The 15 Best Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin, Tested and Reviewed

Consider yourself safe from irritation, stinging, and burning.

best moisturizers for sensitive skin
(Image credit: Future )

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 a foe, not friend. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way, but in the end, I've been able to determine the best moisturizers for sensitive skin. 

Now, 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