Moisturisers for Sensitive Skin - 6 of the Best

Dry, sensitive skin? Or breakout prone skin that is sensitive?  Just when you thought the days of finicky skin, breakouts and reactions were behind you.

A recent US report on the prevalence of sensitive skin found that about 60% of women report having sensitive skin to one degree or another. 

Seriously 60%!!

It's sods law,  when we start to feel confident about what our skin likes and doesn't like that's exactly when our skin changes.

It is incredibly common for my customers to tell me that in the past they could pretty much use whatever the liked on their skin (and I certainly did growing up in the 80s), but that as they get older, they find their skin becoming increasing sensitive.

Factor in external triggers, stress, an unbalanced diet or adverse weather conditions and you've got the perfect sensitive skin storm.

So What's The Answer?  

 If you're experiencing dry or itchy skin and are on the hunt for a sensitive skin moisturiser, something that won't irritate or exacerbate sensitive skin, here are some of my favourite ingredients and products  that are able to soothe, hydrate and moisturise gently.   

Signs and Symptoms of Sensitive Skin 

First thing first though, how can you tell if you have sensitive skin?

The term is so broad and the signs and symptoms are so varied, that 'sensitive skin' could be classified as pretty much anything.

But here are some of the tell-tale signs to look out for:

  • Redness. This could be because of genetic predisposition (like with rosacea, for example) or as a temporary reaction to harsh ingredients contained in skincare or beauty products.
  • Rashes and tiny red bumps. Again, these are often caused by irritation to products.
  • A stinging or burning sensation. Having sensitive skin means you have a thinner skin barrier, which means that the wrong products that don't suit sensitive skins   could trigger an unpleasant reaction.
  • Dry or eczema-prone skin (i.e. dermatitis). This happens when a leaky skin barrier doesn't effectively trap moisture, so scaling, flaking, and itchiness can develop.
  • Broken capillaries. Ever had blood vessels become visible near the surface of the skin? This can happen if you have thin and fewer protective layers. Cold and windy days, for example, are a trigger for people with rosacea, so if you suffer from dry and irritated skin this winter, check out our post: Dry, Winter Skin Survival Guide.

Sensitive, dry skin sometimes produces extra oils to compensate for the lack of contained moisture, which means you can be prone to clogged pores and annoying breakouts.

So the key with sensitive skin (no matter the cause) is hydration, which is why finding the perfect sensitive skin moisturiser that provides the right nutrition and care for your skin is key.

My Favourite Ingredients for Sensitive Skin

Here are my favourite ingredients you might want to look out for when looking for a new moisturiser for your sensitive skin or face.

1 - Marshmallow Root oil as a Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin

INCI Name (i.e. what you need to look out for on the label): Helianthus annuus hybrid oil; Althaea officinalis root extract.

Marshmallow root oil is deeply-hydrating and helps to maintain the hyaluronic acid levels in the skin, while soothing and calming red, itchy, and irritated skin.

Hyaluronic acid is what allows your skin to remain moisturised and to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which is why the high levels contained in Marshmallow root oil make it a great ingredient for your moisturiser. 

Where can you find Marshmallow root oil?

The Marshmallow root oil we use at The Rose Tree is made with the roots of the Marshmallow plant macerated in Sunflower Oil with the addition of Rosemary Antioxidant.

It's one of the key ingredients that I use in my six times award-winning Intensive Balm - perfect for its hydration boosting properties.

It's gentle and softening and is fantastic for people with dry, lacklustre skin. Incorporate it into your daily skincare routine to see benefits.

2 - Jojoba Oil for Sensitive Skin

INCI Name: Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil. 

Jojoba oil is an easily absorbed, light oil, which is similar to the sebum found in our own skin.

That's what makes it so suitable to all skin types, including problem-, oily and combination skins. Because Jojoba is actually a wax (rather than an oil) it's non-greasy.

That sounds like a contradiction in terms.   An oil that is not oily….  But that is what is special about Jojoba, and this means it doesn't feel too rich on the skin, and yet it's great for hydration.

Because it's deep-penetrating, Jojoba helps to:

  • Reduce wrinkles.
  • Alleviate psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis.
  • Deeply hydrate the skin without breaking you out.
  • Give your skin a nice, healthy glow.

Where can you find Jojoba oil?

I use Jojoba oil in my:

  • Award-winning Deep Nourish Facial Essence with Rose & Blackcurrant - a potent facial oil that gently nourishes the skin and helps reduce dullness by giving your skin a beautiful glow. This beautifully scented essence can be used during the day underneath makeup or at night. It's perfect for skin that needs a moisture boost as well as hydrating, repairing and brightening. And if you want to try before you buy, I  offer a Try Me size too.
  • And in my cult Carrot & Mango Cleansing Butter - a super-luxurious cleansing butter packed with potent botanicals to gently lift off makeup and dirt. It literally takes 2 minutes!

Sensitive Skincare | Facial Essence with Rose & Blackcurrant | The Rose Tree

Want a deep dive into the fantastic properties of Jojoba as an ingredient for sensitive skin?  Head over to my guide: Ultimate Skincare Ingredients - Jojoba.

For more on the best face oils for dry, sensitive skin, check out my Best Facial Oils for Dry, Sensitive Skin.

3 - Argan Oil as a Moisturiser for Sensitive Dry or Oily Skin

INCI Name: Argania Spinosa Oil.

