11 Best Skin Soothers: Sensitive Skin Relief

best skin soothers

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If you have sensitive skin and feel like you’re constantly fighting flare-ups, you’re not alone. And better than that, you’re not out of luck. Tons of basic skincare products like cleansers, serums, and moisturizers made for so-called “normal” skin contain irritating chemicals. You might just find relief using specially formulated products for sensitive skin made with gentle but effective ingredients and skin soothers galore.

We all have that one friend who still uses bar soap on their face with impunity or even a cousin who slathers on dish soap in the shower without fear of a blotchy, red revolt. If you’re going about your day using regular products and then comparing your misbehaving skin to theirs, stop! Everyone is different. And no one skincare regimen will work for us all.

When you have truly sensitive skin, you know that almost anything (or seemingly nothing) can set-off a bad reaction. Whether you struggle with eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, hives, severe dryness, flakiness, or just crazy reactive skin, you may be willing to stop at nothing to soothe your sensitive skin’s bad-tempered backlash. The good news is there’s plenty you can do at home to tame your highly reactive skin. Take heart, sensitive skin crusaders, and take control of your fussy flesh by finding the right skincare solution to your skin-deep woes. These 11 over-the-counter treatments don’t require a doctor’s visit or even a trip to the store.

Shop these 11 best skin-soothers for sensitive skin relief at home in your PJs, and you won’t have to venture outdoors until your skin is looking as luscious and calm as your cool, collected self.

What are the best skin soothers for sensitive skin relief?

skin soother cleanser Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Extra gentle
  • Affordable
  • Contains Antioxidants
Price: $34.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
skinceuticalsredness Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reduces redness
  • Deeply hydrates
  • Gentle formula
Price: $88.88 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Origins relief cream jar Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Calms red, blotchy skin
  • Thick, creamy texture
  • Physician formulated
Price: $50.19 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dermalogica skin soother Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lightweight
  • Gel texture
  • Hydrating
Price: $50.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Forea Luna Sensitive Skin Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Deeper clean without irritation
  • Helps products penetrate skin
  • Customizable settings
Price: $199.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ren Evercalm Balm Skin Soother Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sensitive skin formula
  • Cruelty free
  • Soothes and protects
Price: $62.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Caudalie Soothing Mask Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super soothing
  • Luxe smell and feel
  • Gentle ingredients
Price: $39.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Murad Sensitive Skin Serum Soother Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Highly rated by users
  • Neutralizes redness
  • Soothes as well as heals sensitive skin
Price: $65.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Manuka Relief Ultra Soothing Cream Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Real manuka honey
  • Made for sensitive skin
  • Affordable
Price: $29.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Juice Beauty Peel Sensitive Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sensitive skin formula
  • Organic and vegan
  • A little goes a long way
Price: $42.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Emily skin soother tub Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cult following
  • Simple ingredients
  • Affordable
Price: $20.41 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser, Sensitive Skin Cream Cleanser with Antioxidant Booster

    Pros:
    • Works for any skin type
    • Free from common irritants
    • Affordable price
    Cons:
    • Not tough on waterproof makeup
    • May be too drying for some
    • No exfoliation

    Every type of sensitive skin is different, so depending on what your normal issues are, i.e. redness, eczema, flaking, etc., you might choose a different specialized sort of product. But a good place to start, no matter your complaint, is with a gentle, non-irritating cleanser. While creams, lotions, and anything that hydrates are generally sensitive skin go-to’s, we can’t forget that every effective skincare regimen starts with a nice, clean face. 

    The First Aid Beauty brand (affectionately nicknamed FAB, as in how you’re about to look) is known for its careful attention to ingredients. The First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser is a great skin-soother as well as a wash since it’s free from major skin irritants and allergens that are commonly used as additives in other brands. This sensitive skin cleanser is creamy, but not heavy, and can be used on all skin types, from dry to acne-prone. It’s also fragrance-free and is formulated with antioxidants to protect skin while it cleans.

     

     

  2. 2. SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer

    Pros:
    • Treats redness from rosacea
    • Protects against sensitive skin triggers
    • Gentle, soothing formula feels great
    Cons:
    • Can feel "greasy"
    • Causes some people to feel "tingling"
    • High price tag

    Please raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by rosacea! Rosacea is one type of sensitive skin condition most often characterized by facial redness.

