FOR CLEANSING: REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (formerly known as Hydra Calm) is soothing bliss. I have tried many less expensive cleansers which were all pretty good but this REN all natural cleanser is to die for. Well worth the little extra cost. In fact, I can't wait to finish my drug store brands so I can get back to this. Sulphate, paraben, and phthalate free, it reduces redness from the very beginning.
TONER: Be 100% sure it is an alcohol-free, and soothing (like rose or aloe). Many people like to skip the toner step but I love it for removing any traces of dirt and face wash. Caudalie Moisturizing Toner is super gentle with no parabens, phalates, or sulfates. And in the morning, unless you are particularly oily, you can just wipe you face down with it and then apply moisturizer.
SPOT TREATING (OPTIONAL): for tough cases Dermalogica Barrier Repair is great to apply to specific areas of redness and irritation. It has a slick silicone type texture that protects you from aggravating external elements (wind, cold, heat, sun, pollution) and it also has redness fighting ingredients. I like to use it in the daytime on my inner cheeks, forehead, and tip of my chin, then as it dries a bit I layer my regular moisturizer over it.
DAYTIME MOISTURIZER: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is a total cult favorite. Specifically designed for eczema/psoriasis/reactive skin, it is nice and hydrating (sensitive skin tends to be dry) without being heavy or greasy. And it is cheap! $30 for a big 6 oz jar.
NIGHT CREAM: L'Occitane 100 Percent Pure Shea Butter works better than anything for soothing my skin. The one drawback is that it has an almost firm vaseline type texture so is best used as a night cream or even a day & night moisturizer during the dry winter months. It eventually absorbs and is so hydrating your skin will look nice and plump. A side note: it is a very heavy consistency but it should not clog your pores. In fact the company recommends it for acneic skin!
SERUM: Phytomer OligoForce Soothing Enforcement Serum is my fave. It smells so heavenly - just like a spa, and works like a charm. The sea algae is the key. Now, normally you would put the serum underneath your moisturizer but for sensitive skin it is best to apply serum on top of the moisturizer once the moisturizer has absorbed into the skin. And please use sparingly: one or two drops is plenty for the whole face.
SUNSCREEN - A MUST: People with sensitive skin need to use sunscreen more than anyone else. The sun will totally inflame your skin and instantly damage the thin sensitive epidermis. I know you'll say "But sunscreen makes me break out", and I have an answer for that: use natural/mineral sunscreens. This means titanium dioxide and preferably zinc oxide, which are less irritating than chemical sunscreens. My two faves are: Tartegaurd 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum 30 SPF and Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45. Both are light and gentle and you won't even be able to tell you are wearing them. Especially the PTR powder whose only draw back is that it is so light you have to be sure to carefully brush it on absolutely everywhere - double up even.
I WANT TO TRY: Medicine Mama's Apothecary Sweet Bee Ultra Beauty Balm. It is 100% natural made with royal jelly and bee pollen. I'm not sure how my skin would react to those but it is supposedly very calming. I am totally curious about the bee ingredients. On the verge of buying it, but am trying to hold off for now because I already have a bazillion skincare items in my bathroom. Why don't you buy it and let me know what it's like!
serums: bringing in the big guns,
DERMAdoctor is the problem solver,
a better way to exfoliate,
lighten up - moisturizers for warm weather,
yes, you need an eyecream
Images stolen from Sephora, Dermstore, Medicine Mama's Apothecary
And for loads of tutorials and pretty things check out my NEW beauty-vixen youtube channel.
all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. I am not financially compensated for my reviews