Skincare for Beginners – Sensitive


If you have sensitive skin, you must be very careful about which products you use. You may experience sore, tingling or burning sensations and your skin may feel tight or itchy at times.

People with sensitive skin are usually acutely aware of the problem. It’s common for you to experience sensitivity to various household products, such as detergent, as well as sensitivity to products on your face.

It’s possible you may also suffer from skin disorders, such as eczema or contact dermatitis.


I cannot stress enough that if you do suffer from sensitive skin, please have a dermatologist analyse the underlying cause, as it’s possible medical treatment is available to relieve symptoms. 

While below I have listed my recommendations for sensitive skincare, if you have very sensitive skin, I would strongly recommend that before using any of the products you complete a skin sensitivity test by placing a small spot of the product on the skin behind your ear and check for a reaction within 48 hours. 


When dealing with sensitive skin, it’s important to use products that have minimal ingredients and no fragrances.

A product I would recommend for cleansing is Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Facial Wash (Superdrug – £4.49).


Simple is known as the brand for sensitive skin, so it makes sense that their face wash is perhaps one of the best drugstore brands for sensitive skin.

While you may not need it for the “Age Resisting” properties, the reason I have chosen to recommend this face wash is because it’s quite hydrating and doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight after washing. A bonus if your skin is also dry!

How to use:
Wet your face with warm water and lather a small amount of the product in your hands. Massage the lather into your face in circular motions, rinse and pat dry.

Finding a moisturiser that works well for sensitive skin is a difficult task as they can often have the adverse effect of causing a reaction that makes areas of your face dry and sore.

Having only really experienced sensitivity around my eyes, I asked my sister, Holly – who suffers from very sensitive skin – what she uses, and to my surprise she recommended Olay Anti-Wrinkle Firm and Lift Day Cream SPF15 (Superdrug – £9.99).

Image: Holly

Holly says: “I like the moisturiser because it’s not oily and it makes even the sore parts of my skin soft within a day or two. It’s one of the few moisturisers I can use that doesn’t give me a reaction and I highly recommend it.”

The moisturiser also includes an SPF of 15, which is an added benefit to skin that’s sensitive to UV, and also works well as a base for make-up application.

How to use:
Massage liberally into the face and neck using small circles to stimulate circulation.

I don’t know if there’s a science behind it, but perhaps products with anti-ageing properties are generally better for sensitive skin? Has anyone else experienced this? Please let me know in the comments!

Applying Make-up to Sensitive Skin

You may find that your skin is so sensitive, make-up is a special occasion or very minimal thing.
While I recommend you do what’s best for your skin, it’s possible for you to focus on areas that are least sensitive. For example, wear a bright, bold lipstick or a dark smokey eye.
However, if you’d like to wear a full face more regularly:

  • Avoid cream based products and focus on powders as they are less likely to irritate the skin. Use sparingly over dry skin areas.
  • When it comes to foundation, a silicone based one should work best as it “sits” on top of your skin rather than being absorbed.
  • Use pencil eyeliners and brow powders instead of gels or liquids that can contain irritating ingredients.
  • Avoid waterproof make-up that will need removing with harsh or oily cleansers.
  • It should go without saying, but we’re all guilty of holding onto our cosmetics a little longer than the expiry dates. However, if you have sensitive skin then you should ensure you’re replacing your products within their expiry dates and also regularly cleaning your make-up brushes. Avoid harsh anti-bacterial soap when cleaning brushes and use a mild baby shampoo so that any residue left on the bristles is less likely to affect your skin.

While maintaining a nourishing, moisturising skincare routine, make sure that you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking enough water. While skincare products can help relieve symptoms of sensitive skin, a healthy diet may actually improve skin quality from the source – you!

Eating healthily not only improves your overall health and clarity of your complexion, but can help to balance out hormones and drinking plenty of water helps your liver flush out toxins.

If you live in the north or experience cold, dark winters like we do here in Britain, I also recommend you take a Vitamin D supplement, as we usually absorb this from the sun’s radiation and it can affect our skin if we don’t get enough.
Please consult a doctor before taking Vitamin D supplements. 

When it comes to any particular skin type, it is important to remember that there is no quick fix. You may have to trial several products before you find the one that’s right for you, and this can be a long and disheartening process. But you must stick to it, because it is so worth it once you finally find the regime and products that work for you.

I have chosen to suggest mainly drugstore brands as I feel they will be more readily available and affordable for my readers. If you have used a more high end product that has worked really well, please recommend it in the comments!

You can find out more about other skin types by visiting the Directory. The directory will be complete by the 28/01/2018.


  • I have not been sponsored to promote any of the products within this post. It is important to note that this post is ADVICE ONLY and if choosing to take supplements or make drastic changes to your diet I strongly advise you consult a doctor. 
  • I’d also like to note that there are many, many causes of skin sensitivity and stress again that I recommend you visit a doctor to determine the underlying cause. 

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