Sensitive Skin: a Handful of Favorites

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Sometimes, it’s the simplest of products that can do wonders for your skin.

Take my favorite moisturizer for example- it’s good old Cetaphil in the tub and no other moisturizer, high-end or otherwise, has helped my skin as much as this baby.

It wasn’t really until I got off Accutane that my skin became a lot more sensitive than it once was. I can’t tell you how many products that are said to be “suitable for sensitive skin” gave me a bad reaction. That’s how I learned that even if you think you know your skin very well, you should always patch test new products- because sometimes your skin, its preferences, and level of sensitivity can change over time.

If you have dry/dehydrated/sensitive skin, I highly recommend you try sealing your moisturizer at night. After I am done with my PM routine and apply my moisturizer, I wait for it to absorb and seal it with Aquaphor. I take a very small amount, rub it between my fingers and gently press it into my skin. I always wake up to my skin feeling extremely soft and supple when doing this. I know that there are a lot of beauty lovers who hate on products like Aquaphor, but I personally never had a problem with mineral oil/petroleum jelly products (do your research– there is a lot of misinformation out there and no scientific proof exists that mineral oil is comedogenic to human skin). Aquaphor isn’t actually absorbed, but it acts as a “seal” to help your moisturizer and as an occlusive, it prevents water loss. I’ve used this technique for many years now and it works wonders for my skin- the key is to not use too much product.

Paula’s Choice, as you might already know, makes some of my favorite products. One of the newest products and one that I reach for whenever my skin feels dry and irritated is their Rehydrating Moisture Mask. It’s delicate, scent-free and does a nice job at helping bring relief to dehydrated skin. I love leaving this mask on overnight (I usually follow-up with Aquaphor). It doesn’t feel greasy or sticky and absorbs very nicely. I love using it when my skin feels irritated or just “blah” due to little sleep I occasionally get during hectic/stressful days/nights, etc.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Glossier skincare products. Quite honestly, their Milky Jelly Cleanser is the only skincare product I keep repurchasing over and over again (with the exception of their balm dotcom, which is awesome). I love a good, simple fragrance-free cleanser that doesn’t strip skin and Milky Jelly Cleanser ticks all the boxes here. I love, LOVE the jelly texture/formula because it is so smooth and glides on the skin so nicely. It’s one of my favorite cleansers, regardless of how my skin is feeling: whether it’s dry, irritated, feels oily or congested.

Last month, I also talked about the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence and my feelings about it in this post. As I mentioned in that post, I re-introduced Retin A micro to my routine and my skin was extremely irritated during the first couple of days. I’m talking redness, peeling, dry patches, feeling like my skin was on fire- my skin just responded to it quite differently than it did pre-Accutane. Anywho, this essence was one of the few things I constantly put on my face and it not only brought relief, but it also helped with dry patches. It feels a bit like a Hyaluronic Acid, but on steroids- it’s pretty amazing.

Dove DermaSeries Face Wash

Dove Derma Series Face Wash*- now this new product is very different from any other drugstore cleansers I’ve tried. This face wash actually feels a bit like a leave-on wet skin moisturizer. It’s very difficult to describe it, but I will say that it worked great for my skin both in terms of soothing and moisturizing it. This will not give you that squeaky-clean feeling, I usually use this as a first step of a double cleanse. It’s not the best for removing makeup, but I avoid using cleansers for removing my makeup unless it’s something like this or this (instead, I use a cleansing water to remove it, then do double-cleansing). Definitely a very interesting product- bonus points for the packaging and, of course, a gentle, fragrance-free formula.

One of the first products I reach for when I feel like my skin feels incredibly sensitive is a face mist. It’s always the first thing I think of when I need to soothe my skin. I have a huge collection of face mists, but my two favorites for sensitive skin are MŪN Anarose Hydrating Rose Toner (you can save 15% while shopping MŪN with my code MUN13T) and the OG, Mario Badescu Aloe, Herb and Rosewater mist. Both are incredibly gentle and staples in my routine- especially on those very long days or when traveling.

These are my go-to products whenever my skin starts to feel extra picky- they’re all very gentle, non-irritating and play nice with my sensitive skin. Always remember to patch test!