There is an abundance of moisturizers available at the drugstore, but finding the right one for sensitive skin can be tricky. Below, we’ve created a list of the best drugstore moisturizers for sensitive skin.

Our Recommendations

1. 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.

2. Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

La Roche-Posay Moisturizer for Nightly Moisturization

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

This gel-cream moisturizer is one of the best La Roche-Posay products for sensitive, dry skin. It contains intensely moisturizing ingredients, and has been formulated without potentially irritating ingredients.

Skin types: Normal, Dry and Sensitive
Best for: Nightly Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest.
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This night moisturizer is packed with ingredients that help restore the skin’s moisture barrier. The shea butter is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant effects, and is intensely moisturizing. Glycerin, squalane, and vitamin E also help moisturize and soothe the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the packaging

This moisturizer has been tested on allergy-prone skin, and is free of any ingredients that may potentially cause irritation, including fragrance and drying alcohols.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Squalane, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Pentylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polysorbate 20, Tocopherol, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Allantoin, Toluene Sulfonic Acid, Dimethiconol, Xanthan Gum, Carnosine, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer.

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

    Accessed Aug. 19, 2021.

3. 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)

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.
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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

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. Typically, these gentle moisturizers will be free of common irritants, including fragrances, essential oils, and harsh exfoliants. If the moisturizer also contains SPF, it will use mineral sunscreen filters (titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide) instead of chemical sunscreen filters. This is because people with sensitive skin typically tolerate mineral sunscreen better, as it is gentler on the skin.

Which is the best moisturizer for dry and sensitive skin?

If you have dry, sensitive skin, there are a few great options for you on this list. The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream, the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer, and the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer are all excellent products that are formulated for dry and sensitive skin. If you’re looking for a daytime moisturizer with SPF, the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is another great choice.

How do I choose a moisturizer for sensitive skin?

If you’re trying to pick the best moisturizer for your sensitive skin, there are a few things to consider that will help narrow down your choices. As you’re looking at products formulated with sensitive skin in mind, you’ll want to consider any other skin concerns you may have, as well as your budget. For example, if you have sensitive skin that is also oily, you’ll want to look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that is made for sensitive skin (like the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer). Alternatively, if you’re looking for a daytime moisturizer with SPF, you’ll want to ensure you’re looking for a sensitive skin moisturizer with mineral sunscreen filters (like any of the SPF options on this list).

The Bottom Line

There are a handful of standout products at the drugstore that are excellent for sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, consider adding one of these effective moisturizers to your skincare routine.