Finding the right products for sensitive skin can be tough, especially when you have to be extra careful with what products go onto your face. What works for most may just end up causing breakouts on your delicate skin. This is why it is important to understand the ingredients and processes behind the products you use so you can minimise irritation.
Here’s a pro-tip: look out for the “hypoallergenic” label!
Products that are hypoallergenic are designed to reduce allergic reactions. While this does not guarantee that the product will definitely work on sensitive skin, it assures you that the products are free of ingredients that are common in triggering bad reactions.
If you are on the lookout for products that are less likely to cause any allergies or irritation, you’re on the right article. Here are 15 best cosmetics brands for sensitive skin that are hypoallergenic and raved about in the sensitive-skin community:
1. Eau Thermale Avène
Eau Thermale Avène has a riveting history that dates back to 1736, where they first discovered the wonders of thermal spring water in the small town of Avène. A horse with severe skin disease was left to roam, and upon rolling in the thermal spring water, became completely healed.
Eau Thermale Avène incorporated the therapeutic effects of this thermal spring water in their products, creating a line of skincare that provides excellent efficacy, even for people with hypersensitive or eczema-prone skin. All of their products are clinically tested by dermatologists and are hypoallergenic. Some of their products are even gentle enough to be used on babies that are just six months old!
The most popular Avene product is probably the Avène Thermal Spring Water spray. Over 25 million bottles are sold per year, and this product has been recommended by skincare professionals and celebrities (including Rita Ora and Gwyneth Paltrow!)
Containing natural spring water without any preservatives nor treatment, its composition is clinically shown by over 150 studies to calm, soothe the skin while improving skin texture. Ideal for irritated or sensitive skin, this spray is great for any occasion — before makeup as a base, soothe inflammation after a reaction or even to calm skin after a wax job gone awry.
Eau Thermal Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray (50ml) retails at SGD10.10 and is available at Watsons. If you want even more savings, consider purchasing it from Guardian, which has an attractive bundle where you can buy two 150ml bottles at SGD29.90.
Founded by dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin, DERMADoctor was created with the philosophy that professional care for the skin can begin at home. Professionally formulated and tested, their line of products are gentle, non-irritating, and very effective.
Dedicated to producing their skin-rejuvenating formulas, DERMADoctor is probably best known for its Calm & Cool Corrected Tranquility Cream, which has received praise from many magazines and reviewers with sensitive skin, especially rosacea.
Formulated with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and white tea extract, the cream is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (does not clog pores). The moisturising cream also helps to restore composure to agitated skin while gently rejuvenating sensitive, rosy or rosacea-prone skin.
DERMADoctor Calm Cool & Corrected Tranquility Cream retails at ~SGD115 and is available on their website.
3. Paula’s Choice
Branding themselves as smart, safe beauty, Paula’s Choice has a no-nonsense approach to their skincare products. Using only the best natural and synthetic ingredients to address skin concerns, they avoid any ingredients that can cause irritation, dryness or worsen skin problems. This means that they go beyond hypoallergenic and only create non-irritating and fragrance-free formulas.
Paula’s Choice prides itself in the transparency they bring to the saturated skincare market, and do so by ensuring that all products on their website have a comprehensive ingredient list along with the studies that guided its formulation.
Among their highly raved products, the Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser is a standout with a 4.7 rating on review site Influenster. With a creamy formula, this cleanser gently removes makeup with a soft emulsion that leaves skin feeling smoother, softer, and comfortable. It is formulated to be gentle for sensitive skin, including skin that’s prone to eczema, and will not strip skin of its essential moisture.
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser retails at SGD35 and is available on their website.
With roots in oral care, Cleure branched into a line of skincare products perfect for sensitive skin to provide safer cosmetics that lead to a healthier life.
Founded by Dr Flora Stay, who has decades of experience in the health and wellness industry, Cleure carries products that are formulated for people with sensitive and allergy-prone skin, who want the products they use every day to be free of common irritants.
While their products are not formulated for treatment or cure, they aid tremendously with managing symptoms and helping to prevent skin flare-ups for those with allergy-prone skin. Their effectiveness stems from the fact that they place a heavy focus on the ingredients go into their products.
For those with acne-prone skin that’s also sensitive, Cleure’s Alcohol-Free Facial Toner is great for closing pores and restoring the pH of your skin for a healthy appearance. Unlike most commercial facial toners that include drying ingredients such as alcohol and witch hazel into their formulation, this toner stays clear of them.
Cleure Alcohol-Free Facial Toner retails at ~SGD24.10 and is available on their website.
It is no secret that Tatcha has taken over the beauty community by storm, and there is a good reason for that. Drawing from classical skincare methods of the Japanese geisha, Tatcha adopts the less is more philosophy for their products.
