Dermatologists do not classify sensitive skin as an official skin type. Instead, sensitive skin is associated with skin barrier disturbances and increased reactiveness to external factors.
Sensitive skin reacts easily to cold weather, humid air, sunlight, harsher chemicals, and allergens. It is often irritated, red, and even swollen. Sensitive skin can also be dry and flaky.
Medically speaking, sensitive skin can manifest itself in two forms: objective and subjective.
The objective form of sensitive skin is basic dermatitis which involves visible skin barrier disturbances and clinical lesions such as erythema, papules, and vesicles.
In the subjective form, you may only experience the symptoms of sensitive skin without visible dermatitis. The subjective form is usually self-diagnosed.
Whichever form of sensitive skin you have, its constant tantrums can be frustrating. But luckily, there is vegan skincare out there to keep sensitive skin under control.
Vegan skincare is not better for sensitive skin by default. But many vegan skincare products are specially formulated to be gentle, hypoallergenic, and irritation-free.
Here are our suggestions for vegan skincare for sensitive skin. Find our selection of hypoallergenic vegan skincare for sensitive skin and sensitized skin.
The Body Shop
Vegan Products For Sensitive Skin
Best Vegan Skincare Brands For Sensitive Skin
Here are our favorite brands that carry the best vegan skincare for sensitive skin. Enjoy clean and fragrance-free vegan skincare for sensitive skin.
Canadian company Skinfix offers the best vegan skincare for sensitive skin. Their products are clean, dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free, and essential oil-free.
Skinfix focuses on repairing the dysfunctioning skin barrier with ceramides and lipids. Their skincare is also great for replenishing dry sensitive skin and supporting the skin’s microbiome.
While Skinfix is not fully vegan, these bestselling products are vegan and perfect for protecting, preparing, and calming sensitive skin:
- Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream: Amazon, Sephora
- Barrier+ Foaming Oil Hydrating Cleanser: Amazon, Sephora
- Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Hyaluronate Serum: Amazon, Sephora
Pai Skincare is a British organic vegan skincare brand made for sensitive skin. With gentle formulas, Pai tackles skin sensitivities with natural plant-based ingredients.
We love their gentle vegan moisturizer with chamomile and rosehip along with their camellia and rose cleanser. Together, they calm sensitive skin down and reduce redness.
PS Pai also offers free skincare consultations, so you can ask for more advice from their experts. Their skincare is always vegan and fragrance-free, only some products use essential oils.
- The Anthemis Soothing Moisturiser: Amazon, US Site, UK Site
- Middlemist Seven Gentle Cream Cleanser: Amazon, US Site, UK Site
- Century Flower Soothing Tonic: Amazon, US Site, UK Site
- The Light Fantastic Ceramide Face Oil: Amazon, US Site, UK Site
What does sensitive skin need? Protective ceramides. Pacifica Beauty has launched its very first fragrance-free vegan skincare collection to sensitive skin that deserves all our love.
The ceramide line is loaded with barrier-restoring ceramides, soothing calendula, and oat. The collection has an amazing barrier-restoring face cream, eye cream, cleanser, and serum.
The gentle ceramide collection is even endorsed by the Eczema Association. Pacifica is also 100% vegan, so enjoy their affordable vegan skincare.
- Vegan Ceramide Barrier Face Cream: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Vegan Ceramide Extra Gentle Face Wash: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Vegan Ceramide Barrier Eye Cream: Amazon, Ulta, Official Site
- Vegan Ceramide Barrier Face Serum: Ulta, Official Site
Though Andalou is not a fully vegan brand, their bestselling 1000 Roses collection for sensitive skin is vegan. And we love this collection.
Made with rose stem cells and aloe vera, their 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream is our favorite vegan moisturizer for sensitive skin. It is super silky and hydrates sensitive skin well.
We love almost everything from this line. Combine their vegan moisturizer with the night cream, serum, and cleansing foam, and enjoy a simple, soothing regimen.
- Sensitive 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream: Amazon, Official Site
- Sensitive 1000 Roses Heavenly Night Cream: Amazon, Official Site
- Sensitive 1000 Roses Absolute Serum: Amazon, Official Site
- Sensitive 1000 Roses Cleansing Foam: Amazon, Official Site
KraveBeauty offers wonderful vegan skincare for sensitive skin. The Korean-inspired skincare brand is fully vegan and free of fragrance and essential oils.
We love their water-based day cream for sensitive skin. It is made with less than 9 ingredients and enriched with oat to soothe and gently nourish sensitive skin.
For nighttime, try the Matcha Hemp Hydrating cleanser. It calms the skin and also cleans away dirt, makeup, and sunscreen. We love that the cleanser does not leave the skin tight at all.
