The Ultimate Sensitive Skin Care Guide

Sensitivity. It’s one of the most common complexion concerns – and also one of the most misunderstood. From redness to burning; break-outs to itchiness, all of us are bound to experience a skin reaction at some point, so it’s time to get armed with knowledge!


  1. How do you know if you have sensitive skin?
  2. What causes sensitive skin?
  3. What type of cleanser should I be using for sensitive skin?
  4. Try the Clarisonic for sensitive skin
  5. Sensitive skin and your body
  6. La Roche Posay for sensitive skin


How do you know if you have sensitive skin?

It’s important to differentiate between sensitive skin and sensitised skin.

Sensitive skin is a genetic predisposition (generally a Northern European background). The skin burns easily in sunlight and can react to triggers, such as food. This is because the complexion tends to have a lower amount of pigment and a thinner epidermal (top) skin layer.

Sensitised skin can target any skin type regardless of age or race. In fact, it affects over 50% of people! This temporary condition is when the skin becomes over-reactive from external factors, resulting in irritation, redness, itchiness, stinging or tingling sensations and product intolerance.


What causes sensitive skin?

Skin sensitivity can be the result of, or exacerbated by, a wide variety of factors such as seasonal change and temperature, astringent or harsh ingredients, over exfoliation, allergies, stress, hormonal changes and medications. Even coffee and alcohol can be a cause!

The skin has a protective layer, called the Acid Mantle, which is a defence mechanism against foreign bacteria and moisture loss. Over-use of products or excessive treatments like peels and microdermabrasion, will damage the acid mantle, leaving the complexion irritated and fragile.


Expert Answer: What type of cleanser should I be using for sensitive skin?

Cleansing is one of the most basic elements of a skincare routine, and also one of the most important. They help to remove remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup from your skin. However, not all cleansers are created equal, especially for those with sensitive skin. When looking for cleansers, it’s important to make sure you find one that’s specifically formulated for your skin type.

Not sure what type of skin type you have? Click here to find your skin type.



It’s important to choose a cleanser that moisturises. Look for a product that contains hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which hydrate and attract moisture to the surface of your skin. Avoid foaming cleansers, as they will dry out your skin even more.



Your skin will benefit from cleaners that remove excess oil and dry your skin, which help reduce breakouts and prevent further blemishes. If you want to take an extra step in treating and preventing acne, look for medicated cleansers that contain salicylic acid (to help unclog pores) or benzoyl peroxide (to kill bacteria) as active ingredients.



You’ll want to keep that oil balance you have. Opt for a cleanser that has a combination of moisturising and oil-control properties, making sure that it’s mild enough for regular use. As your sebum levels are totally under control, the main priority is up-keep – so make sure you’re cleansing morning and night for maximum results!



It’s best to choose a cleanser that incorporates anti-ageing benefits – antioxidants and vitamins are great properties to look for. Additionally, mature skin is likely to be dehydrated, so it’s important the formula is thick and moisturising. You want to lock in as much nourishment as possible!



Try the Clarisonic for sensitive skin

The Clarisonic, the first sonic cleansing system of its kind, has received worldwide recognition as one of the best products you can buy for your skin. Have you thought about purchasing a Clarisonic, but are unsure as to whether it’s safe to use on sensitive skin? The Clarisonic can actually help alleviate skin sensitivities – here’s how.


How does the Clarisonic Work?

The Clarisonic cleansing system comes in several varieties: the Mia, Mia 2, Aria and PlusUsing 300 rotations per second, Clarisonic works with your natural elasticity and skin properties to remove sweat, grease, cosmetics, environmental pollutants and dirt at depths unable to be reached by traditional, fingertip cleansing.

Moving the device across your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin (some models even have a timer, so you know how long to spend on each section), it works with any cleanser – oil, foam, gel or milk.

Pick the brush head that’s right for you. Available in deep pore, sensitive, normal, luxe and body, used once to twice daily, your Clarisonic will begin to alleviate your skin’s sensitivity.



  • Reduction in dry patches
  • Less flaking and chapping
  • Better absorption of serums and moisturisers
  • Higher cell turnover (so that plump, gorgeous new skin can shine through!)
  • Decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Smoother, softer texture
  • Cleaner, more radiant complexion


Sensitive Skin & Your Body

Eczema and Psoriasis are two very common conditions that affect the body and face of those with sensitive skin. Find out what they are, what the difference is and how you should treat these conditions here.




Eczema usually starts in childhood before the age of five, and is commonly caused by environmental aggressors – these can include food allergies, harsh cleaning chemicals, and animal dander.

Psoriasis usually forms in adulthood, and is linked to genetics. Psoriasis is found on tougher skin areas (arms, knees, elbows) whereas eczema is more commonly found in sensitive skin areas (neck, inside of elbows and the back of the knees)



Maintain a low room temperature as much as possible. Avoid wool garments, instead opting for cotton where possible. Use gentle, soap free cleansers and emollient moisturisers.

La Roche Posay for sensitive skin

Sensitive, soap free formulas and fragrance free products make La Roche Posay the perfect choice for sufferers of Eczema and Psoriasis. La Roche Posay’s Lipikar range is Eczema Association approved, meaning it is perfect for those with sensitive body skin. Here are our top picks:


Still not sure what are the right products for you?

Don’t worry, our experienced customer service team have you covered. Feel free to contact our skincare specialists at with any questions or concerns you have regarding your skin. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call on (03) 9380 8521, or complete our Skincare Recommendation form here for a personalised product recommendation.