Creating each formula from scratch by working with scientists in Japan and the U.S, they advance time-honoured beauty practices for modern life. Every ingredient is carefully selected and minimally manipulated to be gentle and safe with maximum effectiveness. The foundation of all their formulas is a trinity of superfood ingredients: algae, rice, and green tea. With the utmost care in their production, they ensure that all their products are non-irritating and non-sensitising.
While their products are known to be non-irritating, the one that really won over the hearts of those who have sensitive skin is The Indigo Cream. Made from natural Japanese indigo extract, the velvety-rich cream calms and soothes skin, leaving it visibly softer and firmer. The dermatologist-tested formula also includes Colloidal Oatmeal, a skin protectant that helps relieve minor skin irritation and itching caused by eczema and rashes. The long-lasting hydration effect of this cream was even awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.
Tatcha Indigo Cream retails at SGD140 and is available at Sephora.
6. VMV HYPOALLERGENICS
With over 75 published (even awarded!) studies in medical journals and conventions, VMV HYPOALLERGENICS offers a range of safe and effective skincare suitable for sensitive skin. All formulations are crafted by a team of pharmacologists and chemists to create cell-to-surface healthy, microscopically sound skin. They even provide a customised list of VMV products safe for you to use if you send them your patch test results! With such dedication towards skincare for sensitive skin, it is no wonder they’re known as one of the best cosmetics brands for sensitive skin.
A popular option among those with sensitive skin is the Hydra Balance Gentle Cream Cleanser. Non-comedogenic, this cleanser not only whisks away excess oils, but also helps control acne with monolaurin while moisturising drier areas. It also helps restore the skin’s moisture barrier and resilience. This “smart clean” effect makes the product great for those with combination skin.
VMV HYPOALLERGENICS Hydra Balance Gentle Cream Cleanser retails at SGD30 and is available at Sephora.
As its name suggests, Simple offers fuss-free solutions in the form of good skincare products that work in harmony with your skin. For them, being kind to the skin comes first — and this means no parabens, fragrance, and harsh chemicals in any of their offerings. But that’s not all! They are advocates for being kinder to our environment too and are PETA-certified cruelty-free along with having environmentally-friendly packaging.
While many of their products are highly praised for their effective but affordable nature, a stand-out product would have to be their Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream. Lightweight and silky in texture, Simple Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream delivers instant and continuous hydration to dull, thirsty skin. Its non-greasy formula leaves no sticky residue, making this cream perfect for Singapore’s weather and even under makeup!
Simple Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream retails at SGD18.90 and is available at Watsons and Guardian.
8. First Aid Beauty
Founder Lilli Gordon started First Aid Beauty after frustrations of not finding the effective products that were gentle enough for her sensitive skin. As such, the brand promises products that only contain clean, skin-loving ingredients that are allergy or safety-in-use tested. A brand well-loved by many, this brand has been praised by popular beauty YouTubers and has consistently lived up to its hype as the one-stop skincare solution for those with sensitive skin.
The most talked-about product from First Aid Beauty has to be its Ultra Repair Cream. This head-to-toe moisturiser is touted to provide instant relief and long-term hydration for dry, distressed skin, even eczema. Its hydrating and soothing properties stem from ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal (calms and relieves itching), ceramide 3 (moisturise), and white-tea extracts (fight free radicals). The cream’s 4.7 star rating on review site Influenster is a testament to its efficacy, with one reviewer claiming that it is “the best thing that ever happened to (her) face!”
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream retails at SGD64 on Sephora.
Focusing on the skin benefits of ceramides (lipids that help form the skin’s barrier and help skin retain moisture), Cerave is a dermatologist-developed line of skincare that hydrate, restore, and replenish skin. Furthermore, CeraVe says that it has received more Seal of Acceptance awards from the National Eczema Association than any other skincare brands out there! If you ask us, this definitely means that they must be one of the best cosmetics brands for sensitive skin out there.
All their products contain a blend of three essential ceramides needed for skin — ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II to help repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, including its bestseller, the CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream. Non-greasy and fast-absorbing, this cream releases a steady stream of hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides throughout the day.
Best of all, it is non-comedogenic, oil-free, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. With over 2,000 positive reviews found online, this is an effective option that you should consider.
CeraVe Moisturising Cream retails at SGD25 and is available on Zalora.
10. Aqua Plus Series
Those with sensitive and acne-prone skin know the struggles when it comes to finding suitable skincare — if the formula is gentle, it sometimes lacks effectiveness, but if it were stronger, the skin reacts negatively.
Aqua Plus Series was developed to target those with this dilemma. Specialised in providing solutions for oily and acne-prone skin through nanotechnology, the brand’s products are all dermatologically and hypoallergenic tested. Designed to prevent and heal breakouts while evening out skin texture, Aqua Plus Series has received many accolades, and had won several awards for its products.
