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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

We all remember the moment that first pimple appeared on our once-clear skin. We went to the drugstore and bought that generic face wash to get rid of the newly born eyesore, only to find out a week later that the cleanser we bought is actually creating dry patches, rashes, and irritation, and suddenly our face is breaking out worse than ever. Maybe not all of us went through that specific experience, but those of you who have sensitive skin like I do know the pain of trying to find the right skincare routine for our temperamental skin. 

So, what do we do when our skin is constantly working against us? It isn’t fancy treatment or expensive products. We just have to listen to our skin. As a person with sensitive skin, one of the most important things to look at when buying new products is the ingredients list. This is so that when you use the products and they cause a flare-up, you can use deductive reasoning to figure out which ingredients don’t work for your skin and avoid them in the future. You can also use the lazy man’s way of doing this and buy products with limited ingredients and no fragrances or dyes since those products will usually be fine for your skin. But even with this in mind, it can be difficult to find good products. Here are some tips for making a basic skincare routine for sensitive skin.  

Micellar Water

Micellar water is a water-based cleanser/makeup remover; it’s the perfect start to a skincare routine. For low-maintenance skin, this may even be the only cleanser needed. With all micellar waters being water-based with limited ingredients added to benefit the skin, any brand would work for sensitive skin. To use it, all you have to do is pour the water on a cotton pad, gently press it to your skin, and wipe away the makeup and/or dirt. A good first choice is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.


Cleansers are the main products in almost everyone’s skincare routine. After all, a clean face is a healthy face. But if you don’t have a cleanser you like, you might end up not wanting to wash your face at all. I know that’s how I was before I started using products for sensitive skin. When looking for cleansers that work for sensitive skin, it’s best to keep in mind the other ailments of your skin such as whether it’s oily or dry. Multiple cleansers for sensitive skin do in fact have options for different skin types. A good first choice would be either the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser or the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.


Toner is yet another cleanser. They are specifically made to wipe away oils and therefore are best for oily skin. Toners are used in a similar way as micellar waters with a cotton pad. These are often the most difficult products to buy for sensitive skin since most toners have an alcohol base. When looking for a toner that works for your skin, try to find a toner with a water or glycerol base instead of alcohol. A good first start would be Muji Sensitive Care Toning Water.


Essences are moisturizing waters used to lock the moisture into your skin to keep it plump and healthy all day. There are many different types of essences, but they will all leave you with the same benefits of brightened skin and a healthy glow. They were originally made popular in Korea and Japan but have been making waves in the United States recently and would make a great addition to your routine with their high-quality ingredients that work great for sensitive skin. Personally, I’ve always loved milk moisturizers. A good first start would be Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioner.


Moisturizers are one of the products in a skin routine that no one can go without. Not even people with oily skin should skip out on a good moisturizer. These are usually put on after all of the other products since its the thickest product and is used as a seal to keep your skin protected throughout the day.  Most moisturizers are great for sensitive skin since the purpose is to restore and repair the skin, but for extra sensitive skin it’s best to get a high-quality moisturizer that specializes in sensitive or dry skin. A good first choice would be the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Face Cream.

Writer and illustrator. Communications major. Currently writing a comic called 'Pretend to Love Me'. Self identified Scemo. Studying to be a magazine writer or book editor.