Skin sensitivity can manifest in many forms, including eczema, rosacea, redness and dry skin. If you’re looking to ramp up your skincare regime, check out these sensitive skin moisturisers, serums, cleansers and more, reviewed by EL editors and readers.
Is your skin prone to reactions and inflammation? Then you’ll want to use products that are extra gentle. Check out these that we’ve given a spin – they’re specially made for your skin type!
Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Wash & Shampoo, $16.90
If you are looking for bathroom products suitable for the whole family, you can’t go wrong with the Aveeno baby range. Specially formulated for babies’ delicate skin and great for sensitive skin, the products are gentle but effective and ideal for everyday use. My teenage daughter has been using the sensitive skin body wash & shampoo for a while and likes that it’s nice and light and doesn’t irritate her skin or scalp. It has a pleasant fragrance that doesn’t linger and her hair feels really soft even with daily use. It also comes in a pump bottle for easy application and it lasts for ages.
– Juliet Keys
Codex Antu Gel Cleanser, $69
As this is a gel cleanser, it doesn’t lather up on the skin. It has a nice lemon and lime scent to it and, to my surprise, it left my skin feeling clean and moisturised after rinsing. The ingredients are quite extensive, however, so for those with sensitive skin, you might want to check if there’s any potential allergies on the list, to ensure that it’s a suitable product for you to use. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but overall I think it’s a good facial cleanser.
– Siti Shahirah
Allure Skincare – Dr. Belter Delicate Night Care/24, $108
My night-time beauty routine typically consists of products that are targeted for dry skin, as I sleep with the air-con on, and with age, my skin has started showing some flakiness around my cheeks and nose. Trying out this Delicate Night Care/24 cream was certainly different in that it has absolutely no fragrance; I was pleasantly surprised and definitely welcomed the change. It’s a thicker product than I anticipated but it still glided on easily, and I could feel instant comfort as I spread it out evenly over my face. The real test came the morning after, and I’m so glad that it passed; I didn’t wake with an oily sheen on my face, which I sometimes do with other products, but I also could still feel the plumping effect of the cream. This product’s certainly a handy one to keep around if you have similar skin issues as me.
– Zawani Abdul Ghani
Jill Lowe – Smooth Skin Amazing Booster, $128
I was looking forward to trying this Jill Lowe product and it didn’t disappoint. In the tropical heat, a cream that is non-greasy and absorbed by the skin quickly is always welcome. I usually don’t apply anything on my face in the mornings, but Jill Lowe’s Smooth Skin Amazing Booster is perfect for Singapore’s humidity, making my skin feel really good. My face felt smooth and radiant for the rest of the day, thanks to the cream’s longlasting moisturising effect. The multi-purpose booster contains cucumber and different root extracts, helping the skin to become firm and elastic. And let’s not forget a very important factor when we select facial products; the anti-ageing and lightening properties in this Jill Lowe product are great for skin pigmentation and fine lines.
– Judit Gál
Naturys Vanity Routine Protective Cream For Sensitive Skin, $132
I have been using this product once in the morning and once in the evening, after my sensitive skin moisturiser. I like that it has a pleasant scent that seems to derive from organic sources and that it feels gentle. I also like that it contains leaf, flower and fruit extracts. As my skin is sensitive, it doesn’t fare well with strong chemical products; it’s better suited to natural ingredients. The protective cream is light and doesn’t irritate the skin. It also works well with the other skin products I’ve been using, all designed for sensitive skin.
– Yimin Huang
Allure Skincare – NOREL Dr Wilsz Facial Serum for Couperose Skin, $88
I’ve been using this facial serum for a month now – oh, what bliss to try something new! The dispenser measures out the perfect amount, making it easy to add to my autopilot skincare routine. The serum is rich but not heavy, magically disappearing moments after application without leaving my skin feeling heavy or irritated (something I’ve noticed when testing other serums). It has a very light scent, not at all evident after application – another plus! My skin, which is no longer in the bloom of youth and needs some TLC after two exceedingly stressful years, has responded so well to this serum that I think I am ready to brave another novelty: I will be looking up the options for a facial at one of their salons!
