by team
If you struggle with acne, rosacea or other skin flare-ups, you likely have sensitive skin. But before you invest in pricey treatments to address your specific skin concerns, it’s wise to first understand the causes. Use this handbook as a guide to identifying and treating sensitive skin, to help you maintain gorgeous skin under any circumstances.

Acne, rosacea, product sensitivities, genetics or just fickle skin – there are numerous factors responsible for causing skin sensitivities. Don’t let sensitive skin discourage you from building a beauty regimen that’s tailor-made for your skin. This handbook is your guide to making smarter skincare purchases, dealing with flare-ups and reactions, avoiding environmental and lifestyle triggers, and above all, understanding your sensitive skin. Browse our list of articles on the ins and outs of skin sensitivity and start becoming an expert on your skin.

Introduction to sensitive skin

When your skin reacts to daily products and never feels balanced, basic skincare can be a challenge. The best way to gain a better understanding of your skin is to start at the beginning and identify the root causes of your sensitivity – whether it’s something as simple as an allergy to a specific ingredient or a complicated condition like rosacea or psoriasis. By looking beyond just the product choices, you’ll easily be able to make the necessary lifestyle changes and avoid triggers that cause your skin to react, so you can make your skin one less thing to worry about.

  1. A Beginner’s Guide to Sensitive Skin: Learn the Basics. Ready to get to the bottom of skin sensitivity? This article will help you investigate the many factors that can contribute to a delicate skin type that needs some extra care. Find out how weather, household cleaning products, environmental stressors and even your hobbies affect your skin, and how to minimize reactions by making smarter choices and creating a better daily regimen.

  2. Sensitive Skin Conditions: Causes and Treatments for Sensitive Skin Care. Tired of trying – and not succeeding – in correctly diagnosing the causes behind your skin’s sensitivity? Start here to get some great information that will help you on your quest. This article covers the main categories of reactive skin, including contact dermatitis (reactions to topical products), atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis and more. Use the helpful descriptions here to get to the bottom of each condition, then peruse the product suggestions tailored to each skin condition to help you on your way to finally choosing the right products for you.

  3. Caring for Sensitive Skin. The best regimen for sensitive skin is one that’s simple, affordable and appropriate on a daily basis. Find out the most important steps that a regimen for sensitive skin should contain, plus learn important tips on cleansing without irritating, choosing treatment products and finding the right sunscreen for your skin type. Then, you’ll learn how to go beyond topical products and avoid irritants found in clothing fabrics, jewelry and more, helping you take a complete, multi-faceted approach to skincare.

  4. A Daily Defense for Sensitive Skin: Simple Tips for Protective Skin Care. Do skincare products frequently cause your skin to feel itchy, flaky or even painful? Your sensitive complexion requires extra care and attention. Everything counts – from your day-to-day habits to the products you choose – so it’s important to see skincare as part of your lifestyle, not just a morning and evening regimen. This article will help you learn to be smarter about product labels, safely introduce new products into your regimen, and pare your regimen down to just healthy skin essentials, as well as smart product choices for everything from shaving necessities to deodorants.

Makeup and beauty

Once you’ve found the ideal basic regimen for your skin, it’s time to start thinking about cosmetic product choices. Whether you’re a makeup minimalist or love to play it up and experiment with the latest makeup trends, choosing the right cosmetic products makes a big difference in avoiding product reactions and treating your sensitive skin right. The following articles offer a glimpse into proper considerations to make when choosing makeup, as well as product and ingredient suggestions for beautifully healthy skin.

  1. Sensitive Skincare for Everyone: 7 Top Beauty Brands for Sensitive Skin. Frequently switching formulas and trying multiple brands to find that perfect product line that works for your sensitive skin is more than just a hassle – it can also be damaging to your already reactive skin. Fortunately, more and more companies are recognizing the demand for gentle products that nourish and comfort delicate skin types. Read about the missions and backgrounds of seven companies that specialize in sensitive skincare solutions.

  2. A Makeup Manual for Sensitive Skin. Finding makeup that's suited for reactive skin can be just as challenging as finding the appropriate products for daily care. Beyond just looking for the right key terms on the label, there are various factors to take into consideration – color, formula (liquid or powder) and even whether or not it’s waterproof. Start your personal makeup revolution by learning how to identify problem ingredients. Then, learn some special tips for choosing and using makeup if you have a skin condition like rosacea or eczema.  

