While everyone needs a moisturiser, this product is probably most critical for someone with sensitive skin. After all, sensitive skin is prone to dryness and flaking, and using the right moisturiser can help protect the outermost layer of skin, also known as the stratum corneum, to shield it from external damage.
The tricky part is about finding the best moisturisers for sensitive skin; use a wrong one and it can trigger irritation instead of protecting your delicate skin.
What ingredients trigger sensitive skin?
If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably well aware that there are ingredients that trigger breakouts, acne or irritation.
Some of the common ingredients that trigger reactions include sulfates, dyes, alcohols, silicones, and fragrances. While your skin may not necessarily react to these ingredients, it’s always better to be safe than sorry if your skin tends to react to new products.
If you’re looking for a moisturisers that’s suitable for you, here are 21 of them that are designed to be gentle and soothing to sensitive skin that may just be what you’re looking for.
1. Topicrem CALM+ Soothing Fluid
The pharmaceutical brand, which started in 1993 out of a father’s dedication to create a formula to alleviate his son’s atopic, dry skin, is synonymous with gentle, soothing formulations that are well-tolerated by sensitive skin in France.
While most of us wouldn’t think that combination or oily-prone skin can be reactive, the truth is our skin can change overtime and become intolerant to certain ingredients or formulas. The new Topicrem CALM+ Soothing Fluid is created specifically for combination to oily-prone skin that are intolerant to allergens such as fragrance and paraben.
Offering instant soothing effect with round-the-clock moisturisation, the lightweight fragrance-free fluid contains a blend of glycerine, allantoin as well as unsaponifiable sunflower and plum oils to help reduce skin reactivity, redness, and even any uneasy tingling sensation with regular use so that skin becomes more comfortable and less reactive over time.
In fact, clinical studies have shown that the formula can soothe and calm skin by 100% and increase skin tolerance by 59% after 28 days! What’s more, the gentle formula is developed without fragrance, paraben, silicone, alcohol, and colourant so it’s perfectly safe to use on babies too.
2. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Face Moisturiser
This non-comedogenic moisturiser made for allergy-prone skin works to intensely hydrate and soothe sensitive skin overnight. Through your slumber, your skin will feel calmer and relieved of discomfort thanks to the La Roche-Posay thermal spring water in its formula.
The water combines Neurosensine – a strong soothing agent that singles out signs of skin irritation due to dehydration – with the complex Carnosine/ Vitamin E to rid any discomfort and redness upon awakening.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Face Moisturiser retails for S$42 at Lazada.
3. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Nourishing Night Cream
The Aveeno Ultra-Calming Nourishing Night Cream works as you sleep to actively manage sensitive skin. It’s been tested to reduce the appearance of redness and dry facial skin while replenishing your skin’s barrier of its lost moisture. Besides being oil and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic, it is also lightweight enough for you to use every night.
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Nourishing Night Cream retails for S$41.15 at Storkz.
4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Nourishing Gel Cream
It quenches your dry skin’s thirst and keeps your skin smooth, supple and hydrated. This unique lightweight gel-cream formula may be absorbed by your skin quickly – but it locks moisture in your skin for a long time to boost your hydration levels.
The Hydro Boost is formulated with purified hyaluronic acid, which is the superstar ingredient for hydration, and is enriched with antioxidant olive extract to fortify skin’s barrier. What is it not formulated with? Oil, fragrance, and dye, plus it’s non-comedogenic!
5. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream
This cream is so good for sensitive skin that it has even received an award from the National Eczema Association. Vanicream Skin Cream is non-greasy, long-lasting, non-comedogenic, and free of sulfates and phosphate.
It’s easily absorbed into your skin and is said to be suitable for many skin issues – red, irritated, cracking or itchy skin; eczema and psoriasis. It can also be used for any time of the day, and any part of your body.
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream retails for S$39.90 at Lazada.
6. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream
When you talk about the products in It Cosmetics, the Confidence In A Cream definitely comes to mind. Containing ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid, this cream doesn’t just soothe your skin, but also moisturise it, smooths its texture, enhance firmness, and reduce the look of pores and discolouration. Watch your skin absorb this cream in the blink of an eye, leaving you with a supple and healthy complexion. No doubt, this is one of the best moisturisers for sensitive skin you can find.
It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream retails for S$25 (15ml) and S$72 (60ml) at Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
7. SkinCeuticals Emollience
SkinCeuticals is known for products that are well-loved by dermatologists, so it probably isn’t surprising that they have a moisturiser that is suitable for sensitive skin.
This rich, but fast-absorbing moisturiser isn’t just great for dry or sensitive skin, it’s so intense that it is ideal even for high altitudes and cold or dry climates. Best part? It is formulated with natural extracts and oils to make sure it won’t irritate your skin.
8. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream
This highly rated cream has three molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid to offer you a powerful hydrator that retains up to 1,000 times its weight in water from moisture in the atmosphere.
It keeps your skin looking supple, full and smooth while ceramides in the formula keep the moisture locked in your skin. ProHyal+® helps to hydrate your skin for a healthier glow as antioxidant-rich elderberry helps curb any signs of ageing! Sounds like an ultimate multi-tasker!
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream retails for S$40 (20ml) and S$96 (48ml) at Sephora stores and sephora.sg, but is currently out of stock at the time of writing. You can submit your email address to have them notify you when it’s back in stock.
9. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream
This nighttime moisturiser deeply moisturises your face so you wake up with well-rested, smooth, supple, and radiant skin. This night cream is formulated with the Super Lotus, a botanical ingredient that works to boost radiance and hydration while also protecting you from free radical damage. This night cream also has a pleasant peach scent that will definitely make your night routine extra pampering!
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream retails for S$89 at all Fresh boutiques, as well as Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
10. Iryasa Night Indulge Cream
From natural beauty brand Iryasa, the Night Indulge Cream is great for sensitive skin since it is developed without synthetic fragrance, parabens, silicones and mineral oils. It is also non-GMO, vegan and cruelty-free – so if you’re a clean beauty junkie, here’s an option!
The cream works overnight to intensely replenish the nutrients and moisture your skin has lost through day-to-day stress such as UV rays and environmental pollutants. It also contains antioxidants to fight free radicals and offer anti-ageing benefits.
Iryasa Night Indulge Cream retails for S$50 at Iryasa.
11. Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly
All of Clinique’s formulas promise to avoid using allergens, irritants and ingredients in ways that could potentially harm the skin, meaning majority of them are safe for sensitive skin.
This moisturiser is a 24-hour hydrator which has the Clean Shield Technology that locks in the goodies you want – like moisture – and filters out the bad – like free radicals. It strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier whilst also improving its efficacy to protect itself.
What’s great about this jelly is how fresh it feels. It penetrates your skin immediately, is oil-free, non-sticky and leaves no residue. A single pump is enough for your entire face and neck!
Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly retails for S$60 at all Clinique counters, as well as Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
12. The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream
It’s not formulated to be safe for sensitive skin, but the brand is clean, supports fair-trade, and is mostly natural! The Aloe Soothing Night Cream gives sensitive skin the extra, gentle care it needs by nourishing, softening and soothing your skin. Overnight, it restores the moisture it gravely needs and calms skin with the help of its star ingredient, aloe vera.
It is also formulated without fragrance, colour, alcohol or preservatives – so your skin only gets the good stuff!
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream retails for S$32.90 at The Body Shop stores and online.
13. Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream
This cult-favourite is one for a reason – it moisturises, protects, builds your skin’s efficacy, and is great for sensitive skin. These benefits are thanks to its cocktail of ingredients ingredients, namely vitamin C (5% THD ascorbate), lime pearl extract, and bisabolol (derived from chamomile), which are all gentle on your skin and help to calm any redness or irritation. At the same time, these ingredients all work together to repair visible signs of premature ageing skin, gently smooth uneven textures, and calming the look and feel of redness.
Additionally, exopolysaccharides help to protect the skin from the visible effects of pollution exposure, specifically haze or PM2.5 particles – the micro-pollution particles found in smog! No wonder this is touted one of the best moisturisers for sensitive skin.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream retails for S$32 (15g) and S$98 (50g) at Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
14. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
Of course, we couldn’t have an article about best moisturisers for sensitive skin without at least having one Drunk Elephant product! The cruelty-free and natural skincare brand is known amongst those with sensitive skin – most products are formulated without silicones and artificial fragrance.
The Lala Retro Whipped Cream is infused with six rare African oils and plant ceramide complex. This cream reinforces your skin’s acid mantle and protects it from the potential stress brought on by daily aggressors.
Like most of the products listed here, the cream also has antioxidant-rich ingredients that help battle the signs of ageing. Omega acids help to retain the long-lasting moisture – brought on by a sodium hyaluronate cross polymer – and form a protective layer that lets your skin do its job.
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream retails for S$86 at Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
15. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream effectively hydrates your skin and restores its protective barrier simultaneously. Developed with dermatologists and quite literally perfect for dry and very dry skin on the face and body is this rich, yet non-greasy, moisturiser.
It is fast-absorbing and features the patented MVE Delivery Technology – a steady stream of hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides is released throughout the day and night. This oil-free, fragrance-free ceramide cream additionally aids in retaining your skin’s moisture while enhancing its look and feel.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream retails for S$28.90 at Lazada.