– Kate Woodford
The HONEY Collection – Active Manuka Miracle Honey Salve, $30
This product is called “Miracle Salve” and I can’t agree more with that. I’m fortunate enough not to suffer from eczema or skin irritation but I do get dryness in some areas – and the occasional minor burn from when I’m cooking! After just one use of this product, the effect is amazing. It’s 100 percent natural, soothes the skin, and prevents further dryness. The cream is very rich, with antibacterial properties suitable for everyone, including babies. It will definitely be in my luggage for hiking and beach trips as it’s great for sunburns, wounds and general irritations. I highly recommend it.
– Judit Gál
The HONEY Collection – Simply Sensitive Hypoallergenic Sensitive Skin Moisturiser, $34
As someone who has very sensitive skin, I thought this sensitive skin moisturiser really helped clear and make my skin hydrated and smooth after using it. Even a small amount made my skin glow and shine. Personally, a lot of skincare products make my skin break out or they make my skin sting after using them; but this product only made my skin calmer. I like it because it is cruelty-free and made with 100 percent natural ingredients, as well as being eco-friendly. I like to use it on my skin before putting on makeup because it also makes my skin look refreshed and helps my makeup last.
I would recommend this product to someone who has sensitive skin, and suggest that they use it day and night.
– Maya Rose Pickles (12)
Philocali Liquid Masque, $99
My skin is sensitive and usually on the dry side, with a slightly oily T-zone. What I really like about this product is that it’s easy to use and keeps your skin matte and smooth throughout the day; I find myself not having to put on too much makeup. I’ve been using it twice a day and it does seem to tighten my skin a little. It shouldn’t replace your sensitive skin moisturiser, especially if you have dry skin like mine. I like that it contains natural fruit extract and collagen, and has a nice light fragrance. Definitely worth trying.
– Anna Tserlingas
W Line White Glow Enriched Brightening Serum by BSkin, $107
I do love a pump pack, and this one is great – not too much is dispensed, and it lands where you want it to: on your fingertips. This serum is designed to be used twice daily under a sensitive skin moisturiser. It’s a light, milky gel that spreads well over the face and is slightly cooling. Once it has soaked in, my skin feels silky and smooth, slightly plumped and firm.
BSkin products are known for their natural ingredients, especially bee extracts – and this product is no exception. It has an intriguing product list – one ingredient called Organic 7 reads like this: “extracts of organic celery, organic rice, organic cabbage, organic turnip, organic tomato, organic carrot, and organic broccoli”. The ingredients are all soothing and safe for sensitive skin. They’re designed to be anti-inflammatory, hydrate the skin, and inhibit melanin production, which causes pigmentation.
I have it at my desk and use it once or twice throughout the day to soothe my skin in the air-con, and also on some pigmentation on my neck, which I do think is getting lighter – although also keeping it moisturised would be improving the look of it too.
– Danielle Rossetti
Tried and tested organic skincare
Luxe Botanics Camu Brightening Cleanser, $60
I have super-sensitive skin and have been using the same gentle cleanser for years, so I was a bit hesitant about trying something new. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the effects of Luxe Botanics’ Brightening Cleanser after a short time of using it. Made with vitamin C-rich camu camu berry extract from Brazil, the product works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, moisturise, boost collagen, soothe sensitive skin and diminish dark spots.
The cream is light, easy to apply, and has a mild scent that reminds me of a tropical spa. My skin feels clean and refreshed after applying and it hasn’t caused any irritation. What’s more, after a few weeks of using this morning and night, I think my skin is looking clearer and brighter and my pores are less noticeable. It does leave my skin feeling a little dry though, so I need to follow it with a good sensitive skin moisturiser for optimum effects. Note: Luxe Botanics products are natural and organic, dermatologically tested, vegan and cruelty-free.
