Complete Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin, a common yet complex skin type, demands careful attention and specific care.

This skin type is often characterized by redness, itching, or burning. It could be due to a new moisturizer, a change in the weather, or even something you ate.

Managing sensitive skin thus requires a proper skincare routine. It should help calm irritation, protect the skin barrier from irritants, and help the skin heal—all without making it or you feel worse.

Understanding Sensitive Skin

People who know they have sensitive skin will react more strongly to substances that typically do not affect others. 

This increased sensitivity is often due to a weakened skin barrier, which means that the skin can lose moisture more quickly and is less effective at blocking irritants and allergens. 

The way sensitive skin reacts differs greatly from person to person. 

Many individuals may experience symptoms such as redness, itchiness, dry patches, and general discomfort.

Here are some factors that can cause skin sensitivity and trigger flare-ups.

  • Harsh Chemicals: Watch out for sulfates, alcohols, and fragrances in skincare products. They can strip away sebum from the skin and cause irritation.
  • Extreme Temperatures: Both sweltering heat and freezing cold can make dryness and irritation worse.
  • UV Rays: Sensitive skin needs extra sun protection. Since it is more prone to sunburn and damage, do not skimp on sunscreen.
  • Stress: It can increase oil production, leading to acne, trigger flare-ups in sensitive skin, and even accelerate skin aging.
  • Diet: Some foods, like dairy or spicy dishes, can cause skin reactions. Avoid eating them if they trigger skin issues.

Understanding your skin triggers can help you avoid irritants. 

Strengthening your skin barrier is key to keeping it healthy and resilient, and you can restore it with Kinskin Barrier Repair Oil.

Key Components of a Sensitive Skin Care Routine

Gentle and effective steps in any skincare regimen are key to managing sensitive skin. Stick to the basics like the following.

  • Cleansing
  • Moisturizing
  • Sun Protection

Together, these skin care practices form a solid foundation for a skincare routine that not only soothes and protects sensitive skin, but also promotes its long-term health.

First, we will discuss cleansing and why it is useful.


When it comes to sensitive skin, picking the right cleanser is crucial.

You should avoid anything with sulfates and alcohol, which can strip the skin of its natural oils.

Fragrances, parabens, and other harsh chemicals can also irritate sensitive skin. They can trigger reactions and make the skin feel worse.

Instead, look for cleansers that contain gentle hydrating agents like glycerin or allantoin. Kinship’s Naked Apple Gel Cleanser contains ingredients like glycerin to help you maintain moisture without causing irritation.

Lastly, use your fingertips or a soft cloth to gently apply cleanser. Avoid harsh scrubbing tools that may aggravate your skin.


Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and squalane help reinforce the skin's natural barrier and retain moisture without causing irritation, making them vital for moisturizers.

This is crucial for soothing and hydrating sensitive skin.

When choosing moisturizers, check the ingredient label for anti-inflammatory agents like niacinamide or aloe vera to soothe skin discomfort. 

Our Supermello Gel Cream Moisturizer contains several of the above-mentioned ingredients for a stronger skin barrier.

To get the most out of your moisturizer, apply it to damp skin. This helps lock in extra hydration.

Remember to apply the moisturizer using a gentle patting motion as well. This is because rubbing can irritate sensitive skin.

Sun Protection

Sun protection is especially important for sensitive skin, which is more prone to sunburn and UV damage.

Look for mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or iron oxide. Compared to chemical sunscreens, they are less likely to cause skin irritation.

Make sure you are also using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. This will provide you with the necessary protection against UVA and UVB rays.

For effective sun protection, apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Recommended Ingredients and Products


Sensitive skin does well with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and aloe vera. However, it is best to avoid alcohol, fragrances, and harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. 

Knowing what ingredients to look for and what to avoid not only helps manage the symptoms but also prevents potential skin irritation.

Beneficial Ingredients to Look For

  • Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient helps the skin's surface retain moisture. Hyaluronic acid helps boost hydration on the skin, making it appear plump and healthy.
  • Ceramides: Ceramides and fatty acids are examples of natural lipids. These help strengthen the skin barrier and protect it from irritants.
  • Niacinamide: This is an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It soothes redness, shrinks pores, lightens dark spots, and improves the texture of your moisture barrier.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is known for its soothing and hydrating properties. It soothes irritated skin and helps heal it.
  • Centella Asiatica (Cica): This extract helps reduce inflammation, promote wound healing, lighten dark spots, and improve skin barrier function.
  • Sunflower Seed Oil: Sunflower oil is typically safe for most skin types and is non-irritating. As a natural ingredient, it is less likely to cause a reaction to your skin.
  • Seaweed: Packed with minerals and antioxidants, seaweed is a superb hydrator for the skin. It not only moisturizes but also nourishes deeply, leaving the skin feeling soft and replenished.
  • Edelweiss Extract: This ingredient is known for shielding the skin from environmental irritants and harmful UV rays. It also encourages the regeneration of skin cells.
  • Shea Butter: Renowned for its moisturizing properties, shea butter is a go-to for long-lasting hydration. It makes the skin feel smooth and supple while also soothing any irritation.
  • Green Tea: Rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, green tea helps reduce skin redness and protects against environmental stressors.
  • Oatmeal: Natural colloidal oatmeal effectively soothes skin irritation and itching.
  • Witch Hazel: This mild astringent helps tighten pores and can reduce skin oiliness, but it should be used in moderation to avoid over-drying sensitive skin.