One of its best sellers is the Radiance-Intensive Essence. Fragrance and paraben-free, this multitasking serum delivers hydration and radiance to the skin for a brightening effect. Formulated with B-white and Vitamin B3, this serum also erases discolouration while the multi-plant extract improves the overall health of the skin.
Aqua Plus Series Radiance-Intensive Essence retails at SGD109.90 and is available on their website.
11. Burt’s Bees
While they’re best known for their lip balms, Burt’s Bees also offers skincare products that are suitable for sensitive skin. Thanks to their belief that mother nature is the original R&D expert, all of their products are above 95% natural origin and formulated without harmful parabens, SLS and other chemicals of concern. Understanding that it takes 28 days for new skin cells to reach the top layer, their formulas work to nourish emerging cells and support the hydro-lipid barrier.
While many of their products are gentle, they have a skincare line dedicated to sensitive skin. Although this entire range has received positive reviews, the spotlight shines on the Sensitive Night Cream. The product is made with a soothing blend of rice extract, aloe and cotton extract, so you can sleep assured that your skin is guarded against potential irritants. These ingredients also infuse your skin with moisture so you can wake up to smooth, supple skin.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Night Cream retails at SGD43 and is available at Sephora.
Originally a soap company in the 1950s, Neutrogena has become a global name with great offerings in skin care, makeup, and even hair care! Recognised by dermatologists, many of their skincare products are holy grails for professionals and daily users alike.
One of their most notable skincare lines is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost. All of the products in this line are infused with purified hyaluronic acid — a powerful hydrating agent that absorbs up to 1000x its weight in water.
The Hydro Boost Water Gel takes the cake as an award-winning bestseller. Fast-absorbing and oil-free, this formula delivers instant hydration to skin without a greasy film. It is also 100% fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, making it perfect as an everyday moisturer or even as a base primer before makeup. Reviewers praise this product as “heaven in a jar”, and just based on this skincare line alone, we can be sure that Neutrogena is one of the best cosmetics brands to look out for if you have sensitive skin.
13. Glow Recipe
It’s no secret that eating fruits does wonders for your skin, but applying them has its benefits too!
A cult favourite, Glow Recipe is a line of fruit-powered skincare that promises to bring out the skin’s inner glow. Their essentials are clean and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Basing their products off one of the five superfruits — watermelon (plumps and soothes skin), blueberry (prevent skin ageing), pineapple (brighten complexion), banana (fight inflammation) and avocado (moisturising) — customers can expect to indulge in skin benefits best suited to their skin concerns.
The Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is probably the most well-known in the beauty community. It first made headlines when it gets snapped up the moment it’s released and received a long waiting list thereafter. Loved for its pillow-proof formula that smooths skin overnight, this mask also contains amino-acid rich watermelon extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and pore refining AHAs that gently exfoliates and clarifies. It is also good to note that you can expect some chunks in the watery gel — it is made of real watermelon after all!
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask retails at SGD48 and is available on Lazada.
14. La Roche-Posay
Recommended by dermatologists around the world, La Roche-Posay develops minimalist skincare formulas dedicated to sensitive skin. They ensure that all products are paraben-free, fragrance-free and 100% allergy-tested with clinical test results to back it up. Their range of skincare is a showcase of the skin benefits derived from their own La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. This spring water has been tested to be naturally antioxidant and has the ability to soothe and soften skin with its unique concentration of selenium.
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ is one of the most talked-about product from the brand. Recommended by many reviewers and magazines, the Effaclar Duo is an oil-free, dermatologically-tested treatment for acne-prone skin. Promising visible results in just 12 hours, the gel-cream eliminates blemishes and clogged pores while preventing resurfacing of acne. Reviewers over at Influenster have also claimed it helps keep spots at bay while regulating sebum production throughout the day.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ retails at SGD42.90 and is available at Watsons and Guardian. Guardian is currently having a promotion on the product, so you should grab it soon, before the price goes back up.
15. KORA Organics
An Australian brand owned by Victoria’s Secret Angel and supermodel Miranda Kerr, KORA Organics is led by the ethos that skincare should be designed to enrich the body and the spirit. On the back of each of products is a positive word to inspire and uplift your spirit, which we think is a super personal touch to have in your skincare!
Aside from evoking positivity from the self, their formulations are also great for those with sensitive skin. Following strict standards, their products are free of nasties such as sulfates, parabens and synthetic fragrance. Best of all, KORA Organics is certified organic, which means that all ingredients are guaranteed to be free of toxic synthetic pesticides, herbicides or chemicals. Great for the skin, great for the environment!
To achieve glowing skin that Miranda Kerr is famed for, try out their Noni Glow Face Oil. Designed for the face and neck, this oil is a blend of organic Noni extract, rosehip oil, pomegranate oil and sea buckthorn oil. This combination creates a rich source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids to smooth, nourish and brighten the skin.
KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil (30ml) retails at SGD87 and is available at Sephora.