– Juliet Keys
Kundal Derma C.P.R. Ampoule Facial Mask, $18
“I’m a frequent user of hydrating sheet masks, and these vegan-certified ones from Korean skincare brand Kundal Derma tick all the right boxes. One pack comes with seven individual masks, so you’re getting a bang for your buck.Formulated with centella asiatica extract (a plant known for its soothing purposes), each mask is packed with 30 grams of highly concentrated ampoule to moisturise and soothe dry and irritated skin. My skin goes through phases, and recently it has been rather sensitive.
Whenever I use this mask, I’m pleasantly surprised by how immediate the calming and hydrating benefits are. There’s an ample amount of serum, so I love using the excess on my neck. My only small gripe is that the fit of the mask could be better, but other than that, I really have no complaints. Definitely worth repurchasing!”
– Anthia Chng
Al’s Beauty Bundle Unveiling set, $110
“This duo consists of the 24K Gold Intensive Eye Serum and 24K Gold Peel-Off Mask. The eye serum is packed with ingredients such as coconut and olive fruit oils to plump up and hydrate the skin. It absorbed quickly into my skin and didn’t leave any sticky feeling. After using it for a month, I noticed that the skin around my eyes looked fresher and brighter. I don’t usually apply eye serums in the day but this was light enough to go under my sunscreen.
Peel-off masks can get really messy and the removal process can be painful. However, this mask was easy to apply. It didn’t drip, and it stayed runny long enough for me to spread an even layer on my face. After 25 minutes of feeling as if my skin was being tightened, the mask came away easily when I peeled it off my face. It left my skin feeling refreshed, and looking brighter and smoother. My sensitive nose picked up a strong alcohol scent, but it dissipated as the mask solidified. I’m adding this to my weekly skincare routine and sharing it with my friends too!”
– Patricea Chow
Suu Balm Rapid Itch Relief Moisturiser, $49.90
“I have psoriasis, which is an inflammatory condition. I get relapses when it’s worse than usual, and then it becomes extremely itchy. So far, no creams I’ve tried have helped me – and believe me, I have tried a lot of different prescribed creams that claim to work. Suu Balm has really helped me. This gentle, steroid-free sensitive skin moisturiser contains menthol to soothe and cool the skin, as well as ceramides to restore skin moisture. It doesn’t fully get rid of my skin condition, but it does help with the itching, which gives my skin time to rest and heal.”
– Elo Gothe
Nuxe Paris Very Rose range, price varies
“I really love this range of sensitive face cleansers from Nuxe Paris. They combine makeup removal with the gentle soothing properties of rose floral water to remove impurities from the skin, leaving it soft and fresh. All the products smell amazing too.
Firstly, the Delicate Cleansing Oil ($34.90) was lovely for removing all types of makeup in the shower as it foams up when it comes into contact with water. However, I felt like it left a little oil on my skin even when I rinsed it off fully, so this wasn’t my favourite pick. The 3-in-1 Micellar Water ($28.90) was light and easy to use: simply apply with a cotton pad using light strokes all over the skin. This cleansing water even took off my waterproof mascara easily! It left my skin feeling bright and soft. The Cleansing Foam ($28.90) was my favourite from this range. I felt it left my skin cleaner and fresher than the other two. The light rose fragrance is lovely and the range is great for sensitive skin. I’m definitely a big fan.”
– Jacqui Young
CNP Laboratory Sensitive Skincare Range, price varies
“The Aqua Soothing Gel Cream ($48.90) has a really lovely texture. It’s creamy but light, and feels slightly cool when applying. The gorgeous hue of the jar helps too – like green sea-glass! I can apply it generously and it sinks in without leaving any residue on the skin.
I also tried the 2-Step Quick Soothing SOS Mask ($6.80), which includes the ampoule to be applied first, followed by a sheer mask containing seven types of natural plant extracts to soothe, hydrate and protect the skin. The sheet mask, which felt thicker than the others I’ve tried, was quite easy to use as I didn’t have excess product running into my ears and hair.
The Propolis Ampule Face Mist ($23.80) is my favourite part of the process. The super-fine mist smells like honey and doesn’t wet the face. Instead, it gives my complexion a healthy glow. I apply it before and after makeup, as well as throughout the day.”
