Does your skin get easily irritated, red and you break out easily? Welcome to the Sensitive Skin Club.
I’ve always had sensitive skin, but in adulthood as I started wearing makeup, living in a big polluted city (NYC), and having more and more products in my routine, my skin got even more sensitive (I have rosacea). Through a lot of trial and error over the last 7 years, I’ve singled out several clean skincare brands that are safe for most sensitive skin types. Why was it so hard to find them, you ask? Well, as much as I love clean beauty and what it stands for, many clean skincare brands use essential oils and other powerful botanicals in their products, which unfortunately don’t agree with my sensitive skin. Please note: not ALL products from these brands are necessarily perfect for sensitive skin, so make sure to read which products I’m highlighting to be safe for each brand. If you see “*” by the product name, it’s completely fragrance/essential oil free. So let’s get into it!
This post contains affiliate links (but is NOT sponsored by any brands), so if you decide to purchase any of these products, I would super appreciate if you used my links – it’s one of the best ways of supporting the blog!
Pai is the “pioneer of sensitive skincare”, as they call themselves. This is very true. Pai Skincare is the only clean skincare brand that’s specifically created and formulated for sensitive skin. They’re also certified organic, sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free. The products I’ve used and recommend:
- Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil: this simple, yet super potent healing oil will transform your skin
- Light Work Cleansing Oil: gentle, yet super effective for removing SPF and makeup
- The Anthemis Moisturizer: if you prefer creams over oils, get this soothing & healing moisturizer
Biossance marries science and clean ingredients into one. Each one of their products contains sugarcane-derived Squalane and they have a big focus on sustainability (production, packaging, shipping, ocean preservation). I’d say the majority of Biossance products are safe for sensitive skin, but here are the ones I’ve used and recommend:
- Squalane + Omega Repair Cream*: incredibly rich but never heavy, this cream soothes & nourishes instantly
- Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream*: this NEVER irritated my eyes and even though it’s rich, it won’t cause milia, plus it’s incredibly effective for smoothing fine lines
- Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Serum: if you’re looking to gently exfoliate your skin without dryness or irritation, definitely check this serum out (little goes a LONG way!)
Let me just start by saying: I’m an OG Honest Beauty fan. I love so many products from this brand ever since they launched, both makeup- and skincare-wise. They have a whole Gentle line now, which I haven’t tried in its entirety, but here are my favorite Honest skincare products that are safe for sensitive skin:
- Hydrogel Cream*: like a “drink of water for your skin” this super hydrating, oil free and lightweight moisturizer will instantly soothe and revive dull skin
- Calm & Heal Melting Balm*: if you have very dry & irritated skin, this balm is a miracle
- Depuff + C Eye Cream*: perfect for dark circles & depuffing, without any irritation
- Calm + POREfect Serum*: gently exfoliates, hydrates and minimizes textured skin, specifically formulated for sensitive skin
Mad Hippie is one of the first indie clean beauty brands I used, for YEARS. They are dedicated to clean, botanical ingredients and sustainable packaging and practices. Almost all their products are packaged in glass, and some (like the Vitamin C) are now refillable! Here are the sensitive skin friendly products I’ve used from Mad Hippie:
- Cream Cleanser: great basic & soothing cream cleanser, with organic jojoba oil, green tea, shea butter, hyaluronic acid and more
- Vitamin A Serum: natural retinol alternative (it really works!); great for reducing breakouts + skin discoloration and smoothing fine lines & wrinkles
- Vitamin C Serum: Vit. C serums are notoriously too much for sensitive skin, but this one is super gentle as it’s formulated with a stable form of Vitamin C, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Eye Cream: packed with tons of beneficial ingredients like peptides, niacinamide, vitamin C, caffeine and more, this eye cream WORKS, is super affordable AND safe for us sensitive souls
Hope you enjoyed this skincare post! This is in no way an ultimate or final list of sensitive skin friendly clean skincare, so make sure to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for my most recent clean beauty discoveries + mini reviews and come back to this blog post for updates in the future!