The Beauty Ingredients Sensitive Skin Loves

Everyone’s suffered a bit of skin sensitivity every now and again, but actually ‘having’ sensitive skin is a whole different story. Thousands of women (and men) think they have it, but just because a certain ingredient or product irritates your skin, this doesn’t make your skin ‘sensitive’ per se.

When it comes to diagnosing sensitive skin, derms look for skin reactions such as bumps or pustules, extreme dryness and a tendency towards flushing. These reactions can be caused by anything from skin disorders like eczema and rosacea, to extremes in weather and even your genes. And if you suffer with sensitivity you’ll also be well aware that your diet, as well as the products you put on your skin play a major role in keeping it under control.

This is what sensitive skin is and this is where we come in: helping you find ingredients to incorporate into your skincare plan by going to the experts who know best.

“There are so many phenomenal ingredients out there for sensitive skin,” explains Zanoli Kozlowski, National Director of Education and Training at ZO Skin Health.

“The right ones can be comforting, can reduce irritation and even help repair the barrier to strengthen the skin and reduce future reactions.”

Here is a list of her favorite ingredients to look out for when purchasing your next skin-soothing solutions for your beauty plan – and why they’re so essential for the health of sensitive skin…

Avena Sativa

“This oat derivate is a great ingredient for soothing and calming inflamed skin as it forms a natural film barrier to protect the skin’s outer layers. Like the sun, inflammation is the skin’s enemy as it can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, premature aging and much, much more,” explains Zanoli.


“Beta-glucan is a natural plant extract and makes the skin stronger and more resistant to inflammation, irritation and other external damage. It also aids in sunburn recovery and helps moisturize the skin.”

Barrier Replenishers

“The barrier function of the skin is extremely important, and using ingredients that help restore it is essential. When the barrier is functioning properly, products penetrate better and skin becomes stronger, more tolerant to irritation and heals faster,” explains Zanoli.

“Barrier-replenishing ingredients include ceramides, glycerin, shea butter and squalane. Ceramides are lipids that make up your natural moisturizing factor; glycerin is a humectant that attracts water from within the skin and the ambient atmosphere; shea butter is a rich source of antioxidants and emollients, and squalene relieves dry, irritated skin and replenishes essential lipids.”

Canadian Willowherb

“This is a wonderful ingredient for sensitive, acne-prone skin. It reduces damage from oxidative stress and provides fast relief from skin irritation.”

Broccoli Extract

“As well as calming and soothing the skin, this reduces chronic skin sensitivity and UV-induced inflammation.”

Buddleja Stem Cells

“Plant stem cells are potent, multipurpose cells that aid renewal and regeneration when a plant has been subjected to environmental stress. In skincare they act as phenomenal anti-irritants that also double up as antioxidants,” says Zanoli.

“It’s very important to ensure enough antioxidants are used in anyone’s skincare routine as these prevent an increase in free radicals which can cause irritation and inflammation.”

Written by: Georgia Gould