Sensitive Skin Overview

Sensitive Skin Care

Whether you have a chronic skin condition or skin that just always seems to be irritated, making a few small changes in your daily skin care regimen can help improve your skin.

Avoid using soaps that contain fragrances or have antibacterial or deodorant properties. Instead, choose a mild, soap-free cleanser with a low pH that's less likely to irritate your skin [source: WebMD]. As a general rule, purchase cosmetics that contain as few ingredients as possible, and limit your use of hydroxy acids, granulated scrubs and alcohol-based toners. If your sensitive skin is already irritated, try products that contain rose, lavender or chamomile to soothe red, itchy skin, and to exfoliate, opt for a gentle scrub that contains blueberry seeds [source: Scirrotto].

Using a daily moisturizer can help relieve skin that's become sensitive as a result of overdrying. You can also keep your hydrated by taking short showers in tepid water, gently patting skin dry and applying a moisturizer within three minutes of showering to lock moisture in [source: American Academy of Dermatologists].

Whether your sensitive skin is the result of an ongoing medical condition or a reaction to a product, it requires extra care. Check out the links on the following page for more information on treating sensitive skin.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Dermatologists' Top 10 Tips for Relieving Dry Skin." (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Atopic dermatitis (eczema)." 8/22/09. (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Rosacea." 11/15/08. (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • Scirrotto, Julia. "Soothing Solutions for Sensitive Skin." WebMD. 9/16/08. (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • WebMD. "20 Common Questions about Sensitive Skin." 2/7/09. (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • WebMD. "Eczema." 2/7/09. (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • WebMD. "Rosacea -- Home Treatment." 7/24/07. (Accessed 9/24/09)
  • WebMD. "Skin Reactions to Beauty Products." (Accessed 10/23/09)
  • Zamosky, Lisa. "The Sensitive Skin Myth." WebMD. 2/23/09. (Accessed 9/24/09)