If you have sensitive skin, then chances are that you’ve already spent a fortune on face creams that promise to be soothing and calming, only to find that you’re left dealing with even more irritation than before. Don’t worry, this is common – skin sensitivity varies hugely between individuals, meaning that a certain amount of trial and error is needed in order to find products that won’t cause your skin to react.
So, where do you begin your search for the best moisturizers for sensitive skin? While browsing your favorite online beauty shops or scouring the cosmetic shelves at your local drugstore may seem like an obvious starting point, this will more often than not lead to disappointments. Many products state that they’re designed for sensitive skin, yet they still contain irritants and allergens that send sensitivities into overdrive.
The best way to find a good facial moisturizer that won’t irritate sensitive skin is to study ingredient lists and read as many product reviews as possible from multiple sources. It can be pretty time-consuming, which is why we wanted to make your life a little easier. Below, you’ll find a roundup of 10 moisturizers that have not only been clinically proven to soothe sensitive skin but will also help with other skin conditions and concerns too.
|Editor's Choice||#2nd Best Choice||#3rd Best Choice|
LifeCell All-In-One Skin-Tightening Treatment
#2nd Best Choice
Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra Grape Water Gel Moisturizer
#3rd Best Choice
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Best Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin With Fine Lines & Wrinkles: LifeCell All-In-One Skin-Tightening Treatment
It’s difficult to find a wrinkle cream that doesn’t cause skin irritation when used by people with sensitivities, which is why the LifeCell All-in-One Skin-Tightening Treatment is such a hit. This potent formula, which is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic, smooths away fine lines and wrinkles while brightening dark spots. Most importantly, it won’t trigger your skin into reacting negatively.
Key Ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid & DMAE
There are several high-performance active ingredients in this formula, including two forms of both vitamins A and C, as well as DMAE, a popular wrinkle reducer .
Although these ingredients are powerful, the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, multiple peptides, coenzyme Q10, and shea butter helps to keep the skin calm and happy, enabling it to absorb all of those impactful compounds without causing irritation.
- A highly effective dermatologist-tested anti-aging formula that’s safe for sensitive skin types
- Helps with fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and an uneven skin tone
- Provides both instant and long-term results
- Costs a little more than some of the other products on this list, but that’s understandable when you consider the wide range of actives included in the formula
Best Daily Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin That’s Dehydrated: Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra Grape Water Gel Moisturizer
Dehydration can lead to sensitive skin, while untreated sensitivities can sometimes result in dehydration. The Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra Grape Water Gel Moisturizer stops this vicious cycle in its tracks by both soothing and deeply hydrating sensitive skin. This gives your skin cells the chance to repair their damaged skin barrier, resulting in healthy skin with fewer sensitivities in the long run.
Key Ingredients: Organic Prebiotic Grape Water & Aloe Vera
Organic grape water is the star of this formula, with this natural ingredient providing prebiotic properties. This helps to strengthen your skin’s microbiome, something that has a direct correlation with the sensitivities that you’re experiencing .
You’ll also find aloe vera juice powder in this blend, an ingredient renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties that quickly reduce redness. Aloe also brings with it several antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes that boost skin barrier function and keep the skin hydrated.
- Hydrates the skin while also soothing and calming irritation
- Formulated without silicones, meaning that it won’t leave a greasy feeling on your skin
- 98% of the ingredients in this formula come from natural sources
- Dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic, and vegan
- Contains synthetic fragrances, which many people with sensitive skin can’t tolerate
Best Dermatologist Recommended Lotion to Use for Eczema on the Face & Body: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
If you prefer to keep your skin care routine simple and would like a lightweight, all-in-one product that you can safely slather over your face and body, then we would recommend the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this formula has been designed to restore the skin’s barrier while providing 24 hours of hydration.
Key Ingredients: Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid
There are a few key hydrating ingredients in this lotion, including hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides. The ceramides are particularly important, with studies showing that ceramide creams have the ability to reduce sensitivity symptoms . Even better, it’s safe to use them around your eyes and on the more delicate areas of your body.
By using MVE technology, CeraVe has encapsulated the above ingredients. This means that, instead of gushing into the skin all at once, they’re delivered into cells at a slow and steady rate, enabling them to provide long-term hydration.
