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The Best Sensitive Skin Cleansers for Every Skin Type

If you have sensitive skin, finding a good cleanser that doesn’t irritate your skin can be a challenge.

Many cleansers contain harsh ingredients that can irritate and even cause damage to your skin. Fortunately, there are many gentle and effective cleansers designed specifically for sensitive skin. 

This guide covers everything from your daily cleansing routine, finding the best cleanser for your skin type, to a deep dive into ingredients for the best cleanse.

Cleansing for Sensitive Skin

Cleansing is the first and most important step in any skincare routine. It removes dirt, excess oil, and other impurities from the skin. However, you need to be extra careful when choosing a cleanser when it comes to sensitive skin.

Many traditional cleansers from behind the counter contain ingredients that can dry out your skin and cause irritation. When in doubt, always opt for facial cleansers designed for sensitive skin.

The best facial cleansers are formulated for sensitive and reactive skin types. Cleansers for sensitive skin should contain gentle ingredients free of harsh chemicals, artificial colours and fragrances.

Signs of Sensitive Skin

From adverse reactions to certain products to conditions triggered by allergic reactions to your environment, sensitive skin can be caused by many different factors.

If you’re unsure whether your skin is sensitive or not, there are some telltale signs you can look out for. These include redness, dryness, inflammation, itchiness, and tightness of the skin.

Sensitive Skin Types

Dry, Irritated Skin

Sensitive skin doesn’t discriminate by skin type, either. Dry and sensitive skin is a common skincare issue, and many cleansers on the market will dry out the skin even more if you have sensitive skin.

You may also experience irritation or a burning sensation when using certain products. If this is the case for you, it’s best to switch to a gentler, more hydrating cleanser to restore moisture.

Oily, Acne Prone Skin

Whereas inflamed pores and excess sebum characterise oily skin, it’s essential to add a gentle cleanser into your skincare routine that will help balance the natural oils and remove any impurities without drying out your skin.

Skin Conditions

If you have any skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, it is essential to use the right gentle cleansers for your skin type. The best cleansers for sensitive skin that suffer from one of these conditions should be alcohol-free, non-irritating and specially formulated for sensitive skin.


Choosing the Best Sensitive Skin Cleanser for Your Skin Type

With everything from gel-based cleansers to oil-based cleansers, there are many different types of cleansers available on the market. Different cleansers  are suitable for different skin types, so it’s important to understand how to choose the best one for your skin type.


Different types of Cleansers

Cream cleansers

Ideal for dry, sensitive skin as they are hydrating and have a creamy texture.

Foam cleansers

Lightweight, best for oilier or combination skin types.

Gel cleansers

Suitable for all skin types, but particularly ideal for oily or combination skin types.

Oil-based cleansers: 

Suitable for dry and very sensitive skin types due to their hydrating properties. Certain oil-based cleansers designed to not interfere with the skin barrier can also be suitable for oily skin types.


Choosing the Right Sensitive Skincare Cleanser

When choosing a cleanser, look for non-irritating and moisturising ingredients, such as aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. These will help to soothe and hydrate your skin while gently cleansing away impurities.

Avoid any face wash containing artificial fragrances, colours, and other harsh chemicals, as they can irritate your skin.

When choosing a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin, look for one that is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances. Here’s what to look for in a sensitive skincare cleanser:


Sulphates are common foaming agents used in cleansers that can dry sensitive skin. 


Look for products labelled as hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so they won’t block your pores or cause irritation.

SLS free:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant commonly used in traditional cleansers. It can be very drying and irritating for sensitive skin, so it’s best to avoid this ingredient.


Alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol can strip away moisture and irritate delicate skin.


Parabens are common preservatives found in skincare products and have been linked to skin irritation, so avoid cleansers that contain them.


Non-comedogenic products won’t clog your pores, which is essential for sensitive skin.

Soap-free cleansers:

Soap-based cleansers can disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance and cause irritation, so look for a soap-free formula.

Gentle Cleanser:

Choose a cleanser that is labelled as gentle and designed specifically for sensitive skin types.

