Sensitive skin may require a little extra care and love, but it’s certainly not something to lose sleep over. Certainly not in 2022; not with the ever-growing selection of brands and products that leave out potentially irritating ingredients like chemical UV filters, dyes, fragrances, retinoids, and sulfates.
Instead, brands like Bodewell, CeraVe, and The Outset (you know, ScarJo’s new brand) are amping up their formulas with barrier-restoring superstars like allantoin, aloe, colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and shea butter. While triple-scanning ingredient lists might seem like a part-time job, it’s so worth it in the short and long term. Red, angry-looking skin? Don’t know her.
With Best of Beauty, we’ve made the process of eliminating irritants from your skin-care routine just a little more manageable. Have you yet to come across a fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner? Nécessaire’s first foray into the world of hair care, The Shampoo and The Conditioner, is the hyaluronic acid-powered — seven molecular weights of it, in fact — duo your scalp will deeply appreciate. It’s also been awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association.
Kick off your nighttime skin-care routine on the right foot with CeraVe’s Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm, which lets you get up close and personal (a.k.a. some gentle rubbing action) with all of the makeup clogging your pores and mascara (even waterproof) that’s been caked onto your lashes all day. Hello, clean slate ready for all of the rest of your skin-nourishing goodies.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to check out the rest of the categories in our 2022 Best of Beauty Awards.
Best of Beauty Awards 2022: Sensitive
Jump to a specific product or keep scrolling to meet all eight of our new favorite gentle beauty products:
Bodewell Daily Eczema Calming Cream
Why it won: If you see a dermatologist about your eczema (and if you can, you should), there’s a good chance they’ll suggest colloidal oatmeal to help treat it. Bodewell Eczema Daily Calming Cream contains active levels of the soothing ingredient, plus hydrators like coconut oil and vitamin E.
CeraVe Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm
Why it won: CeraVe Makeup Removing Cleanser Balm is one of the least cleanser-y cleaners we’ve ever tried. The soft, balmy texture feels more like that of a really great moisturizer — that just so happens to be capable of removing waterproof makeup without the need for rubbing or tugging.
The Outset Firming Vegan Collagen Prep Serum
Why it won: The Outset Firming Vegan Collagen Prep Serum blends a farmers market’s worth of botanical extracts (including soothing Mexican arnica flower and nourishing black quinoa) into one ultra-gentle serum that brightens and firms.
Vichy Laboratories Aqualia Thermal Fragrance-Free
Why it won: For hydration with no strings attached, Vichy Laboratoires Aqualia Thermal Fragrance-Free is where it’s at. The lightweight cream, made with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, lipids, and mineral-enriched water, passed muster with even our most sensitive testers.
Eucerin Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Why it won: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use. If you’ve written off physical blockers because they can cause breakouts or otherwise irritate your skin, let Eucerin Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 change your mind.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Relief Body Wash
Why it won: To make your shower more sensitive skin-friendly, turn the water from piping hot to lukewarm, then use Cetaphil Moisturizing Relief Body Wash. The blend of glycerin, avocado oil, and shea butter does everything a cleanser should without depleting your skin barrier in the process.
Nécessaire The Hair Duo (Shampoo + Conditioner)
Why it won: With a rich lather and creamy feel, Nécessaire The Shampoo and The Conditioner don’t feel like they’re lacking anything — except for, quite purposefully, fragrance. Lack of scent is a rarity in hair care and a welcome omission, both for those with sensitive scalps and sensitive noses.
Curél Japanese Skincare Deep Moisture Spray
Why it won: Check editorial assistant Talia Gutierrez’s testing notes on Curél Japanese Skincare Deep Moisture Spray and you’ll see “LOVE” written in capital letters. We can see why: The spray nozzle takes the fuss out of applying body moisturizer while the ceramide-spiked formula leaves skin baby-soft.
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