  3. Special Makeup Tips for Sensitive, Aging Skin. Sometimes, sensitive skin isn’t something you’re born with; skin can become increasingly sensitive with age. On top of that, if you’ve been using the same shades and following the same tips for years, your regimen might need a tune-up. The tried-and-true cosmetic tips you learned in your 20s may no longer be working for your mature complexion. Find out how to choose non-irritating cosmetics that'll flatter and enhance your skin, and learn some tips from makeup professionals on application and product use.

  4. Eco-Friendly Makeup for Sensitive Skin. Natural and eco-friendly cosmetics are becoming increasingly more popular, and with good reason – many women are discovering that cosmetics containing fewer chemical preservatives and fragrances are gentler on the skin. But it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the numerous options on cosmetic shelves. If you’ve been curious about natural makeup but aren’t sure where to start, peruse our list of product picks for the face, eyes, cheeks and lips, and learn how to choose the best formula for your skin’s needs.

Treatments and ingredients

Once you’re aware of your sensitive skin type, how do you know where to start to find appropriate treatments and formulas? If you struggle with both sensitive skin and acne or menopause-related skin concerns, you’ll need some extra help in choosing products that are effective without causing further irritation.  Whether your skin is dry or oily, mature or reactive, here are tips for knowing which ingredients to seek out in your skincare regimen and which to avoid, as well as ideas for safely pampering your skin with soothing treatments you can find at a spa or create at home. Plus, get the facts on sensitive skincare ingredients like glycerin and feverfew, so you can demystify your own skincare needs and build the perfect regimen.

  1. Acne Treatment for Dry and Sensitive Skin. Treating acne can come with a host of complications if you have dry or sensitive skin, particularly if you’re also dealing with factors like aging, menopause or cold weather. Rather than suffer through trial and error to find the right acne formulas and ingredients – many of which can further irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin – get the facts on how to properly nourish and treat your skin type. Learn how to establish a daily cleansing, hydrating and treatment regimen that addresses both your acne concerns and your sensitive skincare needs, so you can eliminate acne without over-drying or aggravating delicate skin.

  2. Adult Acne: Treating the Conditions Caused by Menopause, Oily Skin and Sensitive Complexions. Dealing with acne as a teenager is bad enough, but when you’re an adult struggling with frequent breakouts, it can be devastating. Hormonal fluctuations during menopause are a common cause of adult acne. Whether you need gentle treatments for dry, sensitive skin or a stronger treatment for oil-prone skin, adult acne requires different treatment products and a gentler treatment approach than teenage acne. This article covers the basics of finding the right products and altering your regimen to prevent blemishes from recurring during the already stressful time of menopause.

  3. Sensitive Skin Preferences: 5 Ingredients to Embrace. Looking for skincare products with ingredients that are gentle enough for your sensitive skin can be a time-consuming process. Luckily, some ingredients are not only safe for sensitive skin, but are widely embraced by those with problem-prone skin. This article covers five ingredients commonly found in both drugstore and higher-end products that help soothe, nurture and comfort reactive skin. You’ll find these ingredients in everything from daily skincare cleansers and moisturizers to bath and body products. 

  4. Sensitive Skin Warnings: 5 Ingredients to Avoid. Does trying new products make you nervous because you’re not sure how your skin will react? For sensitive skin, numerous cosmetic ingredients can be problematic. The good news is that once you pinpoint the specific ingredient or ingredients that irritate your complexion, you’ll be able to take a lot of the guesswork out of finding new products. Read our list of five ingredients that often cause irritations in individuals with sensitive skin and learn how to substitute gentler formulas that are equally effective, yet less likely to cause skin reactions.  

  5. A Few Facts on Skin-Soothing Feverfew. The feverfew plant looks similar to a daisy, and is related to sunflowers and chrysanthemums. Although feverfew isn’t a well-known skincare ingredient, this simple ingredient has numerous benefits for those with sensitive skin. When used in topical skincare products, feverfew can help reduce redness and inflammation, as well as protect skin from damaging free radicals. Find out why you should consider adding feverfew products into your regimen and get some valuable product recommendations in this article.

  6. The Truth About Glycerin for Sensitive Skin: Beauty Expert Responds to Reader’s Skincare Concern. In the quest for the ideal sensitive skin regimen, it can be confusing to sort through the many product and ingredient recommendations found online. One Skincare-News reader sent our beauty expert team a letter after reading an article that recommended glycerin as a go-to ingredient for those with delicate complexions. In this reader’s personal experience, glycerin actually caused dryness and irritation. Find out what our beauty expert had to say about glycerin and sensitive skin.