    If you’re like me, even if you finally get your skin perfectly clear of acne, enlarged pores, dullness, overly dry or overly oily patches, you’ll still have that constant annoyance called rosacea hanging around. Yes, my English and Scottish heritage, combined with my (admittedly very mild) rosacea means I wear at least a tinted moisturizer pretty much everywhere. Even when everything else feels balanced and perfect, I still feel the need to wear some kind of makeup coverage on my face when I go out, lest passersby think I just ran 25 miles in the heat. 

    Enter SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer, a calming, cooling, post-cleanser morning and night serum treatment that shuts that redness down. While it doesn’t cure rosacea, Skinceuticals claims studies prove it reduces redness by 30%. Its gentle formula has been tested for use on those with especially reactive skin. Finally, it’s one of our favorite skin soothers for sensitive skin relief because the formula does triple duty by fighting common environmental triggers, hydrating skin, and reducing existing redness.

  3. 3. Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream

    Pros:
    • Mega-Mushroom formula proven to calm skin
    • Thick, creamy texture feels instantly soothing
    • Smells and feels like a luxury product
    Cons:
    • Botanical scent isn't loved by all
    • Slightly pricy
    • Feels too "rich" or oily for some

    Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Cream is part of Dr. Andrew Weil’s extra calming line of mushroom-based skincare for this powerhouse brand.

    “Smooth,” “rich,” “calming,” “hydrating,” and of course, “amazing smell,” are some of the most often used words by reviewers of this luxe stuff. Origins’ own in-house team of scientists is already famous for concocting highly effective blends of active ingredients for their prolific brand of mostly plant-based skincare. Add to that, Dr. Weil’s internationally-acclaimed specialization in integrative medicine, not to mention his Harvard medical degree, and you’ve got a whole lot of credibility behind the cream’s claim that it will “instantly calm skin & help reduce visible redness & sensitivity.” 

    Dr. Weil’s botanical blend, including reishi, cordyceps, fermented Chaga, and sea buckthorn mushrooms, will calm and hydrate redness and irritation, as well as strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier. Reishi mushrooms, in particular, have a long history in traditional Chinese medicine, where they have been used for anti-aging effects, along with a host of other benefits. So mushrooms are not just a tasty addition to your lunch or dinner, they’re also powerful natural skin soothers. 

  4. 4. Dermalogica Calm Water Gel: Weightless Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

    Pros:
    • Fresh and light feeling
    • Calms and protects
    • Uses plant extracts
    Cons:
    • Can feel sticky until it dries
    • A bit pricy
    • Those with dry skin may need something heavier

    Have you ever been hesitant to put on moisturizer if you’re having a bad breakout, or if it’s so hot out you’re already sweating at 8 am? Your skin still needs the all-important step but especially for the acne-prone, moisturizer can sometimes feel counterintuitive. That’s one reason why Dermalogica’s Calm Water Gel is such a skin-soother savior. It goes on just as you’d think, like a lightweight gel, not a heavy cream, and won’t clog pores. 

    Soothing lavender and cactus pear extract help to balance sensitive skin naturally, while hyaluronic acid, apple extract, and glycerin hydrate and protect. It’s fragrance-free and paraben-free, of course, so won’t irritate most skin types. Best of all, it leaves your skin feeling fresh and silky. 

  5. 5. FOREO LUNA 3 for Sensitive Skin

    Pros:
    • Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner
    • Massages and tightens as well as cleans skin
    • Deeper clean than hands alone
    Cons:
    • Need to pair with smartphone
    • Must be charged occasionally
    • Some people report the app is buggy

    You already know that not all facial cleansers are created equal when it comes to sensitive skin. Wait until you realize your low-tech face-washing methods might need an upgrade as well. Washing your face with your bare hands is so…last decade. At least, according to the makers and cult followers behind Foreo’s LUNA line of “smart” facial cleansing and massaging brushes. 

