What are the best face moisturizers for sensitive, irritated skin? Let us help you find your perfect match.
The “best face moisturizer for sensitive, irritated skin” is a good option to look into when you have sensitive or irritable skin. A dermatologist recommended moisturizer is the best choice for your skin type. Read more in detail here: best face moisturizer for sensitive skin dermatologist-recommended.
When your face is irritated, the last thing you want to do is apply a product that makes it look and feel even worse—but if you have sensitive skin, that guessing game may be a continual battle.
“Sensitive skin,” explains Michael Kassardjian, D.O., a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles, “is not necessarily a clinical diagnosis by dermatologists, but rather skin that may have a greater predisposition to respond than typical.” This is due to a weakened skin barrier, which enables irritants to permeate your skin more easily, such as from a specific substance or cooler temperature. What’s the end result? Itching, stinging, or redness.
“An occasional sensitivity to a product may happen to anybody,” says Dr. Kassardjian, “but a continuing sensitivity to goods and persistent symptoms like redness, irritation, or itching may signal a probable underlying illness like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea.”
Sensitive skin is typically dry as well. Dr. Kassardjian adds, “Having a weaker or damaged skin barrier causes moisture to leave more quickly, creating additional dryness and worsening this problem.” “Unfortunately, the skin barrier thins as we age, and as a result, certain creams that were previously acceptable might become irritating and unbearable.” (Here are some of our favorite moisturizers for dry skin.)
How to Pick the Right Moisturizer for Your Sensitive Skin
Keep an eye out for these frequent irritants: Sulfates, alcohol, preservatives, colors, and scent should all be avoided in moisturizers. In fact, according to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., head of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, “fragrances are a major source of skin irritation and allergies.”
Avoid acids: “While everyone desires glowing skin,” says Dr. Zeichner, “acids can do more damage than benefit in persons who have sensitive skin.” “They operate by boosting exfoliation, but in persons with sensitive skin, they might disturb the skin barrier.” Salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acids are common ones to look out for.
Look for components that enhance moisture, relieve inflammation, and have healing capabilities, according to the experts we spoke with. Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, soy, and colloidal oatmeal have all shown to be effective.
Listen to your skin while you’re trying out a new product. “It may take six to eight weeks for unfavorable effects to appear after you start taking a product, and another six to eight weeks for bad effects to decrease,” says David Lortscher, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and inventor of Curology, a tailored acne treatment method.
These dermatologist-recommended moisturizers for sensitive skin are a wonderful place to start.
IN GENERAL, THE BEST
Vanicream Skin Moisturizing Cream
According to Dr. Kassardjian, Vanicream is an excellent choice for highly sensitive skin since it is so mild. It’s a no-brainer since it’s free of common allergens like dyes, perfumes, parabens, lanolin, and formaldehyde. Nonetheless, it “contains ceramides to help hydrate and moisturize skin,” he says, and has even received the National Eczema Association’s seal of approval. Testers agree that it’s a winner, as seen by the hundreds of positive ratings on Amazon.
2 Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream (Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream)
This highly praised moisturizer has hundreds of near-perfect Amazon ratings for a reason: it’s cheap, non-irritating, and does the job well. Dr. Kassardjian explains, “This product includes hyaluronic acid, which has an extraordinary capacity to retain water and hydrate the skin.” “It glides on smoothly and is mild, fragrance-free, and noncomedogenic.” It also absorbs fast to keep moisture locked in.” (Read the rest of our Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream review.)
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a hydrating lotion for the face.
Ceramides, which are naturally occurring lipids (a.k.a. fats) that moisturize and build the skin barrier, are used in all of CeraVe’s products. This overnight moisturizer, which also includes skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to control inflammation, is a fantastic place to start if you’re new to the range. It’s also noncomedogenic, oil- and fragrance-free, and very mild if you have skin sensitivity. CeraVe’s AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, which incorporates SPF, is also a fantastic choice for daytime.
4 Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer by La Roche-Posay
Dr. Zeichner says, “This product contains thermal spring water, which helps soothe inflamed skin and promote a healthy skin microbiome.” It also contains glycerin (for hydration), a ceramide (to reduce irritation), and niacinamide (to boost the immune system) (a B vitamin that targets discoloration and redness). The noncomedogenic, allergy-tested lotion is also fragrance-free and noncomedogenic.