  7. Soothing Stressed-Out Skin. When long, busy days and lack ofsleep begin to take a toll on your general mood and stress levels, your skin suffers as well. Built-up stress and fatigue can lead to physical symptoms such as acne or other skin irritations – which is the last thing you need when you’re already stressed out! Take a moment to learn some tips about how to make relaxing and unwinding a priority, as well as why it’s important for your skin's health. Additionally, try out some of the product suggestions included in this article, which will give you a head start in de-stressing and repairing upset skin.

  8. Sensitive Skin-Pampering Treatments: 5 Promising Spa Treatments for Sensitive Skincare. Worried that a trip to the spa will only further irritate your sensitive skin? Having reactive skin doesn’t mean you have to forgo a relaxing spa treatment entirely. The right treatment can go a long way toward healing and soothing your skin. This article introduces five indulgent treatments for both face and body that are gentle enough for those with sensitive skin – such as a decadent chocolate facial or a detoxifying seaweed wrap – as well as some easy and budget-friendly options for at-home spa treatments that benefit those with sensitive skin.

  9. 8 DIY Spa Treatments for Sensitive Skin. Why purchase expensive bottled spa treatments when you can whip up an easy and effective skincare treatment using just a handful of ingredients – many of which you may already have in your kitchen? Making skincare treatments yourself will allow you to rest assured that you know each and every ingredient you are putting on your skin, reducing the likeliness of developing a reaction. Get started by trying out one of these eight recipes, made from gentle, everyday ingredients. Our list includes budget-friendly treatments for both face and body.

Family skincare

Since sensitive skin is often hereditary, it’s not uncommon for multiple family members to struggle with different symptoms of sensitive skin – from childhood rashes and teen acne to men’s razor burn. Rather than search in vain for a one-size-fits-all approach, find out how to address each family member’s skincare concerns with effective treatments and healthy skin habits. Plus, get tips on caring for kids’ sensitive skin throughout the seasons.

  1. The Whole Family's Guide to Specialized Skincare for Sensitive Skin.  Looking for solutions to your family’s sensitive skin issues? Depending on the triggers – whether related to age, environmental factors or hormones – each person requires a different approach. Learn how to create a specialized regimen for each family member with these tips for newborns, teens, moms and dads, plus all the ages and skincare stages in between.

  2. Sensitive Skin Care for Men. Guys may not be as inclined to pamper their skin, but for sensitive skin types, understanding and properly treating skin irritations and conditions like acne and eczema is essential. This article highlights common sensitive skin triggers and how to find products specially formulated for men’s skincare needs. By learning how to build a daily grooming regimen, from cleansing and shaving to sun protection, men can ensure their skin stays healthy and attractive from head to toe.

  3. Children's Sensitive Skin Tips for All Seasons. Kids’ skin is vulnerable under any conditions, but especially when exposed to harsh environmental elements like wind, cold, UV rays and extreme heat. With awareness and preparation, parents can help prevent skin damage and flare-ups in all seasons. Here’s a season-by-season guide to protecting and soothing children’s delicate skin from any reaction, rain or shine.

  4. Back-to-School Health and Skin Safety: Fall Tips for Children’s Sensitive Skin. In the busyness of the back-to-school season, don’t neglect your children’s skincare needs. Kids’ skin is particularly vulnerable to irritations, rashes and sun damage, and the seasonal change from summer to fall can exacerbate sensitive skin conditions. Fortunately, parents can help school-age kids be proactive with their own skin health, starting with education on hygiene and skin safety. Learn how to encourage healthy skin habits for your children year round, plus get tips for making skincare fun for kids of any age.

  5. Attention, Parents: Skincare Tips for Kids' Cold Weather Skin Protection. Cold weather can take an extra toll on kids’ sensitive skin, whether your child suffers from seasonal issues like dryness or a more chronic skin condition, such as eczema. These 10 tips provide a daily guide to children’s skincare throughout the winter season, from choosing a gentle soap to finding winter fabrics that don’t irritate the skin. Parents can also learn which ingredients to look for not only in their kids’ winter skincare formulas, but in products fit for the whole family.

Seasonal skincare

How adaptable is your skincare regimen? Your skin’s needs differ depending on the season, which is why it’s crucial to understand how to adjust your regimen throughout the year. If you’ve been using the same products year round, the following articles are a great place to start. Find out what types of formulas to look for during each season, and which products are adaptable to any time of year.