- A formula that focuses on hydrating the skin and restoring the skin barrier
- Lightweight, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free
- Comes in at an affordable price
- Contains parabens
Best Fragrance-Free Drugstore Formula for Soothing Redness: Olay Moisturizing Face Lotion Sensitive Skin
If you’re looking for an easy-to-find moisturizer that will soothe the redness flaring up on your skin, then the Olay Moisturizing Face Lotion Sensitive Skin is worth a look. Designed specifically for sensitive skin, this lightweight cream will leave your complexion feeling smoother, softer, and less irritated after each application.
Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera & Chamomile
We’ve already mentioned how beneficial aloe vera can be for sensitive skin types, so it’s great to see that it has been infused into this lightweight lotion.
It is joined by chamomile, a botanical proven to soothe sensitive skin, speed up wound healing, and reduce allergic reactions .
- A lightweight formula that absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy
- Soothes redness and softens the skin
- Designed specifically for sensitive skin
- If you have dry skin, you may find that this lotion isn’t thick enough
Best Moisturizer for Extremely Sensitive Skin Suffering From Psoriasis or Rosacea: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Shopping for moisturizers for sensitive skin is already quite a difficult task, but it becomes even more so if you have a skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea to contend with too. Fortunately, this is where the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer steps in – not only will it provide you with 48 hours of hydration, but it will also start to repair your skin barrier just one hour after application.
Key Ingredients: Ceramides, Glycerin, Niacinamide & La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
If you’re trying to heal and prevent skin barrier disruption, then ceramides are a must. This formula contains ceramide-3, which mimics the lipids that are naturally found in the skin, ensuring that your skin readily accepts it.
You’ll also find glycerin in this formula, a powerful humectant that hydrates the skin, along with niacinamide for its balancing and healing properties. This is all encased in La Roche-Posay’s patented thermal spring water, which has been proven to have skin-soothing properties .
- Designed with sensitive skin in mind
- Contains a good selection of soothing, restorative, and hydrating ingredients
- Dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic
- Some people don’t like the natural scent of this product, but its fragrance-free formulation is important when dealing with sensitivities
Best Face Cream for Treating Irritated Skin: EltaMD Intense Moisturizer
If your skin isn’t usually sensitive but is currently feeling tender and irritated, whether because of a sunburn or a cosmetic procedure that you’ve recently had, then the EltaMD Intense Moisturizer is the perfect way to intensely soothe that inflammation. A rich moisturizer that melts upon contact with the skin, this formula is ideal for anyone with hypersensitive skin.
Key Ingredients: Petrolatum
While the main active ingredient in this cream may not sound very glamorous, petrolatum is extremely useful when it comes to barrier repair, and also brings with it powerful antimicrobial properties .
That said, it’s a very thick and greasy ingredient. This is why, when using this facial moisturizer, EltaMD advises that any excess product should be wiped off the skin if it hasn’t been absorbed after two minutes.
- A very thick emollient cream that’s ideal for treating super-sensitive skin
- Only contains two ingredients, meaning less chance of experiencing allergic reactions
- While its short ingredient list is beneficial in some ways, this also means that your skin misses out on some of the sensitive skin must-haves that other creams on this list contain
Best Vegan Formula for Dry Sensitive Skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
If your skin is both dry and sensitive, then the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream will help to give it the healthy and supple glow that you’ve been seeking. Formulated to soothe the skin while protecting it from harmful environmental factors, this cream will leave your skin feeling deeply moisturized and conditioned.
Key Ingredients: Colloidal Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Allantoin
Colloidal oatmeal is a popular skin protectant, with studies showing that it’s effective at treating dryness, scaling, roughness, and itching .
Shea butter and its anti-inflammatory properties help with inflamed and irritated skin, while allantoin heals, protects, and encourages the production of new tissues in the skin .
- A fragrance-free formula that’s packed with natural ingredients
- Soothes the skin and protects it from environmental harm
- A very rich and hydrating cream
- Doesn’t contain any common irritants
- Not suitable for people with oily or acne-prone skin
Best Hypoallergenic Moisturizer: Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer
If thick creams aren’t your thing, then turn your attention to the Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer. This hypoallergenic formula is lightweight and gel-like in consistency, enabling it to penetrate deep into the skin to nourish the skin’s barrier and calm any irritation.