Argan oil has seen a huge jump in popularity lately, and there's good reason for that. Argan oil is rich in both Vitamin E and fatty acid, which means:

  • It's great for treating skin topically.
  • It has anti-aging and skin improving properties.
  • It's suitable for both dry and oily skin types.

Argan oil is fantastic for smoothing the skin, restoring tone and elasticity, and protecting the skin from environmental impacts.

So if you're looking for an ingredient to make your skin feel better during these cold, winter days, a product containing Argan oil makes for a great choice! Argan oil is also sebum-regulating, which means it can help with acne-prone skin.

Extracting the oil from the nuts is not a fast process (but it gives the best quality which is Important to me).

The nuts from which Argan oil is produced are collected by women cooperatives in Morocco and dried for days in the sun before being pressed.   It's an ancient technique that's still used today by Morocco's Berber women.

Where Can You Find Argan oil? 

In my products, I use pure, cold-pressed organic Argan oil to make sure I don't lose the essential fatty acids that are naturally contained in the oil. You can find it in my:

  • Energising Body Oil with Apricot & Palmarosa. This is a luxuriously-scented, light yet nourishing dry body oil that leaves skin subtly scented and silky soft, made with 93% organic ingredients. It provides an anti-aging boost to your skin while leaving it super hydrated.

    4 - Rosehip oil as a Sensitive Skin Moisturiser

    INCI Name: Rosa Canina Fruit Oil.

    Rosehip oil helps with conditions like acne and rosacea but also with countering dry, itchy, and inflamed skin.

    Rosehip oil is full of essential fatty acids and vitamin A, both of which are great for reducing lines and wrinkles. The essential fatty acids hydrate the skin and help smooth out wrinkles. 

    A number of clinical trials found this oil has a positive effect on the skin of people with stretch marks, UV damage, and even scars.

    It regenerates the skin, slows down the signs of aging and improves the skin's natural colour (pigmentation) and tone.

    Rosehip Oil is often referred to as a 'dry' oil because it doesn't leave any sort of oily feel on the skin. It's fast-absorbing and yet super hydrating.

    If you want to find out more about this fantastic ingredient, head over to our article: If it's good enough for Kate... Rosehip Oil.

    Where can you find Rosehip oil? 

    Rosehip oil comes from the seeds of the rosehip, and although these are available all over the world, most commercial rosehip oil these days come from Chile.

    I use Rosehip oil that is cold-pressed (to preserve all its goodness), organic, and certified through The Soil Association.

    You can find it in my award-winning facial oil Radiance Facial Essence with Rose & Marula, which is specifically designed for sensitive, oily, or combination skin types.

    The reason why our Facial Essence works so well as a moisturiser for sensitive, dry skin is that it mimics your skin's natural oils.

    It hydrates without causing breakouts and naturally supports skin that's prone to acne and rosacea.

    Not sure if it's the right product for you? Check it out in my Try Me size.

    5 - Avocado Oil For Sensitive Skin

    INCI Name: Persea Gratissima Oil.

    The Rose Tree | Sensitive Skin | Avocado Oil

    Gentle, hydrating and rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E, vitamin B5 (or pantothenic acid) and fatty acids, avocado oil is often used as an anti-aging oil. High levels of vitamin B5, in particular, make it suitable for lacklustre, sensitive, and dry skin.

    Avocado oil is so rich and soothing that it's a definite favourite for dry and sensitive skins.

    It specifically helps to:

    • Hydrate parched/thirsty and itchy skin.
    • Improve the look appearance of skin.
    • Revive tired skin.

    Where can you find avocado oil? 

    You can find avocado oil in our award-winning Radiance Facial Essence with Rose & Marula and my award winning Hand Balms.

    6 - Calendula as a Moisturiser for Sensitive Facial Skin

    INCI Name: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil.

    Organic calendula flowers are macerated in high oleic sunflower oil to promote suppleness and perfectly smooth skin.

    Calendula is high in calendulin, carotene, and vitamins A and C. It's one of those British herbs that has been used throughout history as a remedy for all sorts of skin ailments.

    It's also believed to have restorative and regenerative powers on the skin, which is why it's increasingly found in anti-aging skincare and is particularly good for sensitive skin.

    Where can you find Calendula flower extract?

    I use Calendula flower extract in our body oils, specifically our:

    These luxuriously-scented, light yet nourishing dry body oils leave the skin subtly scented and silky soft. They're quickly absorbed, they provide an anti-aging boost to your skin, leave you feeling super hydrated, and they're all-round super luxury oils.

    And if you want to find out more about why a body oil may be more beneficial to your skin than using a cream, then head over to our blog post: 3 Reasons to Pick a Body Oil over a Cream.

    Looking for the Perfect Moisturiser for Sensitive Skin? 

    My products contain beautiful natural ingredients that I have chosen to make your skin feel good, irrespective of whether it is sensitive, dry or prone to breakouts.  I pride myself  in using ingredients that make a difference. Simply, they work.

    There's no magic bullet to 'fix' sensitive skin, but by watching those ingredients and picking those that are best for your skin type, you are in control and can expect to manage your sensitive skin. 

    I help hundreds of women look and feel great about their skin.  If you need help on where to start, check out my starter routine.  And if you need personalised help, leave a message on Facebook or Instagram, or you can email us at

    February 22, 2020 by Olga Rumble

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