Soothing Sensitive Skin

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Do you have sensitive skin? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s an extremely common problem, affecting millions of people.

As a condition, it can be difficult to define. On the more extreme end it includes rosacea (April is rosacea awareness month), acne and contact dermatitis.  On the other end, the symptoms are less visible and include feelings of burning, itchiness and tightness. 

Fragrance, preservatives, colours and formaldehyde are all common skin irritants and yet they can be found a wide array of beauty and skin products.

For years I struggled with contact dermatitis, which manifested as angry, itchy red rashes.  In addition to creams and detergents, many a pair of leather shoes and dark denim jeans have all given me rashes, most likely from the dyes.  I kid you not.  I was going to include pictures but decided, dear reader, that you may want to hold onto your lunch.  

In addition to changing my diet (eating predominantly gluten-free has greatly reduced my incidences of rashes) I’ve also altered my skin care routine.  When I’m looking for products that don’t irritate my skin, I skip the designer or department store brands and head straight to the drugstore. There are a number of affordable skincare lines that I swear by.


GSC_16oz__05171.1394134355.1280.1280I like Cetaphil because they keep it simple. A few cleaners and a few moisturizers, formulated for a different skin types, that’s it.  First recommended by my dermatologist, I have now been using Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser for decades.  As the name states, it is gentle and also fragrance free and non-drying.  It can be used with or without water and also works well as a makeup remover.  These days I like to use it with my Clarisonic for a deeper clean.




2907358ae8f81f1bd202bee466807659_ra,w403,h403_pa,w403,h403I was recently introduced to this line, which now has more of its products available in Canada.  I find it similar to Cetaphil so I buy whatever is on sale.  I like the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30, which is specifically formulated for normal to oily skin.  While my skin is getting dryer as I age, I like this product when the weather turns warmer or when I’m in humid climates as it stays put.  In winter, I like to slather on the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which does a good job of hydrating my skin without feeling greasy (my pet peeve). 



Aveeno-Thumb_Specialty-SkinRlfShave I’ve written about Aveeno before.  I love it’s wide range of affordable products – from moisturizers, to sunscreens, to shaving cream to shower gels.  My favourites are the Fresh Essentials Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 (my go-to winter sunscreen) and the Skin Relief Shave Gel.  Some Aveeno products contain fragrance so be sure to check the label.



Got a favourite product formulated for sensitive skin? Do share! 

The above products can all be purchased at your local drugstore or at Well.ca


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  • Melanie Dumas Allen

    La Roche Posay’s line of Toleriane skincare is quite good for my sensitive skin. I use the foaming creme to cleanse day and night; the Toleriane Fluide to moisturize in the morning; Toleriane to moisturize at night.

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Thanks for passing that along Melanie. Always good to hear about other products.

  • Bobbi

    Arbonne…free of phalates, parabens, mineral oil, vegan (peta approved) and gluten free. There is a full line named Calm, that is for sensitive skin. As well as several other lines in the company that help with acne and eczema. Please let me know what you think 🙂