These Are The Best Anti-Ageing Serums For Sensitive Skin


When you experience stinging, burning, tightness or irritation after applying any kind of active ingredient, it’s pretty safe to say you’ve got sensitive skin. 

In which case, you’ll probably be pointed in the direction of watered-down formulas that don’t do much else except not upset your face. 

However, for those of us that do experience irritation but are still interested in an active routine that includes anti-ageing, exfoliation and pigmentation-fading, we have another option: know what to look for. 

Keep scrolling as we break down all the sensitive skin-approved serums to have on your radar. Because why should your skin miss out on all the fun?

Vitamin C for sensitive skin

Good for: Evening out skin tone, brightening, reversing damage

Good to know: As you might’ve guessed, the higher the concentration of vitamin C, the more irritating the serum typically is to those with sensitive skin. As with any product, it always helps to start slow. We can usually build up a tolerance to products, but when it comes to introducing vitamin C into your routine, slow and steady wins the race. For example, begin with a 10 per cent concentrate, then gradually move to 15 and up from there.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Fresh Day Serum 

This vitamin C and ferulic acid gel formula has been paired with skin-cooling ingredients like pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extract to help keep skin calm, soothed, and radiant while it gets to work.

$111 at MECCA

SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX

Now, we know the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic typically gets all the attention, and rightly so, it’s an amazing active serum. However, as far as sensitive skin is concerned, we recommend looking in the direction of another serum in the SkinCeuticals range. The SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX will offer similar results, but as the percentages in the formula are lower, it’s a lot more tolerable by those who are easily irritated. Plus, it’s half the price…

$140 at Adore Beauty

Retinol for sensitive skin

Good for: Reducing fine lines and wrinkles, regulation of excess oil production, reducing acne breakouts, refines skins texture 

Good to know: This notoriously harsh ingredient has been known to trigger a mean dry patch. This is why when it comes to applying pure retinol to sensitive skin we typically say don’t. The gentlest form of retinol on the other hand, retinyl palmitate, has our stamp of approval.

We recommend sticking to a cream formulation where possible or diluting a small amount of your vitamin A derivative serum into a facial cream or moisturiser. 

La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol B3 Serum 

Inflammation, rosacea, redness, or acne sufferers seeking the advantages of a retinol serum will benefit from this low concentration, slow-releasing formula.

$71.95 at Adore Beauty

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules

Pop one of the Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules on your face post-cleanse to maintain a healthy skin barrier, minimise wrinkles and keep pores clear. 

$59.99 at Chemist Warehouse

Hyaluronic acid for sensitive skin

Good for: Hydration, balancing uneven texture, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, firming skin

Good to know: As far as incorporating a hyaluronic acid serum into a sensitive skin routine goes — you’re in the clear. HA is well tolerated by all skin types, even those who are acne-prone and easily irritated. 

Just be careful that your serum doesn’t have other active ingredients within the formula that might cause any redness.

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

The CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum instantly provides 24 hours of moisture and nourishment, while the unique gel texture has been formulated to repair dry and dehydrated skin.

$29.99 at Chemist Warehouse

BOOST LAB 2D Hyaluronic Acid Hydro Boost Serum

Gentle enough to be used morning and night, the BOOST LAB 2D Hyaluronic Acid Hydro Boost Serum repairs dry, rough, dull and irritated skin. It immediately soothes sensitivities by forming a transparent film over the skin to lock in moisture.

$29.95 at Adore Beauty


Vitamin B for sensitive skin 

Good for: Moisturising, supporting the skin barrier, relieving irritation

Good to know: Another serum that sensitive skin loves, vitamin B3 (otherwise known as niacinamide) is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that works to reduce irritation and redness, and prevent the loss of water — a crucial addition to any routine looking to combat dryness, acne or rosacea.

The other vitamin B to look out for is B5, otherwise known as panthenol. Best known for its calming, soothing and moisturising properties, panthenol is well tolerated by sensitive skin and won’t cause irritation.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Mask

For skin that’s feeling a little on the irritable side and needs a hit of calming hydration, the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Mask includes panthenol plus thermal spring water to instantly relieve the feeling of tight and uncomfortable dryness.

$10.99 at Chemist Warehouse

Alpha-H Vitamin B

For an irritation-free solution to radiant skin, the Alpha-H Vitamin B powerhouse serum delivers nourishing doses of both niacinamide and panthenol. 

$71.96 at Adore Beauty

Which of these serums would you most like to try?

Share your thoughts

Comments 42

  1. Would like to try La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Mask and CeraVe Skin Serum they are so affordable my Skin is very sensitive I have to be careful as some Serums can be to strong at times.
    But I do like what they do for my Skin my Skin has less wrinkles, around my eyes making me look much younger than my age. 😊

  2. Wouldn’t dare go near retinol with my sensitive skin – have even had issues with higher concentrations of bakuchiol (a retinol alternative), so I’m loathe to go back down that path right now. Niacinamide & I can be a bit touch & go (it can cause zits for me), but I’m currently using Mukti Organics’ Vitamin B Booster & so far so good. Ditto to my 2nd sample of their Vitamin C booster – haven’t been able to find a Vit C serum that I’ve got along with yet & this might be it.

  3. My skin isn’t at all sensitive so I can basically use anything. I’ve just finished Boost Lab Vitamin C Serum and Boost Lab 2D Hyaluronic Acid Hydro Boost Serum. I think I’ll try the Essano Vitamin C Brightening Serum next.

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