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the best skincare products for dry and sensitive skin

Finding the right skincare products is challenging when your skin is dry and sensitive. As anyone with sensitive skin knows, the wrong cleanser or cream can turn your skin into an itchy and red mess. Growing up, I struggled with finding the right balance of products to treat my skincare issues. No matter what I tried, nothing seemed to get rid of the redness and frequent breakouts that popped up every week. It was a disaster.

Testing products isn’t easy when you have sensitive skin. I’m always apprehensive when I hear of a new miracle product or see a label with the words “calming” or “for sensitive skin” on it at Sephora. After spending years and hundreds of dollars trying out all kinds of products, I’ve learned that the labels aren’t always true to their word. Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences with skincare products marketed for sensitive or dry skin.

Luckily, I’ve finally found my skincare dream team. I feel like I have a pretty good skincare routine now with products that I would recommend to anyone looking for something gentle or suffering from the same skincare issues I do. I also tend to buy more natural products, which has helped my skin immensely. It’s so nice to be able to understand and pronounce what goes into your skincare!

the best skin care products for dry and sensitive skin

Since I know what’s it’s like to spend hours searching for and testing new products, I’m sharing my favorites with you. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

I like to switch up my routine, so I rotate these products based on my day. Here the products I can’t live without:

1.  Lush Ultrabland (Facial Cleanser)

lush ultrabland best products for dry and sensitive skin

As an oil-based cleanser, it’s excellent at removing foundation, concealer, and blush. It took some getting used to – it goes on like a cold cream and then you wash it off with water- but it’s now an important part of my skincare routine. It’s also one of the gentlest make-up removers I’ve tried and the one I always re-purchase when I run out.

2.  Bioderma Sensibo H20 500 ml (Cleanser/Make Up Remover)

bioderma sensibo h2o 500 ml best products for dry and sensitive skin

Bioderma’s Sensibo H20 works like a dream. It’s a unique cleanser – it uses micellar water to gently cleanse skin and remove make-up. By far, it’s the best make-up remover I’ve found for stubborn eyeliner and waterproof mascara. No matter how much makeup I’m wearing, it never irritates my eyes or lips. I use little cotton pads with it and it works like a magical make-up eraser. Worth every penny!

3.  Lush Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving (Face and Body Mask)

lush mask of magnaminty self preserving best skincare products for dry and sensitive skin

Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty is my absolute favorite face mask. It has the most amazing calming and cooling effect when applied, so it’s instantly refreshing and perfect for warmer weather. The minty scent is fresh and the mask is easy to wash off. I’ve tried both the self-preserving and regular versions. Personally, I prefer the gentler feel of the finely ground aduki beans in the self-preserving version.

4.  Lush Celestial (Moisturizer)

lush celestial moisturizer

It took me a while to find a good night cream, but I’ve finally found one. Lush’s Celestial has a sweet vanilla scent and takes a few minutes to absorb completely. I like that it’s light without feeling sticky or greasy. In the summer, I pop mine in the fridge for a little bit and it always feels so cool and soothing. Overall, the perfect overnight moisturizer.

5.  Lush Ultrabalm (All Purpose Balm)

lush ultrabalm all purpose balm best products for dry and sensitive skin

I can’t imagine living without Lush’s Ultrabalm. Unlike many salves, it’s formulated without petroleum jelly. It absorbs fairly quickly and has the faintest fragrance. It’s works well on chapped lips, dry elbows, and dry feet. I’ve even used it on super dry patches on my face without any issues. It’s part of my nighttime routine.

6.  Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (Liquid Cleanser)

cetaphil gentle skin cleanser best products for dry and sensitive skin

Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is my absolute favorite. I use it on the days when I’m not wearing make-up or as a post-workout cleanser. It’s super gentle and doesn’t irritate my eyes or cause any redness. 10/10, have re-purchased again and again.

7.  Lush Breath of Fresh Air (Toner/Sea Water Spray)

lush breath of fresh air soothing sea water spray best products for dry and sensitive skin

Finding a good toner was tough. Most of the toners I tried were alcohol based with strong fragrances. Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air was recommended on a visit to Lush and it was quite literally a breath of fresh air! The formula is aloe and sea water based and it’s wonderfully calming on sensitive skin. I use it often.

8.  First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration (Moisturizing Cream)

First Aid Beauty ultra repair cream intense hydration best products for dry and sensitive skin

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve tried countless hand lotions. As someone who always has dry hands, finding a hand lotion that was moisturizing without feeling greasy seemed like an impossible task. Luckily, I found First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration. I actually received it as a sample with a Sephora make-up order, but loved it so much that I bought the full-size version!

9.  Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub (Lip Scrub)

lush mint julips lip scrub best products for dry and sensitive skin

While it’s not specifically for sensitive skin, I can’t recommend this product enough. I love the minty, gently exfoliating feel of Lush’s lip scrub. It smells and taste like Thin Mints! If you’re not into mint, there are a few other flavors to choose from. An added bonus? The little glass container lasts a long time.

What are your favorite skincare products for dry and sensitive skin?


{Editor’s Note: All of the products featured in this post were purchased and reviewed by the author. This post is not affiliated with or sponsored by Lush, Bioderma, Cetaphil, First Aid Beauty, Birchbox, Ulta, or Sephora.}
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Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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