Key Ingredients: Oat, Chrysanthemum & Feverfew
Rather than being formulated with colloidal oatmeal, this cream uses oat extract and oat flour. Together, they provide prebiotic properties, which help to return sensitive skin to a healthier state.
Chrysanthemum extract offers up anti-inflammatory properties, while also brightening the skin tone. This is combined with feverfew extract, a botanical loved for its calming effects.
- Designed for sensitive skin, and so doesn’t contain any common irritants
- Helps to hydrate, soothe, and restore the skin
- Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, and non-comedogenic
- Some people note that this cream takes longer to absorb than others
Best Lightweight Formula for Hydrating Sensitive Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream
If you’re searching for a lightweight hydrating product that won’t leave your skin feeling weighed down, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream won’t disappoint. With a refreshing, gel-like consistency, this formula will help to increase your skin’s moisture levels, leaving your complexion feeling soft and supple all day long.
Key Ingredients: Sodium Hyaluronate & Glycerin
The two main actives in this moisturizer both serve the same purpose. Sodium hyaluronate and glycerin are both hydrating ingredients that act as humectants. This means that they draw in moisture from the air around you before delivering those water molecules to your skin cells. This is ideal for people with dry skin.
- A very lightweight formula that feels more like a gel than a cream
- Deeply hydrates the skin, making it the right moisturizer to pick if you have dry skin
- Doesn’t contain ingredients for soothing the skin or treating sensitive skin conditions
Best Moisturizer for Restoring the Skin Barrier: Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream
If you have sensitive skin, then this means that your skin’s protective barrier has been damaged in some way. The best way to repair it and possibly get rid of those sensitivities? The Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream. This rich face cream supports the skin’s natural barrier while smoothing out a rough and uneven texture, leaving you looking resurfaced, balanced, and refreshed.
Key Ingredients: Squalane, Omega Fatty Acids, Shea Butter & Hyaluronic Acid
Squalane is a highly moisturizing ingredient that mimics the natural lipids found in the skin, enabling it to easily merge itself into the skin barrier. While many sensitive skin products contain animal-derived squalane, the squalane in this vegan formula is plant-based.
This is combined with omega fatty acids, which replenish the natural fats in your skin’s barrier. The addition of shea butter and hyaluronic acid makes this formula feel deeply hydrating – it calms even the most sensitive skin.
- Focuses on restoring the skin’s natural protective barrier
- A deeply hydrating and moisturizing formula
- Paraben-free, vegan, and cruelty-free
- May feel too rich for people with acne-prone skin
Q: Which type of moisturizer is best for sensitive skin?
The best moisturizers for sensitive skin contain soothing and calming ingredients, such as ceramides, aloe vera, oat derivatives, and squalane.
Q: Should I use moisturizer if I have sensitive skin?
Definitely! A moisturizer is the best way to rebuild the damage that has been caused to your skin’s natural barrier, which is exactly what sensitive skin needs.
Q: How do you hydrate sensitive skin?
Rich face moisturizers are the best way to hydrate sensitive skin.
Q: What helps sensitive skin on face?
Look for sensitive skin products that contain ingredients proven to soothe and calm irritation. You’ll find some great recommendations right here on this page!
Q: What is the best face moisturizer for very sensitive skin?
You’ll find a few moisturizers on this page that have been designed specifically for people with very sensitive skin.
Q: What SPF does sensitive skin need in sunscreen products?
People with sensitivities should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50.
Q: Are oils made from Vitamin E good moisturizers for sensitive skin?
Yes, vitamin E oils are good for moisturizing sensitive skin. Layer one over your moisturizer if you have dry skin, or apply one instead of a moisturizer if you have acne-prone skin.
Conclusion: Finding the Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, then you need to focus on rebuilding that damaged barrier while keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized, and the products featured above will help you to do just that. Not only have they been approved by board-certified dermatologist professionals, but they each also have hundreds, if not thousands, of 5-star reviews attesting to their efficacy.
Our #1 Recommendation