A Sensitive Skin Routine – When Moisturizers Are Your Enemy


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All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.


I’ve played with a lot of routines since figuring out I had sensitive skin. I’ve done the Korean 10 Step, a minimalist routine, explored double cleansing, oil cleanser only, balms. Let’s just say I explored a lot. This is the 1st in a series of sensitive skin routine examples.

This Routine May Help

  • If you’re having trouble finding moisturizers that don’t break you out.
  • Acne that could use some calming + healing help.
  • Skin that’s become progressively angrier with trying new products.
  • Oily, combination, + dry skin.
  • * Note: This routine does have fragrance. If you know you react, skip.

A Sensitive Skin Routine

Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($15)

A great sensitive skin routine

This is a fab facial cleanser for supporting your skin barrier by repairing it with ceramides.

Repairing your skin barrier can help protect your skin from getting angered by irritation + acne. It can also help balance the runaway effect of oily skin or dry skin when your skin barrier isn’t at its best.

I like this non-foaming version to help the ceramides stick around + because it’s a super gentle cleanser.

Instead of a Moisturizer: Layer an Essence + Serum or Facial Oil

skin care products for sensitive skin

Rose water is very hyped, but I’ve gotta say it’s for a reason! If you only try it for a few days, you’ll think it does nothing. If used for a few weeks or a month, you’ll see it!

Rose water is able to get oily skin or dry skin to balance its oil production. Rosa damascena has a unique ability to gently combat acne bacteria. Plus, rose water is said to improve skin turnover (healing, youthful skin).

I use this guy as a facial spray. It has a great spritzer for a gentle mist.

Image Credit: Alteya Organics

skin care for sensitive skin

Snail muscin is an old favorite I love to have around.

It’s great for keeping skin moisturized + it also helps speed up healing of fresh post-acne marks.

It applies like a thick serum, absorbs easily, + dries with a smooth finish.

Sensitive Skin Routine

I’m obsessed with a lovely facial oil! They do a great job of preventing moisture loss + keeping your skin hydrated.

This one smells incredibly soothing while also provides skin calming (I tested!). I love using it at night for the most luxurious feeling night regimen! Contrary to the myth, using a facial oil will not make your skin oilier. It can signal your skin to balance oil levels.

While I would happily use this for AM as well, some don’t love the glowy look that facial oils can give for day time.

SPF (AM Step 4): Village 11 Factory Daily Mild Sun Cream SPF 50+ PA++++ ($14)

oily sensitive skin care routine

A luxurious feeling SPF that applies smoothy + soaks in easily with a dry finish. Can be reapplied without change in skinfeel. This has a lovely scent that encourages me to remember to use it (I don’t react).

Hydrating squalane + calming ingredients including cica don’t hurt either.

Plus it’s one of the very few sunscreens that pass the brother test. (He won’t use 95% of them because he hates their feel.)

PM Spot Treatment (as needed): Tuel Clear It Blemish Control Gel ($42)

good skin care routine for sensitive skin

This is the gentlest, most effective acne treatment for sensitive skin I’ve found yet! It uses an unscented sulfur gel to gently reduce oils without drying out your skin. I both treats + calms. Full bae status.

I’ve used it for generic acne, hormonal acne, and acne hiding deep under the skin.

One of my most repurchased products! A bottle typically lasts me for months.

Image Credit: Tuel

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