Skincare for Sensitive Skin… on a budget!

Skincare for Sensitive Skin… on a budget!

Hi everyone! I’m Andy from A Certain Romance and I’m super excited to be guest posting on Swatch and Review while Julie is off hugging koalas and shopping for exciting beauty bits in Australia! I’m also really excited to share something that is very close to my heart with you all today: skincare for sensitive skin.

I love trying new products, as you’d expect, but new skincare routines and extremely sensitive skin don’t mix well. I like to tweak my skincare routine fairly often, and as a result I find myself sitting in my doctor’s office more often than I’d like, with an itchy rash rapidly spreading from my face to my neck, begging for one more tube of cortisone cream.

There was one particularly bad incident this year (involving a much-hyped moisturizer) that left me so sore and swollen that my mum did not recognize me. Bad times. Thankfully, I have finally found a few products that work for both my sensitive skin and my grad student’s budget. I’m always trying out new things, but in recent months these have been my skincare staples, and I always end up going back to them.

Sensitive Skincare

The elusive “just right” moisturizers

A good moisturizer is essential. It’s the kind of thing I’m willing to spend money on. But a good moisturizer is hard to find. Moisturizers are always too rich, too watery, too strongly scented, too expensive…or they just give me a red, itchy rash. When I find a moisturizer that is both affordable, effective and suitable for my sensitive skin, I get a little excited. I’m more than a little excited about a fairly recent purchase – the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly by Indeed Laboratories. Although not the most moisturizing of moisturizers, it’s ideal for the warmer months, and for those who can’t use strongly scented products. It’s completely clear and scent-free, very lightweight, and the container is hygienic (albeit a little gimmicky): the jelly is dispensed through a very cool pump-like system, so you don’t have to stick your grubby fingers in the product to scoop it out.

Another moisturizer I’ve been loving lately is the Amie Morning Light Hydrathing Daily Moisturiser*. It’s affordable, and I can’t get enough of the scent. While it’s rather heavily fragranced, it’s made with “skin-friendly natural extracts” (according to the packaging). I was pleasantly surprised when I tested it out for several weeks without any reaction to it at all (a first for a scented product!). It’s refreshing to be able to enjoy something a little more scented than usual, so I’ve been using it every single day since receiving it.

The (gentle) pore cleaning products

If you’ve ever read one of my favourites posts, you will know that the Lush Tea Tree Water toner is a favourite of mine. It’s one of those products that I repurchase over and over again. Despite the fact that I would normally avoid anything made with tea tree oil like the plague, this toner is surprisingly gentle and refreshing.

As for face masks, anyone with sensitive skin will tell you that they’re always a bit of a gamble. The Origins Clear Improvement charcoal mask is the way to go. It’s not abrasive, and it works like a charm. It clears up my pores in under ten minutes and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry and tight. Be careful not too leave it on too long though, I find that it becomes unbearably tingly around the 10 minutes mark.

The morning and night cleansers

Until recently, I preferred to entirely avoid exfoliating beads, but you can’t beat that squeaky clean feeling, so in the morning I cleanse with Amie Radiant Dawn Exfoliating Wash*. The beads dissolve quickly into a lovely lather and they’re not too harsh on the skin. I’ve used it daily for over a month now, and it really is a great face wash. If your skin can’t handle the cheap exfoliating cleansers, this exfoliating wash might do the trick.

To remove my makeup, I love using The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter. It’s a skin-soothing cleansing balm that melts makeup away in seconds and leaves my skin feeling soft and protected. If you want to avoid stripping your skin bare (and the subsequent tight, red, and itchy skin) this winter, I highly recommend trying this out. I adore the cleansing oil from this range too.

The perfect range for skin emergencies

During my latest visit to the pharmacy (to pick up a prescription of cortisone cream…again), my pharmacist introduced me to the Avène Eau Thermale Trixéra+ Selectiose range. It’s formulated especially for people with very, very sensitive/dry/atopic skin. The emollient cleansing gel is especially great. It’s incredibly gentle, so gentle in fact that you can use it even when your skin begins to flare up from an allergic reaction to other products. I keep a few samples of this at home, but I’m seriously thinking of investing in the whole range.

Thank you again Julie for having me!

Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to hear about your current skincare routine, especially if you suffer from sensitive skin!

Disclaimer: What works for me may not work for you. Please don’t blame me (or Julie!) if anything goes wrong!
* Press sample

  • ! i did not know indeed did a moisturizer! it looks really interesting.

    • I’m all over it, because pretty packaging and gimmicky dispenser and also, very gentle on the skin!

  • that origins mask sounds amazing

    • It’s so efficient, and it’s quite gentle, I don’t get any redness from it at all 🙂

  • Thanks for kicking off my guest post extravaganza, Andy!

    • The pleasure is all mine! Thank you so much for having me! I hope you’re not too jetlagged and that you’re having a fabulous time! Instagram me some koalas 😉

  • Great picks, Andy! I’m such a huge fan of that Body Shop cleansing butter and Lush’s toners really are fab 🙂

    • Thanks Jennifer! I really want to try the rose water Lush toner next, I’ve heard amazing things about it!

  • I am in love with the Chamomile Cleansing Oil…so much so that I don’t know if I could tear myself away from it to try the cleansing butter no matter how much I want to, haha!

    • The oil is pretty great, but I love the butter because I can clean it off with a really hot flannel! It feels AMAZING :D!

  • I really want to try that chamomile cleansing butter! Great post, and your blog is awesome!

  • These sound like great products. I really like the Amie line, it’s very gentle, yet not too hydrating for my combo skin.