How To Care For Sensitive Skin Year-Round


Unlike other skin issues that can show up and then go away, sensitive skin requires year-round care. The good news? We’ve got all the tips you need to help manage it.

The main trick is to steer clear of any triggers of irritation and look for sensitive skin-friendly formulas in your beauty routine. Especially the ones you use every day.

Once you have the basics down pat, you can adjust seasonally as needed. But to start, here are the best year-round tips for sensitive skin.

Tip #1 Always do a patch test

If you’re prone to sensitivity, everything you put on your skin should be patch-tested first. Dealing with a small area of irritation is a lot more manageable than if your entire face or body turns fiery after all. But you should still always aim to test in the general vicinity of where you plan to use the product, as the skin’s thickness and therefore reaction can be different in different areas.

Tip #2 Make note when you try something new

Additionally, you should always make note when you add a new product to your routine. Even if it passes the initial patch test, if you begin to have an adverse reaction to something days or weeks later, you’ll be able to pinpoint the culprit.

Tip #3 Use a sensitive skin-friendly SPF

Using an SPF every day (no matter the weather) is key to protecting and maintaining the health of our skin. So finding a sunscreen that will defend against UV rays and the signs of skin sensitivity is a must.

Thankfully, the Cetaphil Sun Ultra-light Lotion SPF50+* ($18.49 at Chemist Warehouse) ticks that very box and then some. The lightweight formula is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and fragrance-free.

Taking it to the beach is a no-brainer, of course, but it’s also a great skin care staple for year-round too. The non-greasy formula nourishes skin with vitamin E and the fast-absorbing matte finish makes it suitable for under makeup. So whether it’s summer, winter, autumn or spring, this is one SPF that has sensitive skin’s back.

Tip #4 Keep your shower stash pH-balanced

A lot of our cleansing routine happens in the shower. And whether you’re washing your face, body or hair while you’re in there, pH-balanced formulas are most beneficial for sensitive skin. It means that the pH of the product is as close to the skin’s own natural pH, for as little disturbance as possible to the skin’s barrier and moisture levels.

Tip #5 Look for comforting and calming ingredients

Once you know which ingredients are best to be avoided, you can then start actively looking for the ones your skin does like. Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid are some sensitive skin-friendly folk; chamomile also has a great reputation in the arena, as does calendula. And to round off stellar ingredients starting with ‘c’ is ceramides, which help to support and strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Try: geoskincare Thermal Spring SOS Essence ($58.90 at and Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment Serum ($86 at David Jones)

btyb cetaphil


Limit sun exposure and use protective clothing, hats and eye wear. Keep out of eyes. Reapply sunscreen regularly.

Main image credit: @jodiemcomer

Do you have sensitive skin? What’s your best sensitive skin tip?

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Comments 35

  1. I have sensitive skin and these are all great tips. I would never use anything new without doing a patch test first. Actually, usually two patch tests. First on the inside of my arm, then if that seems okay I try it on my face in just one area. Besides having sensitive skin I also have a lot allergies to some ingredients so I have to be care with those too.

  2. Thank You so very much BH for your Article on Sensitive Skin yes I have found some Face Creams, the high ingredients have turned my face Red and Fiery having to race into the bathroom and cleanse it off with a gentle cleanser.

  3. Good tips. Another few tips from the dermatologist:
    – Ensure that skin is well hydrated and moisturised, to ensure that there are no ‘cracks’ on the skin surface that makes any irritant penetrate and irritate more.
    – Ensure that water used to wash is not too hot, and avoid long hot showers

  4. I don’t usually have sensitive skin – but during my life, if it ever got sunburnt, then it would definitely be sensitive! After some beauty treatments I do treat it as if it’s sensitive too – just to make sure I’m more gentle with it just because it’s already been through something

  5. My skin can be sensitive at times. I dont know exactly what it reacts to but when it doesnt like something it will let me know very quickly.
    I have found that its best to stay away from super hot water in the shower which is especially tempting to use during Winter but really upsets my skin.

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