Ingredients to Avoid

  • Sulfates: These harsh cleansing agents can strip away natural oils and upset a sensitive skin barrier. They are effective but strip away too much oil.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol will also irritate and dry out skin. To spot hidden alcohol in products, check the ingredient list for terms like "denat," "isopropyl," or "ethyl."
  • Fragrances: While they make products smell lovely, artificial fragrances may irritate a sensitive skin barrier. Additionally, “fragrance-free” is different from “scent-free.” The former means the product does not have any additional scented ingredients, while the latter means the product may contain fragrances that cover up the smell of the other ingredients. Kinship’s products have fragrances, but they are all derived from natural ingredients.
  • Parabens: These preservatives can disrupt hormones and potentially irritate some individuals.
  • Coconut Oil: While natural, coconut oil may lead to clogged pores and cause breakouts in people with sensitive skin types. Opt for products with coconut water instead, as it helps in soothing the skin barrier.
  • Essential Oils and Botanical Extracts: If you have sensitive skin, it is best to avoid these, as they can cause dryness, irritation, and allergic reactions.

When shopping for skincare products, look for those specially formulated for sensitive skin. These may have labels such as "non-comedogenic" or "hypoallergenic."

These products tend to avoid harsh chemicals and instead contain soothing ingredients.

NOTE: A board-certified dermatologist can recommend specific products for your needs.

Step-by-Step Daily Routine for Sensitive Skin

A step-by-step daily routine for sensitive skin involves distinct morning and evening regimens tailored to the skin's varying needs.

Morning Routine

In the morning, you want to gently cleanse and prep your skin for the day with calming ingredients and SPF protection. 

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Use lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser. Avoid hot water since it can lead to greater water loss. Apply the cleanser with your fingertips in a soft, circular motion. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft towel.
  2. Hydrating Toner (Optional): Apply a plant-based toner with ingredients like arginine and jojoba esters to soothe the skin barrier.
  3. Serum Application: To reduce skin inflammation, use a soothing serum with ingredients like niacinamide or green tea extract. Opt for a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly.
  4. Moisturizing: Apply a lightweight, hypoallergenic moisturizer to avoid water loss and keep your skin hydrated. Some moisturizing serums already come with SPF protection for daytime use.
  5. Sun Protection: Finally, apply a mineral-based, broad-spectrum sunscreen on exposed patches of skin. This will protect your body against UVA and UVB rays.

Evening Routine

At night, it is all about removing makeup, cleansing again, and using richer products to help your skin repair and rejuvenate as you take your beauty sleep.

  1. Makeup Removal: For effective makeup removal, double cleanse your face. Start with an oil-based cleanser, then finish up with micellar water designed for sensitive skin.
  2. Cleanse: Repeat the morning cleansing routine to eliminate any impurities and the buildup of excess oils on your skin.
  3. Rehydrate with Toner: Toner balances the pH levels of your skin and removes leftover dirt, oil, and makeup after cleansing. It also readies your skin for anything you apply overnight.
  4. Targeted Treatments: Now, it is time to use any serums or specialized treatments labeled for night use. Colloidal oatmeal, for example, is ideal for spot treatment. 
  5. Intensive Moisturizing: For the final step, apply a rich moisturizer or night cream with ceramides or peptides to support skin barrier repair overnight.

Additional Sensitive Skincare Tips


Explore these additional tips on how to treat sensitive skin to enhance your daily skincare routine.

These guidelines help maintain healthy skin by preventing flare-ups and strengthening the skin's natural moisture barrier.

1.) Know Your Skin

Understanding your skin type is the first step. Skin types generally fall into the following categories.

  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Sensitive
  • Combination (T-zone)
  • Normal skin

Tailor your routine to meet your skin's specific needs.

NOTE: Kinship’s products are formulated to work for all skin types, and are suitable for sensitive skin.

2.) Patch Testing is Key

Introduce new products one at a time with a patch test to see if they cause any reactions. This way, you identify potential triggers and avoid overwhelming your skin barrier.

