When I was getting Not About the Kids off the ground, I decided to do a bit of market research. I emailed my (excellent and discerning) friends and asked them to tell me about their favourite beauty products. I had no idea we were such a delicate bunch. So many of the replies began ‘I have quite sensitive skin so….‘. Could it be that many of us find mainstream beauty products irritating? I’ve been meaning to share their recommendations for ages, so here we go.
Helen has suffered from sensitive skin issues for years, including rosacea. She says that Environ has transformed her skin, not just in terms of the way it looks but in that it “no longer feels irritated”. The brand claims that many skin problems are caused by a vitamin A deficiency (a result of exposure to the sun) and that their products help to replenish it.
Environ’s a professional line, offered by trained specialists, and it shouldn’t be sold without a consultation. Search their website to find an authorised beautician or dermatologist near you.
Moogoo is a little Aussie brand that my friend Jo suggests. She’s all about using products contain only 100% natural ingredients. The whole line has been developed from a cream that is used on farms to moisturise cows udders. Full of scepticism, I tried their Anti-Aging Face Cream and found it to be pretty good. Honestly. They offer lots of options for irritable and itchy skin, sun protection and products for children.
Moogoo is stocked in smaller high street chemists and online. Their Anti-Aging Face Cream costs £23.90.
This is my top tip. I started using Avene products a few years ago, after reading about the brand on the website of French blogger Garance Dore. She was raving about Hydrance Optimale moisturiser, and I have never found a better face cream before or since. It just works. Avene is a French brand that uses thermal spring water as its key soothing ingredient. They have a wide range of products to ease dry and dehydrated skin, as well as more complex skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
I use Avene cleanser and moisturiser every day. I also find their sun creams brilliant, they were the only ones that didn’t irritate my daughter’s skin when she suffered from eczema.
You can buy Avene at Boots at, I think, very reasonable mid-range prices. Hydrance Optimale starts at £13.50.
Weleda Skin Food is a rich, natural one-stop moisturiser that Lou says is good for your face, hands and basically “any sort of dry skin”. Made from organic sunflower seed oil, Weleda claim Skin Food is the ‘universal saviour’ of everything from thirsty elbows, to cuticles, split ends, or feet.
It is full of lovely sounding ingredients including 100% organic rosemary leaf and pansy extract and is on my must-buy list for the summer.
Order Skin Food from Holland and Barrett and lots of other online stores. A 75ml tube is available for around £10.
This one makes me smile. Coconut Oil is another miracle product that you can use to treat all manner of skin issues, and you can use it to roast your potatoes. It’s an edible oil extracted from coconuts, and my mate Caroline swears by it as a cleanser, moisturiser and deep conditioner for your hair. I’ve even been told you can use it to clean your teeth!
One more from the French, naturellement, they are skin care experts after all. Thank you to Anna, another sensitive flower, for this recommendation. La Roche is a sciency brand that comes endorsed by dermatologists, and has lines for very dry, oily, damaged, blemished and young skin.
The Toleriane range is for sensitive and reactive skin. A mid-range price point like Avene.
Share your recommendations too
Thanks to the beautiful girls who helped me put this list together. Share your sensitive skin stories, do you have any other brands or products that I should add to the list?