- Oat So Simple Water Cream: Amazon, Official Site
- Great Barrier Relief Serum: Amazon, Official Site
- Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser: Amazon, Official Site
Drunk Elephant is a safe choice when looking for fragrance-free vegan skincare for sensitive skin. They offer clean formulas that are free of silicones, fragrances, essential oils, and SLS.
Their Jelly Cleanser with plant-based glycerin takes gentle care of sensitive skin. It does not dry the skin out and improves the skin condition after routine use.
It’s a good idea to pair the cleanser with Lala Retro ceramide moisturizer and B-Hydra Hydration Serum. Many serums can aggravate sensitivity but this one soothes it instead.
We can also recommend Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Oil when dealing with sensitivity as well as dryness. It absorbs quickly and lets the skin breathe.
- Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer: Amazon, Sephora
- Jelly Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser: Amazon, Sephora
- B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: Amazon, Sephora
- Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil: Amazon, Sephora
The Body Shop
The Body Shop is well-known for its good quality products at a reasonable price. And today, a vast majority of their products are vegan.
For sensitive skin, we recommend combining their Aloe skincare line products with their Chamomile gentle makeup removers. Both lines are tailored to sensitive skin.
The Chamomile collection concentrates only on the eye area and is made with calming chamomile oil. Aloe line offers every other product essential for sensitive skin.
- Aloe Soothing Day Cream: Amazon, Official Site
- Aloe Calming Toner: Amazon, Official Site
- Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter: Amazon, Official Site
Best Vegan Skincare Products For Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin should opt for skincare solutions with short and simple ingredient lists. These are our favorite vegan skincare products for sensitive skin in 2023.
Best Vegan Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin
Andalou 1000 Roses is the best vegan moisturizer for sensitive skin. We especially love its lightweight and velvety texture. It calms the skin with aloe vera and rose stem cells. Vitamins and fatty acids from rosehip oil and pomegranate gently nourish and improve sensitive skin.
Best Vegan Serum For Sensitive Skin
The bestselling Great Barrier Relief Serum was made with skin sensitivity in mind. In fact, its main goal is to fix the broken skin barrier. This vegan serum uses a combination of actives and nourishing plant oils like Tamanu oil soothe and restore sensitive skin.
Best Vegan Cleanser For Sensitive Skin
Middlemist Seven is our all-time favorite vegan cleanser for sensitive skin. Made with soothing camellia and rose, it gives the skin a mild but thorough cleanse while protecting the skin’s PH balance. The cleanser comes with a gentle cleansing cloth that sensitive skin will love.
Best Vegan Toner For Sensitive Skin
We love this vegan aloe toner from The Body Shop. It calms and soothes sensitive skin while its healing and hydrating ingredients provide protection. The soft liquid also helps reinforce a healthy skin barrier that is often compromised in sensitive skin types.
Best Vegan Face Oil For Sensitive Skin
Emerald is a cult-favorite CBD face oil that comes highly recommended for sensitive skin. It has currently two versions available – one made with CBD and other with hemp seed oil. In both cases, the vegan oil soothes and de-stresses sensitive skin beautifully.
Best Vegan Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin tends to have an even more sensitive eye area. That’s why our top pick for vegan eye cream for sensitive skin is this safe vegan ceramide cream. The lightweight cream is dermatologist tested, it hydrates the skin and protects it from the environment.
Best Vegan Face Mask For Sensitive Skin
Purito has made the best vegan face mask for sensitive skin. The sleeping pack soothes and repairs the skin with vegan ceramides, vegan squalane, and Centella Asiatica extract. It reduces inflammation and offers to replenish hydration for sensitive skin.
Best Vegan Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin needs a gentle mineral sunscreen like this one. The Goddess Garden is effective, broad-spectrum, and made with chemical-free minerals like zinc. The daily vegan sunscreen is also reef-safe, sheer, breathable, and water-resistant.
Best Vegan Skincare Kit For Sensitive Skin
Honest Beauty’s vegan skincare kit for sensitive skin is great. It has a calming vegan moisturizer, vegan serum, and gentle vegan serum for a minimalist and soothing skincare routine. Honest Beauty does not use any artificial fragrances and their products mainly use organic ingredients.
Best Vegan Skincare Ingredients For Sensitive Skin
With sensitive skin, key ingredients are more important than complicated formulas. These are the best vegan skincare ingredients for sensitive skin.
- Ceramides – Ceramides are naturally occurring protective lipids that help repair the dysfunctioning skin barrier and make sensitive skin less reactive. In skincare, ceramides are usually vegan. See more vegan ceramide skincare.
- Fatty acids – Fatty acids such as omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and crucial for building a healthy skin barrier for sensitive skin. They also reduce the skin’s UV sensitivity. Great vegan fatty acids for sensitive skin are argan, marula, rosehip, and jojoba oil.