– Danielle Rossetti
Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum, $64
Glow Recipe is one of my favourite skincare brands at the moment, with its amazing products and pretty packaging that looks fab in your bathroom.
This vegan, cruelty-free and parabenfree serum works great when paired with other products from the brand’s green avocado range. Known for its healing and calming properties, the product is gentle on the skin and restores hydration with its plant-based avocado extract. It’s lightweight and absorbs into the skin well; the calming essence-like formula restores skin to its full glory. It can be used in the morning and evening, but I’ve been using it mainly at night as I find it works best after makeup removal.
If I feel tired in the morning, I mix one pump of this to calm and take the redness out of my skin, plus a pump of another one of Glow Recipe’s magic serums to hydrate or brighten. It’s great that the products can be mixed and matched; this serum provides a great base for all.
– Jacqui Young
Dermedics SOS Biomimetic Soothing Serum, $178
“I blush easily, go bright red when I exercise, and often have skin irritations from beauty products formulated with strong ingredients. This product, dispensed from a pump bottle, is a creamy gel formula. It feels a little cooling to the touch when it goes on, so I use it when I come back from exercising. It does calm down the redness somewhat, and leaves my skin feeling soft and cool. It soaks right in and is non-greasy.
The product is fragrance-free, but there is a mild, natural smell, which is not lovely but also not as bad as I expected after I read that one of the active ingredients is sea anemone protein! I also use it before I apply my serum as a kind of moisture aid, and after doing a facial scrub (which can irritate my skin) – kind of like a soothing, creamy toner.”
– Danielle Rossetti
Sense De Belle Clarifying Cleanser, $58
#02-02 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road
“After trying and loving the hyaluronic sensitive skin moisturiser from this salon’s in-house skincare range, I was excited to try this cleanser! I have combination skin; my T-zone is quite oily and I do get pimples occasionally.
This cleanser is specially formulated with a high concentration of active ingredients to remove excess oil, sebum and bacteria that can block pores and irritate skin. At first, I thought it wasn’t foamy, but adding water made it lather up well with a creamy texture. It’s easy to use and has a pleasant scent.
After using it, my skin feels cleaner, fresher and moisturised. Sometimes when I’m too busy and really have to get out of the door quickly, I just wash and go as I find that the formula doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry like some other cleansers I’ve tried. Apply one pump – a little goes a long way – and massage into your face; then rinse off with cold water. I will definitely continue using Sense De Belle products – they are amazing!”
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
Kelly Oriental Hydraboost & Soothe Facial Spray, $124
“Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin like mine, this gentle and lightweight facial mist works well as a toner after cleansing, or a refreshing spray for any time of the day. It’s formulated with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, which helps to retain moisture within the skin layers, and distilled Damask Rose Hydrosol (floral water) to soothe irritated skin. I love its light floral scent that dissipates once the mist settles in, so there’s no lingering fragrance. Just remember to tap the product into your skin, or it may leave a tacky finish!
This mist is great for rejuvenating skin (and your senses!) during that mid-afternoon slump. The bottle is relatively large compared to most toners I’ve tried, which evens out the hefty price tag. I’ve been generously spritzing it on every day for a month and I’m still not halfway through!”
– Anthia Chng
Nature Up Organic Rebalancing Restorative Lotion, $32
“At first when I read the word “lotion”, I was a little apprehensive because I thought this product was going to be heavy and sticky. To my surprise, it’s not!
The Italian-made lotion is wonderfully light and feels more like a tonic than a lotion, which is great for humid Singapore. I love the bottle and how easily you can pump out the product. More importantly, this amazing rebalancing and restorative product is formulated without nasties. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and has been tested against metal, so it’s suitable for all sensitive skin and souls out there. I have used it both in the day and at night after washing my face. It leaves my face feeling fresh, bouncy and bright, with a more even complexion with consistent use. It can even help with puffy eyes! One bottle lasts for at least a month, so you’re getting great value. ”
This article first appeared in the Summer issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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