By taking the time to find the right cleansers for your complexion, you can help keep your skin healthy and beautiful all year round. With the right products, you can keep your sensitive skin looking and feeling its best!

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid in Traditional Cleansers

The key to caring for sensitive skin is to learn about skincare ingredients that can trigger irritation. Here are some common skincare ingredients to avoid when choosing a cleanser:

  • Alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol
  • Artificial fragrances and colours
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates (such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

Cleansing Tips for Sensitive Complexions by Aesthetics Rx

Cleanse with Warm Water

It’s important to avoid hot water when cleansing, as it can increase skin sensitivity. Stick to lukewarm or cool water instead.

Be Gentle

When cleansing, be mindful of using light circular motions and avoid scrubbing your skin. Scrubbing the skin excessively with a rough cloth or tool can irritate and exacerbate existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Try using a gentle microfibre face pad instead. 

Follow with a Serum

After cleansing, you should follow up with a serum tailored to your skin type. Serums are designed for deeper absorption and can help replenish moisture levels in the skin.

Moisturise & Hydrate the Skin

Regardless of your skin type, it’s important to moisturise and hydrate the skin after cleansing. A gentle, hydrating moisturiser should be applied to help protect the skin’s moisture barrier.

By following these tips and choosing the right cleanser for your sensitive skin type, you can help ensure that your skin remains healthy and nourished.

The Best Gentle Foaming Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Aesthetics Rx’s range of gentle cleansers are ideal for sensitive skin.

Cream Cleanser: AHA Cream Cleanser by Aesthetix Rx 

Recommended for dry, mature skin, the AHA Cream Cleanser by Aesthetics Rx features mild alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) that gently exfoliate and brighten the skin. The concentration of AHA’s used is mild enough even for the most sensitive skin. 

Our AHA Cream Cleanser contains a blend of botanical extracts and water-binding plant sugars that boost hyaluronic acid levels throughout the epidermis whilst also effortlessly dissolving makeup, impurities and grime as it balances and refreshes the skin. It also contains Tasman pepper which helps reduce inflammatory markers in irritated skin. 

Gentle Foaming Cleanser: The Revitalising Foaming Cleanser by Aesthetics Rx

The Revitalising Foaming Cleanser by Aesthetics Rx is a gentle foaming cleanser that is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Our gentle formula removes dirt, oil and makeup without stripping away natural moisture. Even though it is a foaming product, the surfacts (foaming agents) used are incredibly mild because they are sourced from coconut, instead of using detergents.

This super gentle sensitive skin face wash removes makeup, oil and pollution while soothing and moisturising the skin. High concentrations of Aloe vera calm redness and increase elasticity, while grapefruit and spearmint gently cleanse and reinvigorate tight, dehydrated skin.

Formulated with a blend of nourishing plant extracts and antioxidant-rich active ingredients, this cleanser will leave your skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. This cleanser is also sulphate-free, detergent and soap-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic.

Cleansing Oil: Anti-Pollution Facial Cleansing Oil by Aesthetics Rx

The Anti-Pollution Facial Cleansing Oil protects your skin barrier from environmental damage and impurities. Our non-comedogenic, gentle cleansing oil helps to remove impurities such as makeup, dirt and other pollutants without stripping away moisture or leaving a residue on the skin.

Formulated with antioxidant-rich oils such as squalane and Kakadu plum oil, which help to nourish and protect the skin from damage caused by free radical buildup. It also contains natural plant oils that help balance the skin’s pH and keep it healthy and hydrated.

The Bottom Line

Caring for a sensitive complexion means finding a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away moisture and cause irritation.

Aesthetics Rx’s range of gentle cleansers is specifically designed with sensitive skin in mind to help keep your complexion feeling soft, hydrated and looking its best! With the right ingredients and regular use of these cleansers, you can help protect your skin’s barrier and maintain a healthy microbiome.

By following our tips above, you can help ensure that your skin remains healthy and nourished, even with the most sensitive skin.

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