- Glycerin – Glycerin is a humectant that is good for hydrating and protecting sensitive skin. Glycerin is also anti-inflammatory. Glycerin can be both vegan and animal-derived. See more vegan glycerin skincare.
- CBD oil – CBD and hemp seed oil have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the appearance of skin irritation, redness, and swelling. They are also widely used in healing psoriasis or eczema.
- Colloidal oatmeal – Colloidal oatmeal is one of the top ingredients for soothing sensitive skin. It’s rich in protein and lipids and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aloe – Aloe is a natural healer that can calm inflamed skin and reduce itching. It promotes skin healing and keeps sensitive skin comfortable and soothed.
- Calendula – Calendula has been long used for calming and soothing sensitive skin. High in polyphenols, it has high anti-inflammatory and skin de-stressing abilities.
- Rose – Anti-inflammatory rosewater is also ideal for soothing sensitive skin. Rose water can relieve dryness, flaking, and redness, and even treat mild acne, rosacea, and eczema.
What To Look For In Vegan Skincare For Sensitive Skin
When finding vegan skincare for sensitive skin, be extra careful and browse through the ingredient list. Many skincare products are marketed to sensitive skin but can still include irritants such as fragrances.
Fragrances, essential oils, and alcohol are big no-nos for sensitive skin. As skin sensitivities usually stem from a dysfunctioning skin barrier, fragrance can irritate and break the skin barrier even further. Just in case, also keep away from additives like silicones or SLS.
If your sensitive skin is more on the oily side, avoid products that can clog your pores. Look for lighter water-based formulas and avoid rich oils and vitamin E. If your sensitive skin is dry, make sure to replenish it with loads of ceramides and fatty acids.
In addition to repairing your skin barrier, keep your skin protected. Give your skin healthy antioxidants and wear mineral vegan sunscreen daily. Stick to a simple skincare routine and do not shock your skin with new products every month.
When buying a new vegan skincare product for sensitive skin, we recommend patch testing first. Find a region of skin that is hidden away from the eye and try the new product out. Wait for 24 hours and see if the irritation occurs.
Since ‘dermatologically tested’ does not necessarily mean the product is safe for sensitive skin. The term ‘hypoallergenic’ is often meaningless as well. Thus, it’s best to browse through product reviews and see what other people with sensitive skin have said about the product.
Keep in mind that your skin can also be sensitized by outside factors. On top of choosing the right skincare, evaluate your lifestyle, diet, stress levels, and potential environmental irritants that can contribute to sensitive skin.
If you want to check the safety of different vegan skincare ingredients and products, we suggest running the products or ingredients through the CosDNA database. It’s a good way to assess how potentially comedogenic or irritant the product could be for your skin.
Best Vegan Skincare Routine For Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin needs a simple and consistent skincare routine. Cleansing, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen should do. Be careful with exfoliation and potent facial treatments.
Sensitive skin should use a gentle fragrance-free vegan cleanser. Your cleanser must not strip the skin of moisture and harm your skin barrier. Cleansing your skin once a day can be enough.
A good vegan moisturizer for sensitive skin uses ingredients that can repair your skin barrier and stimulate the healing process. These usually include ceramides and colloidal oatmeal.
The safest vegan sunscreen for sensitive skin is mineral-based and made with zinc oxide. Chemical sunscreens can be irritating, so it is best to stay clear of those.
FAQ About Vegan Skincare For Sensitive Skin
The best vegan-friendly ingredients for oily skin include vegan ceramides, vegan fatty acids, CBD, colloidal oatmeal, aloe, green tea, chamomile, and vegan glycerin.
You can find the best selection of vegan skincare for sensitive skin from the skincare brands like Drunk Elephant, Pacifica Beauty, Pai Skincare, and Sukin.
The best vegan moisturizer for sensitive skin is Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Beautiful Day Cream. It has gentle plant-based ingredients like aloe vera and alpine rose stem cells.
You will find the best selection of vegan skincare for sensitive skin online – especially on Amazon and Sephora.
If you are looking for hypoallergenic vegan skincare for sensitive skin, we hope you found some inspiration from this article.
Keep in mind to choose clean and non-irritant vegan ingredients and stay away from alcohol, fragrances, and other skin-drying additives.
Cleanse gently, replenish sensitive skin with a vegan moisturizer, and by any means – do not forget to use vegan mineral sunscreen daily.
Article update on May 02 (2023): Fact checked and medically reviewed by MD Shimona Garg
Article update on February 17 (2023): Added more references
Article update on February 10 (2023): Added Skinfix to the list of best vegan skincare brands for sensitive skin. Picked a new vegan skincare set as our previous Derma E set was discontinued. Included a reference to our article for best fragrance-free vegan skincare.
Article update on February 20 (2023): Expanded the introduction with more information about the objective and subjective classifications of sensitive skin