Apply a small amount of the product to your inner forearm and wait 24 hours.

3.) Simplify and Keep Consistent

Less is more for sensitive skin types. Stick to a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer, and a sunscreen as your base. Too many products can be irritating.

4.) Minimize Exfoliation

Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, but it is not a one-size-fits-all approach for people with sensitive skin types.

Avoid harsh scrubs and always patch-test new exfoliants, as they will destroy your skin barrier.

Limit exfoliation to once or twice a week using gentle chemical exfoliants like lactic acid, whether you have dry, combination, oily, or sensitive skin. 

Alternatively, you could use our Insta Swipe Exfoliating Pads for a more gentle experience.

5.) Pat Dry, Do Not Rub

After washing your face, pat it dry with a soft towel. Rubbing your skin after face washes can harm your skin's moisture barrier.

6.) Identify Your Triggers

Pay attention to what aggravates your skin sensitivity and avoid those triggers, whether they are certain foods, weather conditions, or skincare ingredients.

7.) Manage Stress

High stress can significantly worsen skin conditions. To manage stress, you can, practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.

8.) Keep Your Hands off Your Face

Avoid touching your face to prevent the transfer of dirt and bacteria to the surface of your skin. Excess dirt and irritants can further aggravate sensitive skin.

9.) Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out, which is especially important for sensitive skin prone to dryness.

10.) Incorporate Antioxidants

Products with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea can help soothe and protect people with sensitive skin types from environmental stressors.

11.) Use Hypoallergenic Makeup

For those who wear makeup often, opt for hypoallergenic products designed for sensitive skin, like Kinship’s. These products are much less likely to cause skin reactions and irritation.

12.) Wear Protective Clothing

When outdoors, wear clothing, hats, and sunglasses to protect your skin from environmental irritants and UV rays. This extra protection can help reduce exposure and flare-ups.

13.) Embrace Plant-Based Skincare

Dermatologists recommend plant-based skincare products as they are specifically formulated to suit everyone's skin. 

14.) Give Your Skin a Rest

Sometimes, despite precautions, your sensitive skin might react negatively. If this occurs, it is important to pause and give your skin a rest.

This means removing a recently introduced product from your skincare routine in order to allow your skin barrier to stabilize. If the irritation persists, consult a dermatologist.

15.) Regular Dermatologist Checks

Regular skin checks are a must. Schedule regular visits to a dermatologist to catch and treat skin issues early.

When to Consult a Dermatologist

Sensitive skin reacts more easily and is prone to inflammation. 

This means it is important to consult a board-certified dermatologist to seek guidance on safe product choices and effective treatment options.

If you experience any of the following issues, schedule a visit with a dermatologist.

  1. Persistent Symptoms: If you experience ongoing irritation, redness, or breakouts that do not improve with your usual skincare routine.
  2. Severe Reactions: If your skin reacts strongly to even the gentlest products, this may indicate extreme skin irritability.
  3. Ineffectiveness of Over-the-Counter Products: If you are experiencing severe or persistent skin conditions, a dermatologist can prescribe specialized treatments.
  4. Unclear Diagnosis: If you are unsure whether your skin issues are due to sensitivity or another underlying condition, a dermatologist can provide a precise diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This section answers common questions related to skincare routines for people with sensitive skin types.

Are Natural Products Better for Sensitive Skin?

The terms "natural" and "clean" on skincare products can be appealing, especially for people with sensitive skin, as they suggest the products are gentle.

However, these labels are not officially regulated, meaning there is no standard definition that companies must follow to use these terms.

In fact, even natural ingredients can cause irritations or allergic reactions to sensitive skin types.

It is important for people with sensitive skin to carefully check and understand the ingredients in these products rather than relying solely on these labels.

Which Natural Ingredient Is Best for Sensitive Skin?

Here are 12 of the best natural ingredients for sensitive skin, as discussed in this guide.

  1. Hyaluronic Acid
  2. Ceramides
  3. Niacinamide
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Centella Asiatica (Cica)
  6. Sunflower Seed Oil
  7. Seaweed
  8. Edelweiss Extract
  9. Shea Butter
  10. Green Tea
  11. Oatmeal
  12. Witch Hazel

Key Takeaways for Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin

Achieving excellent skin health is all about ensuring your skin functions at its best!

Taking care of sensitive skin requires a dedicated and responsive approach. That is why it is important to adjust skincare routines based on your skin's reaction to products and ingredients.

When it comes to sensitive skin, remember that what works for others may not necessarily work for you.

Consistency is key, so keep your routine simple with foundational steps such as cleansing, moisturizing, and using sunscreen. Kinship has everything you need for your skin care routine! 


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