If you have highly sensitive skin that reacts to things easily, Penzi says it’s first important to do an at-home patch test before using anything new. “Take your new product and apply a small amount to your inner forearm for about two to three nights in a row,” she says. “If no reaction occurs, then you should feel comfortable to start using the product on your face.”
You’ll also want to avoid rubbing, tugging, and pulling at your skin too hard when removing makeup as this can also cause irritation. There are also a few ingredients sensitive folks might want to avoid. “Fragrance is definitely the first thing to avoid, as this is the most common irritant and contact allergen,” says Penzi.
“Preservatives are another thing to watch out for. Some common ones in cosmetic products include Methylchloroisothiazolinone/ Methylisothiazolinone (aka Kathon CG) and parabens. Be sure your makeup remover has no retinol or retinoid products in it because that can certainly be irritating. Also watch out for formaldehyde releasers in your makeup remover, as well as other potentially irritating ingredients like tea tree oil.”
Overall, Shirazi also recommends using only a gentle micellar water for those who are sensitive. “Micellar water is soap-free containing tiny micelles (oil molecules) that dissolve and remove dirt, makeup, and oil. It’s light and great for those who have oily skin or are prone to milia and clogged pores. It’s safe to use around the eyes and very gentle for those with sensitive skin.” Take a peek below at some of their favorite formulas.