's a gentle and effective alternative for those with the most easily irritated complexions.
Facial Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin
There's now more focus than ever before on providing beneficial skincare products for people with sensitive skin. Of course, this makes sense when you look at the stats. More than one half of Americans suffer from delicate skin.
Unfortunately, many don't understand which ingredients make their symptoms worse. As a result, they mistakenly feel condemned to a life of irritated skin.
When it comes to moisturizers for sensitive skin, there are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid products that cause adverse side effects. These include staying away from irritants such as fragrances, alcohol, and synthetic chemicals such as dyes.
Say Goodbye to Irritation
What's the takeaway when it comes to facial moisturizers for sensitive skin?
Look for creams, serums, and lotions known for soothing and calming skin. Hypoallergenic formulas are also excellent for ensuring your skin doesn't get itchy, inflamed, or otherwise discomforted.
Of course, the very best skincare products not only prevent future irritation but soothe and alleviate skin that's already compromised. Interested in finding other gentle moisturizers with high-quality ingredients? Check out our selection of products.