I have very sensitive skin—the kind of skin that’s been known to get red just from smelling something with too much fragrance. As I get older, I keep thinking today is the day I’ll evade it (I recently slept in a hair mask that literally made me have a trail of non-stop breakouts on both my face and my neck for easily a week-plus), but, alas, that day still hasn’t arrived. With that in mind, I am extra cautious before I’ll take to testing new skin care, but I can safely say that these eight products I tried recently deliver the results—without the reactivity.
Orveda Healing Sap ($150)
This wasn’t my first time testing this botanical wonder, but, in all honesty, I hadn’t used it in a while until I saw the brand in-person last week when they were in from overseas. It’s hard to explain what it is, exactly, but I can best describe it as a lightweight, healing serum—dare I teeter on “primer”—that brightens and tones without a whole lot of fuss.
Dr. Timm Golueke doesn’t introduce new products without a ton of thoughtfulness so, when he does, take notice. The latest is simple, yet, as the name suggests, solutions-oriented, as it balances and helps the skin barrier via retinol, zinc, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and a whole bunch of other good-for-your-skin ingredients.
Cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson can do no wrong, but when he told me you could use this exfoliating AHA-BHA peel daily, I was a tad skeptical. Sorry for doubting you, Ron, you were right—it really is OK for even the most sensitive skin types, and you can visibly see results in about two days (extra bonus points for how big the actual pad is!). The only semi-scary thing is that it also showed me how much my regular cleanser was missing.
All I can say about this mix-it-yourself serum is WOW. This is a product that people will ask you what you’re using; I just finished my first bottle and I’m currently making moves to stockpile more.
This is another “wow” in my book and—for under $9—even if you don’t want to hear it from me, it’s worth a gamble. It’s silky, it’s smooth, and it’s a slam-dunk for helping with pore problems in a very gentle and refreshing way.
I already have some solid holy-grail tinted SPFs that I swear by so, as much as I love the category, I’m not always super excited to introduce new ones into the mix. This one is amazing—the kind of perfect formula that really does “look like your real skin only better.” The hardest part is finding the right shade (I’m a #5 and, as mentioned above, I’m pretty red), but once you get that part right, prepare to reap the benefits.
This one just sounds serious (and it is), but it’s also a godsend for that “strawberry leg” thing—and pretty much any other day-to-day basic body-on-the-skin-related skin conditions.
The word “polish” in relation to the face can put sensitive-skin types on the defense, but this smoothing, softening deep-cleansing variety is, in a word, “safe.”