    The Foreo LUNA 3 brush is specially formulated for sensitive skin with longer and softer touchpoints than other models. When you pair your smart brush to the Foreo app via Bluetooth, you can further customize settings and develop the right one-minute cleansing and massaging routine to fit your sensitive skin needs. If you’re like me and you initially balk a little at the idea of a smartphone-optimized brush just to wash your face in the morning, you might change your tune when you start seeing the results. In a monthlong consumer trial of 50 participants, a full 100% of users reported “more radiant, “refreshed,” and “better-feeling” skin when compared to cleansing by hand. 

  6. 6. REN Clean Skincare Evercalmâ„¢ Overnight Recovery Balm

    Pros:
    • Hydrates and regenerates
    • Protects against sensitivity in the future
    • Clean Ingredients
    Cons:
    • Can feel thick or greasy
    • Causes breakouts in a few users
    • Can go bad over time due to lack of preservatives

    “Train your skin to become less sensitive over time,” suggests the folks at REN clean skincare. You may not believe it possible if you’ve been dealing with sensitive skin for years of your life. But here’s how REN says its Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm can help soothe your sensitive skin into perpetuity. 

    Starting with “skin-loving” but non-comedogenic oils like olive, almond, borage, and linseed, the Evercalm formula enzymatically activates ingredients so that they absorb better into the skin, fight free radicals, and strengthen and protect the skin’s moisture barrier. Jojoba and sunflower extract moisturize and replenish lipids and soothe skin, while Beta-Glucans soothe and calm irritation and tightness overnight. From now on we’re treating existing symptoms and protecting skin against future ones.

  7. 7. Caudalie Moisturizing Soothing Face Mask

    Pros:
    • HIgh end ingredients
    • Spa-like scent and feel
    • Super effective for dry, flaky skin
    Cons:
    • Not good for oily skin
    • Some report a filmy feeling afterward
    • Awkward cap on bottle design

    To start with, I personally think everything Caudalie makes is magic. They’re one of my top 5 desert island skincare companies for sure. The Caudalie Moisturizing Mask is perfect for extra sensitive skin in need of intense soothing and moisturizing. This well-balanced and rich, creamy formula uses hyaluronic acid, grapeseed oil, and Vinolevure, which is a Caudalie propriety extract from French vineyards. 

    Instructions say to leave the mask on for 15 minutes and massage in the excess, followed by a serum and moisturizer. Pro tip: tons of online reviewers say they leave the mask on overnight and wake up to smooth, supple, hydrated skin, even if they went to bed with red, flaky patchy problem areas. 

    Even if you don’t have super sensitive skin, this super skin-soothing mask is still a big winner for dry winter skin for folks who live in cold climate areas. 

  8. 8. Murad Hydration Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum

    Pros:
    • Goes on feeling light and soothing
    • Hydrates and protects
    • Formulated without common irritants
    Cons:
    • High price for some
    • Contains dyes
    • Can feel too thin/runny

    First, the big gun ingredient, hyaluronic acid, hydrates and helps sensitive skin to retain moisture, as do the glycolipids. That’s a good start for any active ingredients list. Then the natural-yet-powerful additions of chamomile and arnica soothe and improve skin’s texture. 

    Murad Hydration Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum works great as a morning-and-night treatment after cleanser and before moisturizer for any day of the week. But Murad notes that this serum is intended to work especially well for skin that may be red or irritated due to waxing, exfoliating, or sunburn, in addition to run-of-the-mill sensitivity reasons. 

    Some people describe the feel of the product as a bit runny, and some describe it as a bit sticky until it dries. But it doesn’t take much of the product for it to work. It feels cooling and soothing and has a light, fresh smell. Slightly sticky but has a fresh, sweet smell? Sounds like a realistic description of a tropical vacation to me. 

  9. 9. Clearbody Organics Manuka Relief Ultra Soothing Cream

    Pros:
    • 100% manuka honey
    • works for all skin types
    • Organic, all-natural ingredients
    Cons:
    • Can't use if allergic to bees
    • Not vegan
    • Irritating to some

    Honey—it’s not just a snack for cute little bears without pants anymore. If you’ve been paying attention to the health and wellness world, then you’ve been paying attention to manuka honey. Honey in general has long been know for its natural health benefits, but manuka honey, which comes from New Zealand, where bees drink nectar from manuka trees, is in a class of its own.

