Sensitive skin: A lot of us say we have it, few of us actually know what do with it. And for those with extremely sensitive skin — that kind that leads to things like rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and cystic acne — it can sometimes seem like there’s nothing out there that will make your skin calm TF down. The answer? A less is more routine using products with gentle ingredients and no harsh chemicals or fragrances.
Ahead, aesthetician Gina Marí, and Amy Wechsler, MD, share their expertise on sensitive skin and the simple, no-fuss routine that will keep your complexion happy. If you’re still experiencing skin flare-ups or major irritation, it’s best to see a dermatologist who can manage your condition with topical or oral prescription medication.
Step 1: Cleansing Water
After a late night out at the bars, it’s always important to take off your eye makeup. Dr. Marí suggests this light micellar formula that won’t irritate the skin around the eyes. You’ll wake up with happy, hydrated skin — take that, vodka.
Lumene Lahde Micellar Cleansing Water, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Step 2: Gentle Cleanser
Follow up your cleansing water with a gentle wash that won’t strip your skin. “I personally have sensitive skin and the Purpose cleansing bar is very mild and doesn’t irritate,” Dr. Wechsler says. “I have been washing my face with this since I was a teenager.”
Purpose Gentle Skin Cleansing Bar, $4.99, available at Walgreens.
Not crazy about bar soaps — or just don’t have enough room on your sink? Dr. Wechsler’s gentle soap-free face wash of choice also comes in pump-bottle form, so you can get the same mild cleanse without having to worry about the fate of your bathroom counter.
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, $4.69, available at Target.
Fancy-smelling pink citrus cleansers always sound like fun at first, but they aren’t always the best idea. “Selecting cleansers that are free of fragrance and dyes is the way to go. Cetaphil is a great over-the-counter option,” says Dr. Dr. Marí. To get an even deeper clean after a long, tiring week, she suggests using a wash cloth to gently exfoliate.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, $9.59, available at Target.
Step 3: Lightweight Serum
Don’t forget to immediately follow up your cleanser with a light treatment serum. Dr. Marí recommends iS Clinical Pro-Heal serum because it’s gentle on even the most sensitive skin types, including those who have rosacea, cystic acne, and even dermatitis.
iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum, $145, available at DermStore.
Step 4: Fragrance-Free Moisturizer
To finish off, Dr. Wechsler recommends following up with this fragrance-free cream she co-developed with Chanel. “I even use it as a hand moisturizer during the day,” she adds.
Chanel La Solution 10 De Chanel, $80, available at Chanel.
On the other hand, Dr. Marí swears by this all-natural indie find. Don’t be frightened by the green color: This cleanser is a nourishing miracle in a jar.
The Good Stuff Botanicals Gypsy Cream, $45, available at The Good Stuff Botanicals.