The 15 Best Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin, Tested and Reviewed

Consider yourself safe from irritation, stinging, and burning.

best moisturizers for sensitive skin
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I’m the self-appointed president of the Sensitive Skin Club. If there’s burning, breakouts, or stinging to be had, I’ll know it. My face can be overarchingly be defined as highly reactive and irritable, which pretty much makes me the ideal tester for sensitive skin-approved moisturizers. In my experience, creams trump lotions, ceramides and squalane reign supreme, and fragrance is notoriously unwelcome. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way, but in the end, I've been able to determine the best moisturizers for sensitive skin

With more people having sensitive skin than ever before (nearly 70 percent of people self-identify as having sensitive skin), incorporating one of these non-irritating, reparative options into your routine is a no-brainer. While you won’t find intense resurfacing acids in the options below, you will spot redness-reducing properties, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and skin barrier-boosting actives. To set your skin up for success, shop for the best moisturizers for sensitive skin ahead. 

Do I Have Sensitive Skin?

Determining if your skin is acne-prone, oily, or dry is a little more cut and dry than determining if your skin is sensitive. “Typically people know that they have sensitive skin when they try different products and are quick to get irritation, flaking, or sensitivity on their skin,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Robert Finney. “I always tell patients, one of the first signs that your skin is getting sensitive is that it feels tight or you get a burning stinging sensation when you put on lotions, even those that are considered moisturizers. Use those symptoms as a caution sign that dry, flaky, red skin is right around the bend if they don’t change course.” 

What to Look For


“First off, skip lotions and look for a cream,” advises Dr. Finney. “Creams are way better at hydrating and restoring the barrier of your skin.” That means thicker is likely going to be your friends—especially in the winter.


“I look for important ingredients that help to repair and hydrate, such as ceramides, glycerin, and squalene,” says Dr. Finney. “Avoid words like anti-aging, exfoliating. Those products are likely to contain potentially irritating ingredients such as alpha-/beta-hydroxy acids or retinols.” 

Just as important as the ingredients you want to actively seek out, are the ingredients you want to avoid. "Look for moisturizers that avoid including any harsh ingredients and preservatives, leave out strong fragrances, alcohol, and ingredients known to cause allergic and irritant reactions," advises board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nava Greenfield.

The Best Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin

Meet the Dermatologists

Dr. Robert Finney
Dr. Robert Finney

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Finney completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at Pennsylvania State University. He completed his internship and dermatology residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA where he served as chief resident during his final year. He also performed a postdoctoral research fellowship in eczema and allergic contact dermatitis at Rockefeller University in addition to an advanced fellowship in aesthetics, hair restoration, and skin surgery with renowned hair surgeon Dr. Marc Avram in New York. Dr. Finney is a clinical assistant professor at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.

Dr. Finney is an expert in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology and is regularly asked to contribute to various media outlets, including Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Esquire, and Women’s Health. He does not approach aesthetics from a cookie-cutter approach, rather he works closely with each patient to design a customized treatment regimen to achieve his or her desired aesthetic outcomes that appear natural and refreshed, never over-done.

Dr. Nava Greenfield
Dr. Nava Greenfield

Dr. Nava Greenfield is a dermatologist practicing at Schweiger Dermatology Group. Dr. Greenfield earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Queens College, City University of New York, where she graduated Cum Laude with honors in mathematics, natural sciences, chemistry and biochemistry.

Dr. Greenfield attended medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University. She completed her internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital and her residency in dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Greenfield has been published in many medical journals, including The Journal of Dermatological Treatment, the Journal of Women’s Dermatology and Pediatrics. Dr. Greenfield is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Women’s Dermatologic Society and the American Medical Association.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.