16. Tatcha The Water Cream
Powered by a plethora of Japanese botanicals, this cream brings life to thirsty, tired skin. The Water Cream makes your skin supple, and wild rose and leopard lily control excess oil and purify your skin. A touch of 23K gold adds a non-greasy radiance. The lightweight anti-ageing cream will leave your skin clarified, refined, and moisturised.
Best of all, it is non-comedogenic, oil-free, non-irritating, non-sensitising, dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free. It is also formulated without mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens, urea, DEA, TEA, or phthalates. Take note that this cream would be better suited for those with sensitive skin that’s on the normal to the oily side!
Tatcha The Water Cream retails for S$102 at Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
17. Whal Myung WM5 Hydrating Cream
This cream from Korean cult brand Whal Myung features ingredients that are similar to our skin lipids! So it doesn’t just hydrate your skin, but this moisturiser also boosts its natural protective barrier. It repairs skin that has been damaged by environmental factors, like dryness, and activates the production of your own natural skin lipids, enhancing your skin’s natural rejuvenating abilities. Although it is deeply nourishing, it doesn’t feel uncomfortably oily. In fact, it absorbs quickly into skin and leaves behind a nice glow!
Additionally, it is safe to use for sensitive skin since it contains natural preservatives like mugwort extract, instead of chemicals like paraben or phenoxyethanol. The natural ingredients altogether work to prevent skin damage caused by free radicals, boost moisturising abilities, and protect your skin from external irritants.
Whal Myung WM5 Hydrating Cream retails for S$62 at select Guardian stores and online.
18. Herbivore Botanicals Pink Cloud Moisture Creme
This lightweight natural rosewater moisturiser is a hot favourite for those with sensitive skin thanks to its easily-penetrable texture, which leaves a hydrated, dewy and seamless canvas. The Pink Cloud is formulated with rosewater, aloe water, sodium hyaluronate and white tea – together, these ingredients help to reduce the appearance of redness, while also quenching your skin of any thirst and soothing it.
So if your skin’s having a really tough day, this might be the answer for you. Plus, it’s created for all skin types and can be worn with makeup!
Herbivore Botanicals Pink Cloud Moisture Creme retails for S$72 at Sephora stores and sephora.sg, but is currently out of stock at the time of writing. You can submit your email address to have them notify you when it’s back in stock
19. La Mer The Moisturizing Matte Lotion
If great skincare comes at no price to you, then this will be the one for you. La Mer’s Moisturizing Matte Lotion nourishes your skin with deep hydration, fights the signs of ageing, and is perfect if your oily skin is prone to congestion or breakouts.
The moisturiser is formulated with the brand’s proprietary Miracle Broth – an algae compound infused with the energy of marine light and sound. You can look forward to skin that’s moisturised, revitalised, healed, and protected, with its tone and texture refined to perfection. All with a minimal shine for a flattering complexion, which is probably the most appealing factor in our hot and extremely humid climate!
By the way, if your skin isn’t oily but you want to try out one of La Mer’s award-winning moisturisers, here’s a guide! For drier skin, the Crème de la Mer. For combination/ dry skin, the Moisturizing Soft Cream. For combination/oily skin, the Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream.
La Mer The Moisturizing Matte Lotion retails for S$450 at La Mer counters as well as on sephora.sg.
20. Clinique iD Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly + Active Cartridge Concentrate for Delicate Skin
This moisturiser delivers 24-hour hydration repair and pollution protection, thanks to the algae extract in its formula. The formula also contains concentrated actives that comfort and calm irritated skin. With time, it’ll help to soothe any redness and blotchiness.
On top of that, it is allergy-tested, dermatologist-developed, won’t clog pores, and is free from parabens, phthalates, and fragrance! This means your skin shouldn’t be triggered by this product.
Clinique iD: Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly + Active Cartridge Concentrate for Delicate Skin retails for S$73 at all Clinique counters, as well as Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
21. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream
Not only does this formula moisturises, improves your skin barrier, prevents water loss, and protects your skin, it also contains a patented blend of total Ceramide and Pyracantha fortuneana fruit extract to help increase your skin’s restoration ability. It works to repair any common skin texture issues you might have – such as toughness, flakiness, tightening (from dryness).
It also soothes and moisturises your skin, especially if you suffer from extremely dry skin, atopic skin, allergies or itchiness. We aren’t surprised that reviewers consider this among the best moisturisers for sensitive skin they’ve tried.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream retails for S$75 at Sephora stores and sephora.sg.
If you’re trying to better care for your sensitive skin, you’re going to find these articles useful:
- Best toners for sensitive skin that soothe irritation and provide hydration
- Here’s the ingredient guide that every girl with sensitive, acne-prone skin needs to arm herself with
- “Sensitive skin syndrome” is on the rise in Asia and here’s what you need to know about it
- Sensitive skin: causes, symptoms, and everything you need to know about dealing with this skin type
- Before you find out how to care for sensitive skin, find out if you REALLY have it