Calm skin is in your future.
Luckily, most of us have those stalwart products in the back of our beauty cabinets that will always get our skin back on track to a calm, dewy, and even-toned existence. We’re talking humectants, aloe, rose water, tiger grass—any ingredients that are known for soothing signs of irritation fast. Stumped as to how to assemble your own lineup of sensitive-skin saviors? Check out seven of our staff members’ go-to products. Just remember—less is more when your skin is angry, so stick to a handful of staples until your complexion is back to its former self.
Jessica Teves, Head of Content
This is my daily moisturizer and has been for the last 10 years. I truly can’t say enough about this deeply hydrating formula that packs a BIG punch. As an aside, my skin can get irritated easily, and Theraplex is the only brand I’ve found that doesn’t irritate my skin or eyes when I use it consistently. Time and time again, it’s my go-to when I need to detox from all my beauty experimentation, too (read: retinols, peels, etc!).
Easily one of the best facial oils I have ever used! It’s a silky blend of vitamin C and omegas 3, 6, and 9, and while nourishing, I also feel like this formula calms my skin. I had a nasty case of dermatitis earlier in the year from using a whitening toothpaste, and a few days after I started using Supernal, my skin calmed down. This stuff is truly a skin-soothing miracle.
The OG moisturizer is still alive in my beauty arsenal! I can develop dry patches, and when I need an extra dose of hydration, a thin layer of this thick cream always does the trick. I also like it as a hydrating mask every now and then in the wintertime, too.
Kelsey Dobbs, Senior Marketing Manager
I have been reaching for this lightweight mask all summer, especially when my skin is overly dry from sun, chlorine, and sweaty workouts. This mask is extra gentle—I love anything from Follain because their products are not only clean but also really work!
Our very own Hannah Baxter turned me onto this simple but ultra-luxurious facial mist from Chantecaille. It is made from pure rose water without artificial fragrances, so it is perfect for those with sensitive skin types. I keep this at my desk and mist between Zoom meetings when I need a pick-me-up!
I am all for streamlining when it comes to my skin care, and I love this multitasking moisturizer that can be used day or night. This product is lightweight and pairs perfectly under my SPF and also works great overnight! There are no parabens or sulfates in the formulations, so this is an added bonus for those with sensitive skin types.
Stephanie Ingber, Account Manager
I have the most sensitive skin and am very careful with what products I use. This face wash has been my go-to since my middle-school days. It is the only face wash that leaves my skin feeling clean while not causing any breakouts or redness. It’s also formulated to hydrate your skin while it cleanses it.
I discovered this product recently after falling in love with the hyaluronic moisturizer and am already on my second bottle. I find myself using this lightweight serum over more expensive products—the lightweight texture absorbs instantly into my skin and is the perfect addition to my skin-care regimen. I have been told by multiple facialists that I have dehydrated skin, and this product leaves my skin feeling hydrated and glowing throughout the day.
When you have sensitive but dry skin, it’s crucial to pick the right moisturizer. This product solves all my needs by retaining my skin’s moisture while not causing any irritation. I use this in the morning and at night to keep my skin hydrated. This product is oil-free, which is essential for me, and so lightweight.
Rachel Pickus, Creative Associate
For as long as I can remember, this moisturizer has been a mainstay in my mom’s skin-care routine, and I’m only recently catching on. Packed with aloe juice and natural oils, this gentle formula will reduce any redness, leaving behind soft, supple skin. Kid tested, Mom approved—seriously, this moisturizer can’t be beat!
A sure sign that my skin is freaking tf out is when dry, itchy red patches erupt on my face. Whenever this happens I tag-team a rich face cream (see above) with a hydrating serum to mitigate any form of irritation. Currently, my skin has been loving this hyaluronic acid from the Ordinary, which, with a price point like this, is a win-win.
Weirdly enough, I’ve had my fair share of allergic reactions on my lips—and not in a cute, bee-stung kind of way! Which is why I haven’t strayed far from this lip moisturizer from Malin+Goetz. This lip balm is not only super gentle, but insanely hydrating. I like to apply a generous amount before bed and am always amazed by how moisturized (and plump!) my lips are in the morning.
Abby Miller, Head of Production
I am someone that suffers from rosacea and is plagued with constant redness. This toner has been the one constant in my routine—my desert-island, can’t-live-without-it ride-or-die. It is an alcohol-free, serum-infused toner that instantly calms and hydrates. I use it daily, but I especially crave it when my skin is having a redness flare-up and needs instant relief.
For moisturizing, I find my sensitive skin responds best to all-natural oils versus a heavy cream that can clog my pores. I have tried just about every oil there is, and Indie Lee’s Daily Vitamin Infusion is the best daytime oil I have found. Every time I apply it, I get an instant glow that no other product has been able to deliver. It boasts all-natural and clean ingredients and is packed full of ceramides, which is a must-use ingredient for people like me who suffer from eczema, rosacea, acne, etc.
This little gadget is exactly what it says it is—magic! It functions as a temperature-controlled face massager, and whenever I am having a skin freakout, I switch it onto the cooling mode and slide it over any aggravated spots. It will immediately cool down, soothe, and calm any pesky redness, flushed cheeks, and irritation.
Hannah Baxter, Senior Beauty Editor
Since I test dozens of products every month, I always have my core collection of basics to return to if I see signs of irritation. This moisturizer is a French-girl staple for a reason—it provides a soothing dose of hydration without wrecking your skin barrier or provoking any breakouts. Never count out the classics.
I’m a huge fan of gentle cleansers—when you’re already using a highly concentrated serum or spot treatment, there’s no need to strip your skin with a harsh face wash right off the bat. If my skin is feeling unhappy, I immediately go back to this soothing cream formula for morning and night. Hot tip—if you are wearing any kind of makeup, I recommend removing it with a micellar water beforehand and then following with this for the most effective cleanse.
Nine times out of 10, my skin is acting up because I’m dehydrated and using too-harsh ingredients. The cherry on top of my revised and more minimal routine is the occasional spritz of this hydrating mist, which is the sister product to the cult-favorite Laneige Cream Skin Toner. K-beauty novices, this is also a great gateway into the world of ultra-moisturizing products. Trust me, your skin will thank you.
Halle Lagatta, Associate Creative Producer
I suffer from dry skin and eczema, so frankly, I’m always a bit hesitant to try new cleansers—so many are packed with ingredients that strip my face of its moisture! When I saw “aloe” in the name of Protocol’s cleanser, I knew I should give it a go. Aloe has never done me wrong and has been a true savior to my skin. With this cleanser, I feel confident that all the icky stuff I’ve absorbed throughout the day will be washed away without any of my moisture going down the drain with it.
Once I’ve cleansed, I love massaging this luxe oil into my face. Some oils I’ve tried in the past have clogged my pores and have left me with redness. This virgin marula oil is great all year round, and I don’t have to worry about any weird reaction from hidden ingredients (as the title hints, there are none!).
Like most, my eye area is the most sensitive part of my face. The eczema I mentioned earlier manifests itself around my eyelids and under-eye area, which is so not cute. La Mer’s eye concentrate comes with a mini wand that has a rounded metal tip. The combo of the cream + cooling metal wand is like magic for my irritated skin. With just a few uses and waves of the wand, my eczema calms and clears.