by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

How To Build A Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin

Image via @theemfiles

When it comes to skincare, there are many different routines and rules, and thousands of products on the market designed to help us achieve the radiant, luminous skin we’re all looking for. But for people with sensitive skin, it can be tough to determine what is right for your skin and what will break you out with rashes.

People with sensitive skin tend to have skin reactions to a product or ingredient more often than the average person. Sensitive skin is often more prone to redness, flushing, flaking, stinging, dryness, flaking and irritation. Due to a compromised skin barrier, certain skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea can also make your skin more sensitive.

The skincare routine for sensitive skin needs to be non-irritating and gentle. There may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but the known triggers include acids, retinol, fragrance, soaps and foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). Read on for a complete skincare routine for calmer, more tolerant skin.

The Routine

Alcohol-Free Toner (Morning/Night): For toners, alcohol-free is key. Although alcohols like ethanol and isopropyl alcohol can help other ingredients to penetrate your skin better, they can cause dryness and irritation. Look out for ingredients like green tea, white tea extract and chamomile, which are calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Beta-glucan is also another ingredient to look out for as it helps support your skin’s immune system to make it less sensitive over time. 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Balancing Toner, SGD80

Fragrance-Free Moisturizer (Morning/Night): Fragrances can cause irritation and allergic reactions, so choosing one without is very important. Avoid formulas with alcohol and synthetic dyes as well if your skin is easily irritated.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair BarriAir Cream, SGD36

Zinc Oxide SPF (Morning/Night): Mineral sunscreens are the least likely to irritate sensitive skin. Zinc oxide sunscreens are the most ideal as titanium dioxide sunscreens are not as compatible with medium and darker skin tones because they can leave a white cast.

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF40, SGD50

Cleansing Oil (Night): A gentle cleansing oil like VMV Hypoallergenics’ Gentle & Softening Makeup Removing Oil (SGD36) will remove makeup and any impurities without disrupting your skin’s natural barrier.

VMV Hypoallergenics Gentle & Softening Makeup Removing Oil, SGD36


Gel-based mask: A gel-based mask has a naturally cooler temperature, which makes it perfect for soothing irritated skin while hydrating.

Skin Inc Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask, SGD116

Lactic acid serum: Exfoliating your skin is an essential step, even if you have sensitive skin. Lactic acid is a milder acid, suitable for sensitive skin. Use a lactic acid-based serum twice a week for maximum results.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment, SGD150