People with sensitive skin need a gentle moisturizer that moisturizes without causing any irritation. Below, we’ve put together a list of the best daily moisturizers for sensitive skin.

Our Recommendations

1. Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

This fragrance-free moisturizer is lightweight but deeply hydrating. It is gentle on the skin, and specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Cleanse the skin and apply serums or treatments. Then, apply this moisturizer to the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with sunscreen during the day.
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This daily moisturizer is packed with 5 key ceramides, which help restore the skin’s barrier. It also contains hyaluronic acid, squalane, and glycerin, which all help keep the skin hydrated.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin

The formula of this affordable moisturizer is perfect for sensitive skin, because it is fragrance-free, dye-free, essential oil-free, and free of virtually anything else known to irritate the skin. It is also dermatologist tested.

Purified Water, Squalane, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide Eop, Ceramide Ng, Ceramide Np, Ceramide As, Ceramide Ap, Carnosine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phytosterols, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-11, 1,2-Hexanediol

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Hyaluronic Acid"

    Accessed Nov. 10, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products"

    Accessed Nov. 10, 2021.

2. Tolérance Extrême Emulsion

Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion

Avène Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Avène Tolérance Extrême Emulsion

This gentle and fragrance-free moisturizer contains six simple but effective ingredients that soothe and moisturize the skin without leaving behind a greasy feeling.

Skin types: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying any serums or treatments, apply the moisturizer to the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with sunscreen during the day.
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This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer is perfect for combination, oily, and sensitive skin types. Two key ingredients are the Avène thermal spring water, which soothes and softens the skin, and squalane, which hydrates and acts as an antioxidant.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Dye-free

Cons

  • May not be moisturizing enough for drier skin types

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this gentle moisturizer contains glycerin and capric triglyceride, which both further help hydrate the skin.

Avène Thermal Spring Water, Squalane, Behenyl Alcohol, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Sodium Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Water

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Moisturizers: The Slippery Road"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.
  2. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Nov. 8, 2021.

3. Moisturizing Lotion

Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

Vanicream Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Vanicream Moisturizing Lotion

This face, hand, and body lotion was specifically formulated for sensitive skin, helping to moisturize and restore without irritation.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying any serums or treatments, massage the lotion into the face and neck. This lotion can also be used on the body.
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This fast-absorbing lotion contains a short list of ingredients that moisturize the face and body without causing irritation, including white petrolatum and propylene glycol.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-greasy
  • National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

Cons

  • May not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin

This lotion is free of fragrances, dyes, and other ingredients that commonly irritate sensitive skin.

Purified Water, White Petrolatum, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol Solution, Ceteareth-20, Simethicone, Glyceryl Monostearate, Polyethylene Glycol Monostearate, Sorbic Acid, Bht.

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Safety assessment of propylene glycol, tripropylene glycol, and PPGs as used in cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.

4. Mineral SPF Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

This product is a moisturizer and mineral sunscreen in one, and is great for daily use. SPF 30 protects the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, and hyaluronic acid works to hydrate.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: In the morning, after applying your moisturizer, apply the sunscreen to your face, neck, and chest. Reapply at least every 2 hours. Since this is a moisturizer as well, it may be used without a moisturizer (although drier skin types may prefer to use an additional moisturizer).
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This sunscreen is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain moisture levels in the skin. It also contains glycerin and vitamin B5 (panthenol), which further moisturize and soothe the skin. This sunscreen uses 100% mineral filters (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), which are generally better tolerated by sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist tested

Cons

  • Not water resistant (use a water resistant sunscreen when swimming or sweating)
  • May leave a white cast on some skin tones

In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this sunscreen contains senna alata, a tropical leaf extract. This ingredient provides antioxidant protection, defending against free radicals that can accelerate the development of signs of aging.

Titanium Dioxide (5.5%), Zinc Oxide (10%), Water, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triethylhexanoin, Silica, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Chlorphenesin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Tocopherol, P-Anisic Acid, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Carbonate, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin.

5. Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

This creamy moisturizer provides the deep hydration that drier skin types need. It also contains replenishing ingredients that fight the signs of aging and improve the skin’s texture.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply the moisturizer over your face, neck, and chest.
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This product is one of the all time best Paula’s Choice moisturizers. It contains a beneficial blend of emollients, peptides, antioxidants, and other replenishing and moisturizing ingredients that deeply hydrate the skin to soften and smooth. It is also suitable for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Soothing

Cons

  • No SPF for daytime use

One of the main ingredients in this moisturizer is hyaluronic acid, which attracts and maintains moisture to the skin. It also contains moisturizing evening primrose oil, a non-fragrant plant oil containing antioxidants that protect the skin.

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate (Emollient), Butylene Glycol (Hydration/Slip Agent), Glycereth-26 (Hydration), Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil (Non-fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Cetyl Alcohol (Texture Enhancer/Hydration), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (Emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (Texture Enhancer), Stearic Acid (Texture Enhancer/Hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (Texture Enhancer/Emollient), PEG-100 Stearate (Thickener), Glycerin (Skin-Replenishing), Cyclohexasiloxane (Texture Enhancer), Dimethicone (Hydration/Texture Enhancer), Panthenol (Vitamin B5/Skin-Soothing), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (Skin-Restoring), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Skin-Restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (Skin-Replenishing), Tocopheryl Linoleate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopherol (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice-Derived Skin-Soothing), Sodium PCA (Skin-Replenishing), Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract (Roman Chamomile/Skin-Soothing Antioxidant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Hydration), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C/Antioxidant), Linoleic Acid (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Restoring), Linolenic Acid (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Restoring), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant), Saccharide Isomerate (Hydration), Hydroxypropyl Guar (Film-Forming Agent), Allantoin (Skin-Soothing), Rosa Moschata Seed Oil (Non-fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifier), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Texture Enhancer/Stabilizer), Carbomer (Texture Enhancer), Sodium Citrate (pH Adjuster/Chelating Agent), Trisodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Batyl Alcohol (Stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Chlorphenesin (Preservative), Benzoic Acid (Preservative), Sorbic Acid (Preservative)

6. Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

This creamy moisturizer contains mineral-based SPF to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It also contains hydrating and replenishing ingredients to soften dry skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: In the morning, after cleansing and applying any treatments, apply the moisturizer all over the face, neck, and chest.
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This SPF moisturizer uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two mineral sunscreens that are suitable for sensitive skin. It also contains a blend of antioxidants, ceramides, and peptides that help to soften, protect, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Some reviewers note it feels greasy on the skin
  • Not water-resistant

The ceramides in this moisturizer help to restore the moisture barrier and strengthen the skin, while the peptides help provide anti-aging benefits.

Titanium Dioxide 3.85%, Zinc Oxide 3.12% (mineral sunscreens), Water (Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Isononyl Isononanoate (texture-enhancing), Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (apricot oil/non-fragrant oil/emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration/texture-enhancing), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient/texture-enhancing), PEG-100 Stearate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Pentylene Glycol (hydration), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient/texture-enhancing), Dimethicone (hydration), Glycine Soja Sterols (emollient), VP/Eicosene Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Allantoin (skin-soothing) , Tocopheryl Acetate (antioxidant), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Ceramide NG (hydration/skin replenishing), Methicone (hydration), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring), PEG-10 Dimethicone (texture-enhancing), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (cucumber extract/skin-soothing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient/texture-enhancing), Tribehenin (skin-restoring), PEG-10 Phytosterol (texture-enhancing), Sorbitan Stearate (texture-enhancing), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Alumina (texture-enhancing), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Aluminum Stearate (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative).

  1. American Academy of Dermatology. "Is Sunscreen Safe?"

    Accessed Aug. 4, 2021.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin's own natural moisturizing systems"

    Accessed Aug. 4, 2021.

7. Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin

Paula's Choice Moisturizer for Redness and Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin

This mineral-based SPF moisturizer is one of the best Paula’s Choice sunscreens for sensitive and redness-prone skin, and is even gentle enough for rosacea-prone skin. It contains additional ingredients that calm and hydrate the skin.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Redness and Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: In the morning, after cleansing and applying any treatments, apply the moisturizer all over the face, neck, and chest.
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This is a great SPF moisturizer for sensitive and redness-prone skin, partially due to the fact that it contains mineral sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), which is gentler on the skin. Additionally, it has calming, hydrating, and redness-reducing plant extracts, antioxidants, and peptides.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle

Cons

  • Not water-resistant

Some of the nourishing and calming ingredients in this gentle formula include apricot oil, oat extract, allantoin, and vitamin E.

