Finding the right skincare products and routine for sensitive skin can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience. Take it from someone who has encountered a fair share of bumps, redness and stinging from products that were just too harsh on my skin. After bouts of fruitless experimenting with luxurious creams and expensive serums, I’ve come full circle to realise that my skin really works best with a simple routine. So from one sensitive girl to another, here’s an affordable but gentle skincare routine with effective products that you can plug into your current regime.
1. Round A’Round Greentea Pure Cleansing Foam 150ml, $17.30
Why It’s Great: Ingredients are rated green on the EWG scale so it has a low risk of causing irritation, pH-balancing
I’m always looking for cleansers that are slightly acidic to match the skin’s natural pH (pH 4 to 6). A deviation from this magical range could trigger redness, flaky skin and acne — and that’s the last thing I want for my already sensitive skin. This cleanser rings in between 5.5 to 6.5 on the pH scale which is perfect for keeping the skin’s outer layer balanced. And despite being named a ‘Cleansing Foam’, the texture is really more of a translucent gel and foaming is mild. The cleanser comes with a bubble maker though, so you can use it to create some bubbly foam! I find this cleanser to be gentle and effective, without leaving my skin feeling tight afterwards.
2. Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Facial Toner 180ml, $26.90
Why It’s Great: Free from fragrances and essential oils, has soothing plant-based extracts
After cleansing the skin, it’s time to apply a toner to prep the skin for layering on other products. These two from Dear, Klairs need no introduction. The original supple preparation toner has been a long-time favourite for many and its unscented counterpart has the exact same formula, sans essential oils. I personally use the unscented one, and was slightly apprehensive about trying the original one but I’m happy to report that I have no new zits or irritation! If you are allergic or sensitive to essential oils, definitely give the unscented version a go for a soothing and hydrating toner that won’t irritate your skin.
3. Bring Green Artemisia Calming Intensive Serum 40ml, $30.20
Why It’s Great: contains 70% Artemis Capillaris Thunberg extract to immediately soothe and reduce redness
This calming serum is a godsend for stressed and easily irritated skin (like mine!) This serum contains two kinds of complex: a 5-vegetable one that is excellent for hydration and another calming complex to reduce inflammation. I apply this day and night after toner and it soothes any redness, blemishes and delivers a good dose of hydration to my skin. The consistency of this serum is thick and gel-like but it absorbs into the skin easily, leaving it super smooth and luminous.
4. I’m From Mugwort Cream 50g, $44.90
Why It’s Great: formulated with 73.55% Mugwort to calm and nourish the skin
Mugwort was a star ingredient in K-beauty not too long ago, and understandably so. It boasts antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties to heal and soothe skin. This cream has an airy, whipped texture and glides on the skin smoothly. There’s also a faint earthy smell to it–I assume it’s the mugwort–but I don’t mind it at all. I find it a little sticky (but not the oily, uncomfortable kind) immediately after, but giving it a few minutes to absorb always does the trick. Afterwards, my skin always feels plump and rejuvenated.
Tip: Keep this jar of cream in the fridge. It feels so refreshing applying the cool cream to your skin, especially in Singapore’s warmth and humidity.
And that’s it for this simple, gentle skincare routine! Finish off with an affordable, effective sunscreen in the morning, and your favourite eye cream in the evening.
Having sensitive skin can be tricky. I’ve definitely dived into expensive and high-end brands in hopes of banishing my skin woes (with some success); but I always appreciate finding skin saviours in places that won’t scorch a hole in my full-time-student-pocket. While everyone has different skin needs, the four products above are a few that have worked comfortably on my sensitive skin, sans hefty price tag — and I hope you find a humble hero in them too!
This article is brought to you in partnership with Guardian Singapore.