There’s no other way to put it: caring for sensitive skin takes work. Anyone who has it can vouch for that! Not only does sensitive skin demand extra TLC, it also requires certain precautions to avoid irritation in the first place. You might not know it, but it’s actually your daily habits wreaking havoc on your complexion.

Here are 5 mistakes you might be making—and how to stop them before you get even more sensitive.


Cleansing is imperative for flawless skin, but the wrong formula will only cause damage. Most foaming cleansers are made with surfactants. When used on delicate skin, these cleansing agents tend to cause dryness and sensitivity.

THE FIX: Rule of thumb: the less lather, the less drying it is. The more foam, the more flakes you’ll probably have! Try sulfate-free cleansing lotions, which feel more creamy than bubbly. These whisk away debris without taking moisture along with it.

TRY: Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash, P299, COSRX Good Morning Gel Cleanser, P540, Aloe Derma Gentle Facial Cleanser, P380


Most toners contain ingredients like alcohol and other astringents. These are much too harsh for sensitive skin. In the long run, they deplete moisture and leave your face more vulnerable to irritants.

THE FIX: Contrary to popular belief, toner shouldn’t cause a stinging sensation. Pick a gentle formula that’s alcohol- and astringent-free. Look for calming ingredients like aloe vera to pacify redness, soothe inflammation, and repair the moisture barrier.

 TRY: Human Nature Hydrating Toner, P185, Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner, P800, Neutrogena Alcohol Free Toner, P299


No matter what your skin type, intense exfoliators will erode your precious moisture barrier. This will allow irritants to penetrate the skin and moisture to escape it. More often than not, an eroded moisture barrier will also manifest in painful rashes.

THE FIX: Physical scrubs are the No. 1 enemy for sensitive pelts. Instead, opt for chemical exfoliants. Look for natural acids like lactic acid, AHAs, and BHAs. These melt off dead surface cells without causing abrasion to your skin. And remember, limit exfoliation to once or twice a week only.

TRY: Dewytree Nature Source Peeling Gel, P689, Holika Holika Smooth Egg Skin Peeling Gel, P475, Bulgarian Rose RoseBerry Exfoliating Gel, P550


Often at the root of sensitivity is a damaged moisture barrier. This weakens your ability to retain moisture in the first place. Without constant hydration, your moisture levels will only continue to wane—leaving you drier than ever.

THE FIX: Moisturizer is a must! Opt for a reparative formula with lipid-rich oils. This will restore balance to dehydrated skin, soothe sensitivity, and strengthen the natural barrier. Plus, a solid layer of moisture will seal off the surface of the skin and block out irritants.

TRY: VMV Hypoallergenics Red Better Moisturizer, P915, Pyunkang Yul Balancing Gel, P1,450, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, P2,598


Using products formulated for your skin type won’t guarantee a good reaction. No matter what buzzy find you might be dying to try, irritation and redness are never worth the risk.

THE FIX: Before introducing a new product into your routine, always perform a patch test first. For allergic reactions, apply a small dollop on your neck. For potential acne triggers, apply the sample on your jawline. Then, wait 24 hours. If you experience any redness, itchiness, or breakouts during the testing period, ditch it!

Credits: Video by Kat Echon. Illustrations by Carli Dagdag. Don’t forget to follow BeautyMNL on Facebook and Instagram!

All in Good Time by Alumo

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