Skin Calming Cream by Eucerin
This is the product for you if your delicate skin is prone to itching. Colloidal oatmeal, a top-notch ingredient typically used for eczema treatment, is included in Eucerin’s Skin Calming Cream. This thick moisturizer is also recommended by Dr. Lortscher since it is devoid of typical irritants like scents and colors. It’s best used at night or if you have a skin issue or extreme dryness; otherwise, it may be too thick for daily usage on your face.
SPF 15 Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture
Neutrogena’s cult favorite oil-free moisturizer offers a lightweight, thin composition that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. One Amazon reviewer said, “This is the only face moisturizer my skin loves to put on it, and it has nothing to do with the brand name.” “This is the only large brand I’ve found without cetyl alcohol, which is the misery of my life.” Glycerin adds hydration, while SPF 15 protects against the sun.
7 Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty
This light moisturizer works wonders on dry skin and is even strong enough to minimize flaking caused by eczema and psoriasis. Feel free to apply this thick cream all over your body to relieve sensitive skin since it’s enriched with soothing and moisturizing ingredients including oatmeal extract, ceramides, shea butter, squalane, and feverfew (a medicinal herb). It’s also non-greasy and comes with six ounces of product.
8 Aveeno Nourishing Night Cream Ultra-Calming
Aveeno’s oil- and fragrance-free night cream helps to minimize redness and irritation while also increasing skin hydration. Dr. Zeichner gave it his seal of approval because it includes ceramides, feverfew, and oat kernel flour to help reduce skin irritation. It is also noncomedogenic, which means it will not clog your pores.
9 Olay Defense SPF 30 All-Day Moisturizer
To hydrate, nurture, and protect the skin, Olay’s delightfully lightweight, oil- and fragrance-free moisturizer includes soothing aloe, moisturizing glycerin, skin-calming niacinamide, and SPF 30. It also makes dull skin seem hydrated without leaving a greasy, sticky behind.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 242 is a product by SkinCeuticals.
Dr. Zeichner explains, “This moisturizer includes natural lipids that help restore the outer skin layer.” The composition also contains vitamin E, essential oils, a ceramide, and glycerin, which help to improve hydration, smooth skin texture, and fight against damaging free radicals that may further damage the skin.
11 AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer by EltaMD
This noncomedogenic moisturizer is devoid of parabens, oils, and perfumes, yet it’s packed with beneficial ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and moisture-binding hyaluronic acid. It’s light, delicate, and just the right amount of moisture for sensitive skin.
12 Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream Avène Xeracalm
Avène’s non-greasy moisturizer combats dryness, itching, redness, and irritation, making it an excellent solution for sensitive skin. “In general, this brand includes a variety of moisturizers with minimum ingredients, are fragrance-free, mild, and noncomedogenic,” Dr. Kassardjian explains.
Calm Water Gel Moisturizer (13 Calm)
Arielle Kauvar, M.D., director of New York Laser & Skin Care and clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, recommends this moisturizer. It’s rich with hyaluronic acid, fragrance- and paraben-free, and contains relaxing cactus pear extract, which she likes. The gel-like substance also absorbs quickly into the skin.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (14 oz.)
This is a cult favorite cream that’s known for its fragrance-free recipe that’s packed with hydrating components like glycerin and squalene. It’s even popular among acne sufferers. One Sephora buyer stated, “This cream is extremely hydrating yet doesn’t leave me greasy or break out, which is very uncommon for me.” “It’s the ideal moisturizer for frigid Canadian winters, so whether you have dry skin or acne, this is a must-try!”
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream (number 15)
Cetaphil’s noncomedogenic, fragrance-free night cream is ideal for those who suffer from both dryness and sensitivity. This product is recommended by Dr. Lortscher because it includes calming olive extract as well as hyaluronic acid to help skin retain its natural hydration. It’s thick enough to keep your skin smooth but not oily.
Jessica Migala contributed additional reporting.
Emily Shiffer is a writer who lives in New York City Emily Shiffer is a freelance writer focusing in health, weight reduction, and fitness who used to work as a digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention.
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The “dermatologist-recommended skin care products for sensitive skin” is a list of 15 facial moisturizers that are recommended by dermatologists.
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