    Clearbody Organics Manuka Relief Ultra Soothing Cream brings your skin the many benefits of manuka honey, like anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, moisturizing, and even wound-healing properties. This rich, sweet-smelling cream also uses colloidal oatmeal to soothe inflamed skin and stop itching. 

    Customers love its yummy smell and instant skin soothing effect. It’s been shown to help with eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, hives, sunburns, rashes, cracked, red, and otherwise irritated skin. You can even use it as a daily moisturizer as a preventative treatment.

     

     

     

  10. 10. Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive

    Pros:
    • Treats dark spots
    • Exfoliates sensitive skin safely
    • Organic, plant-based ingredients
    Cons:
    • Can cause burning sensation
    • Increases sun sensitivity
    • Some say it has a watery consistency

    Just because you have sensitive skin that’s prone to flareups doesn’t mean you can’t get your glow-up game on point! So often the sensitive skin set has to spend their skincare time and money just trying to calm things down. But what if you want your natural skin soothers to do double duty and dial up your aesthetic payoff as well? 

    Beauty mavens with sensitive skin will love Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Face Peel in its sensitive strength (it comes in full strength as well). Known for using organic, plant based ingredients, Juice Beauty doesn’t disappoint with this exfoliating mask. Exfoliating with physical grit, like crushed walnut or microbeads is a major no-no for sensitive skin, so you won’t find anything like that in this cooling, sweet-smelling gel-like mask. Instead, it goes on smooth, and exfoliates using gentle alpha hydroxy fruit acids. After ten minutes, you can rinse the product off, revealing freshly exfoliated skin.

    FYI it’s normal to feel a bit of flushing or tingling in the face during and after use. Follow up with a sensitive skin serum and moisturizer. If the redness doesn’t subside by the next day, or if the feeling of the mask moves past tingling and on to painful stinging, that’s a sign that you should stop use. 

  11. 11. Emily Baby & Adult Skin Soother Unscented

    Pros:
    • Very highly rated among fans
    • Works for all skin types in babies and adults
    • Economical
    Cons:
    • Not vegan (beesewax)
    • Feel and smell are medicinal
    • Doesn't work for everybody

    “Dry, chapped, red, rough, flaking, and irritated.” Do any of these unfortunate adjectives describe the skin you’re in? Emily Skin Soothers is a line of crazy effective healing products that claim to tackle all these ouchy issues and more. And the cult status otheir flagship product, the Emily Baby & Adult Skin Soother enjoys, suggests that their customers agree with their claims. 

    This all-natural, unscented moisturizer is anything but fancy, but that’s not a knock on its quality. It consists of just five simple ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, and three Chinese herbs with anti-inflammatory properties (Angelica Sinensis, Potentillae, and Mentha Haplocalyx). Sometimes simple is best, it seems.

    While this transparent greenish-yellow stuff goes on feeling a bit goopy and doesn’t smell like the ultimate spa day the way some other skincare products can, customers rave about the way it clears up eczema, rashes, burns, dermatitis, and any number of skin concerns where other products have failed. The Emily Skin Soother brand also has products specifically for eczema and diaper rash, although this original, unscented kind can be used for both those concerns and more 

What is sensitive skin?

According to the Mayo Clinic, sensitive skin is simply a term for skin that is extra susceptible to irritation, redness, itching, or rashes. It often reacts poorly to certain triggers. There is no exact collection of symptoms you need to get a sensitive skin diagnosis (which only a doctor can give you by the way).

Those with truly sensitive skin often find themselves with very dry, red, flaking, itching, or burning patches. Some common sensitive skin disorders include eczema, rosacea, or contact dermatitis. If you think you have sensitive skin, talk to your dermatologist.

What should I look for in a sensitive skin product?

According to the Mayo Clinic, those with sensitive skin should look for mild and hydrating products with natural skin soothers like chamomile or aloe. Also, try to stay away from common irritating ingredients, like fragrances or strong acids. Our list takes these recommendations into account and includes ideas for all the cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and masks you might want for your needy skin.

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