  1. Sensitive Skin Anti-Aging Guide for Spring. Aging skin needs extra TLC, especially if you’re using wrinkle-fighting products with potentially irritating ingredients. Add sensitivity and seasonal transitions to the mix, and your skin may be reacting more than usual. This guide to protecting aging skin from factors like stress, sun exposure, cold weather damage and abrasive formulas will demystify sensitive skincare and pave the way for a beautifully healthy spring. Learn how to discern which products are right for your skin, understand the impact of everyday lifestyle habits on your skin and set the course for an effective beauty regimen for youthful skin through springtime and beyond.

  2. Sensitive Skin Care for the Active Lifestyle: How to Keep Even the Most Sensitive Skin Healthy Through All Weather Conditions. No need to let sensitive skin or challenging weather conditions slow you down. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or just need season-specific tips on preventing irritations like windburn, heat rash or bug bites, you’ll benefit from this thorough guide. Get the lowdown on keeping skin healthy outdoors in heat, wind, snow and everything in between. With these seasonal tips, you can craft a skincare routine tailored to your sensitivity and active lifestyle, so you can stay healthy inside and out.

  3. Sensitive Skin Care for Every Season: Fall's 5 Steps to Prepare Skin for Cold Weather. Our skincare habits often fluctuate with the seasons, and the extreme seasonal changes of summer and winter can be especially rough on sensitive skin. Use this article to help navigate weather transitions with tips from expert dermatologists on how to restore moisture, nourish sensitivity and protect your complexion from cold weather damage throughout the fall and winter months.

Sensitive skin can be a frustrating issue for people of all ages and in all climates – but don’t let sensitivity discourage you from putting your best face forward. Refer to this handbook for tips on treating and caring for sensitive skin concerns, so you and your family can maintain gorgeous, healthy skin through all seasons, ages and phases.


See also:

Skincare & Beauty Pocket Encyclopedia: The 347 Articles Answering Skincare and Beauty FAQs

Scalp Conditions Handbook

Menopause and Beauty Handbook

Complete Acne Handbook

Anti-Aging Handbook


Cotz Plus Water Resistant Sun Protection SPF 58 This sunscreen provides SPF 58 protection against UVA and UVB. It is ideal for individuals with sun sensitive skin conditions such as lupus, rosacea, skin cancer, polymorphous light eruption as well as those on chemotherapy or other sun sensitive medications and those post laser treatments, that typical sunscreens just don't work. Fragrance Free."
L'Occitane Cade Shave Set Based on Cade's antiseptic and strengthening properties, L'Occitane has created expert formulas specifically for men's shaving and skin care needs. The Cade Shave Set is perfect for those with sensitive skin and prone to irritation."
Clarisonic Brush Head Four Pack - Sensitive Made of a soft nylon derivative, the Clarisonic Replacement Sensitive Brush Head is a great starting point for sensitive to normal skin types. This set includes 4 brush heads which is a one year supply."
Cellex-C Serum for Sensitive Skin A lightweight, oil-free, aqueous solution containing the full complement of Cellex-C Complex signature ingredients. This formulation has been adjusted to 7.5% ascorbic acid and buffered to a 3.3 pH to accommodate highly sensitive skin types."
MD Formulations Sensitive Skin Anti-Aging Solutions Kit Designed with your sensitive skin in mind, this complete skincare solution delivers softer, smoother, younger-looking skin. Clinical tests confirmed a 97% reduction in dryness, a 77% increase in moisturization, a 66% reduction in roughness and a 38% reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
Pevonia Your Skincare Solution Sensitive Skin Pack When your skin reacts to everything... you need a skin care solution that will gently soothe and properly desensitize. This set contains ultra-gentle healing elements alleviate and harmoniously correct your skin's blotchiness and irritability. Soothe skin sensitivity and calm blotchiness and irritability to reveal an evenly-toned complexion."
Bioelements Sensitive Skin Cleanser Sensitive Skin Cleanser is an extra gentle cleanser with complexion-calming oils to melt away makeup, pollutants and excess sebum without any irritating side effects. A touch of water is all it takes to transform this cleaner into a foam that easily rinses away, leaving sensitive skin soft, comfortable and sparkly clean. This formula does not contain chemical preservatives, artificial colorants, synthetic fragrances or animal by-products."

"The information provided on is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern regarding any news item or article on this news magazine, please consult your physician..."