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!


  • Reply
    Beth D
    March 5, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I’m struggling to resist the pull of Glossier products. I’m pretty sure that when I finally make an order the Milky Jelly cleanser will be right at the top of my list! Also your photography is stunning!

    Beth x

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 5, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      I blame their “cool girl” branding for that, haha! The cleanser is one of my favorite of their products, that’s for sure.

  • Reply
    Aleksandra // bunniesaremagic
    March 6, 2018 at 2:42 am

    My boyfriend struggles with dry skin recently, so I may send him this way :)

  • Reply
    Laura @laurantaina
    March 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I’ve been wanting to try MUN for the longest time! I keep hearing good things about it, glad that it has your seal of approval as well. And I agree – “for sensitive skin” doesn’t say anything in marketing skincare.. So many of those products also have fragrance, irritants, etc. One should always patch test, no matter how boring it is!

    xx Laura / Laura Loukola Art & Beauty Blog

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 21, 2018 at 4:44 am

      Mun products are seriously so amazing, I wouldn’t have survived being on Accutane without their Akwi Cleanser- so amazing for dry and sensitive skin!

  • Reply
    Leanne Page
    March 7, 2018 at 4:58 am

    I’m definitely going to try sealing my moisturiser in. My skin is so dehydrated at the moment! xx

  • Reply
    Maddison Jayne
    March 8, 2018 at 12:16 am

    I think some of these products would work really well with my skin, at the moment I am using the Kate Somerville moisturiser and I am loving it!

    Maddison Jayne |

  • Reply
    March 12, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Your photography is just beautiful, the shadows are so dramatic I love it. Just followed :)
    xx Beth

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    April 20, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Need to try that Milky Jelly Cleanser!

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