Titanium Dioxide 3.85%, Zinc Oxide 3.12%, Water (Aqua), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (texture-enhancing/emollient), Isononyl Isononanoate (texture-enhancing/emollient), Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (apricot oil/non-fragrant plant oil/emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient), PEG-100 Stearate (texture-enhancing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Pentylene Glycol (hydration), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient), Dimethicone (hydration), Glycine Soja Sterols (soybean/emollient), VP/Eicosene Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin replenishing), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Ceramide NG (hydration/skin replenishing), Methicone (hydration), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (texture-enhancing), PEG-10 Dimethicone (texture-enhancing), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (cucumber extract/skin-soothing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient), Tribehenin (emollient), PEG-10 Phytosterol (texture-enhancing/emollient), Sorbitan Stearate (texture-enhancing), Polyhydroxystearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Alumina (stabilizer), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Aluminum Stearate (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Chlorphenesin (preservative).

  1. American Academy of Dermatology. "Is Sunscreen Safe?"

    Accessed Aug. 4, 2021.

8. Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream

This gentle moisturizing cream was formulated for dry and sensitive skin, and helps soothe and intensely hydrate.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
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This face cream contains a variety of effective ingredients that help hydrate and soothe the skin, including neurosensine, shea butter, squalane, and glycerin. It has been tested and shown to be suitable for ultra-sensitive, allergy-prone skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Allergy tested

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the packaging

This moisturizing cream is free of ingredients that may further irritate sensitive skin, including fragrances, preservatives, and drying alcohol.

Aqua/Water, Isocetyl Stearate, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Peg-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hydroxide, Acetyl Depeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.
  2. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. "Moisturizers: The Slippery Road"

    Accessed Aug. 30, 2021.

9. Oil-Free Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Moisturizer for Daily Moisturization

Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer

This lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic moisturizer is an excellent choice for oily skin types, as it moisturizes without contributing to shine.

Skin types: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
See on Amazon

While this moisturizer is marketed towards sensitive skin, the lightweight and gentle formula is great for normal to oily skin. The water-based moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores, and also does not feel heavy or greasy on the skin.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • None

This moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients known to clog pores. This makes it a suitable choice for those prone to acne. One of the key moisturizing ingredients in this moisturizer is glycerin, a humectant that keeps the skin hydrated.

Water, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Petrolatum, Cyclomethicone, Soybean (Glycine Soja) Sterols, Isopropyl Isostearate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-10 Soy Sterol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Diazolidinyl Urea, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

  1. Sage Journals. "Safety Assessment of Glycerin as Used in Cosmetics"

    Accessed Jul. 30, 2021.

FAQs

Which moisturizer is best for dry and sensitive skin?

There are some great options on this list for dry and sensitive skin, including the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream and the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer. If you’d also like a moisturizer with SPF in it, two excellent options are the Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Dry Skin and the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30.

What type of moisturizer is best for sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to find a moisturizer that is specifically formulated with your skin type in mind. The best sensitive skin moisturizers won’t contain any common irritants, including fragrances, essential oils, and harsh exfoliants. Moisturizers that also contain SPF that are formulated for sensitive skin typically contain mineral sunscreen filters (titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide), rather than chemical sunscreen filters. This is because people with sensitive skin typically tolerate mineral sunscreen better, as it is gentler on the skin.

How do I choose a moisturizer?

If you’re trying to pick the best moisturizer for your skin, there are a few things to consider that will help narrow down your choices. You’ll want to keep your skin type in mind, and also consider any other skin concerns you may have that you’d like your moisturizer to target. It’s also important to know what your budget is. From there, you can find some options that fit your requirements. For example, if you have combination skin that is also sensitive and know you want a lightweight and gentle moisturizer that is budget-friendly, you can look for one that suits your needs (like the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer).

The Bottom Line

If you have sensitive skin, consider adding one of our recommended daily moisturizers to your skincare routine. These products will help keep your skin healthy and adequately moisturized, but won’t cause irritation.