5 Facial Moisturizers That Soothe My Sensitive Skin

I reach for these daily, or when some other product is making skin go berserk.

Reading through the comments on Anne-Marie's recent open thread on beauty problems and solutions, I immediately honed in on the discussion about hyper-sensitive skin.

If I use the wrong thing my face, it will DEFINITELY let me know. It peels, stings, and, when things get really bad, turns red. And you know something is up when my Hershey Bar-colored self turns red!

Over the years, I’ve done some dumb stuff to my skin. I accidentally got a mini-peel, I O.D.'d on glycolic acid, I gave myself a chemical burn with a DIY mask, I bought a Clarisonic…I could go on, but you get the idea.

All of this "dumb stuff" and trial and error has led me to find the sensitive skin products that work for me, and I'm stoked to be sharing some of them with you today. I'm going to focus on moisturizers, because that's what soothes my skin most when it's freaking out.

NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra Comfortable Face Cream, Day

A natural antibacterial, honey has been used to treat wounds and infections since the olden days. It also has a lot of hydrating properties, which make it a fantastic option for sensitive skin. Other than putting the stuff straight onto your face (*scroll all the way down if you DO want to do that), this cream is the best delivery system for honey that I've found. I'm pretty ride or die for it--I use it every day in the winter.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Moisturizing Face Cream

Like honey, yogurt is another natural skin saver. It contains Lactic Acid (the gentler AHA cousin to my nemesis, glycolic acid), which stimulates cell turnover and promotes hydration. It also contains zinc to soothe skin and reduce redness. Again, apart from slathering yogurt on your face (not something I want to be doing before I head out for the day), this Korres cream is the next best thing. The texture is a bit lighter than the NUXE cream, so I apply it more generously.

Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Lotion

Almond oil is a personal favorite of mine: it's fairly non-comedogenic (two on a scale of zero to five, five being highly comedogenic) and it contains vitamins E and A, the latter of which helps reduce irritation. I get these weird, scaly patches on my face (hot, right?), and almond oil sweeps them away. I like to use this lotion so I get the effects of the oil sans the glossy sheen it leaves behind. It's also fragrance-free, with just nine total ingredients (many moisturizers have upwards of 20).

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer

I’m pretty sure every spa scene in any movie since ever features ladies with cucumber slices on their eyes--and for good reason. Cucumbers contain high levels of Vitamin A, which relieves puffy eyes and skin irritation. The Yes To Cukes moisturizer is lightweight and contains aloe vera and green tea, which has great anti-inflammatory properties. It's definitely the thinnest formula on this list; I use it as a soothing gel when my face is super angry.

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15, Sensitive

Olay is about as ubiquitous as Colgate, and I believe there’s something to that. If I’m ever stuck somewhere without my regular moisturizer, I know I can count on Olay to get the job done and not screw up my skin. I prefer Olay Complete to the original formula, and the sensitive version--packed with vitamin E and soothing aloe vera--is fantastic.

As a kid, I used to spend hours huffing Olay in my aunt's bathroom, and even though I’ve graduated to more complex (and expensive) moisturizers, I know I can always come back to Olay.

*Now, for your DIYers out there, whenever my skin is starting to look a little annoyed or I’ve gone overboard with exfoliation, I make a mask of 3 parts honey to 1 part almond oil. To apply, I first open my pores up with a warm washcloth. Then I slather on the mixture and let it set for 15 minutes before wiping it off with a warm washcloth. Afterward, my skin feels instantly soft and moisturized.

I know people are probably going to riot about the fact that I've not mentioned Cetaphil or CeraVe, but I figure those are sort of known quantities. Also, while we’re being honest, neither of those products are favorites of mine. They certainly don’t irritate my skin, but they don’t do a ton to improve it either.

How do you keep your sensitive skin hydrated and happy? Do DIYs like my honey and almond oil treatment work for you?