Diary / Beauty / Jul 10, 2023
What is the Best Makeup for Sensitive Skin?
Written by: Piper Gray
Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson
Choosing makeup products for sensitive skin may seem challenging. If you’ve faced redness, breakouts, or uncomfortable inflammation, then you understand the importance of ingredients that don’t irritate your skin or cause additional reactions.
Before you even consider the right makeup for your sensitive skin, it’s important to identify and understand the culprits that could be contributing to the issue. These can be anything from genetics, ingredients in your current makeup or household products, environmental factors, and even skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea.
Let’s go over some tips on how to find the best makeup for sensitive skin.
Look for Clean Products
Clean products are designed to be gentler on the skin and less likely to cause allergic reactions or breakouts. Here at Jones Road Beauty, our lean, strategic, high-grade formulations adhere to guidelines that are even more stringent than the E.U. We have worked to eliminate over 2,700 potentially harmful ingredients from our formulas. Our products are free from phthalates, sulfates, and petrolatum, among a large list of other ingredients.
When looking for clean products, you’ll want to search for natural ingredients like jojoba oils and other plant oils, which are easily tolerated by those with dry, oily, or combination skin. Other ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, will attract and retain moisture in the skin. Look for ingredients and products that purport to be gentle, and steer clear of anything too abrasive or fast-acting.
Even with the cleanest ingredients, it’s still smart to test any products before applying to your face. Apply a small amount of your new product to your inner arm or behind your ear, and wait at least 24 hours.
If any irritation or reactions were to occur, it would be during this time. If, after some trial and error, or if your skin is particularly sensitive to begin with, a dermatologist can help you figure out which products are best for your skin and won’t provoke your allergies.
Begin With a Clean Slate
Applying makeup to clean skin is important to achieving a flawless, long-lasting look while keeping your skin healthy and free of irritation. No matter the makeup look you are going for, it’s important to prep your face with a makeup remover and cleanser to ensure all other skincare products you apply will adhere better and last longer throughout the day.
If makeup is applied to skin that’s oily or hasn’t yet been cleansed, it can clog pores and lead to inflammation or breakouts, something you want to avoid with sensitive skin (or any skin, for that matter). This can also cause your makeup to smudge, flake, or not properly stay put, which can make your makeup look patchy or cakey.
Applying makeup to clean skin allows ingredients to work more efficiently. If you apply makeup over a layer of oil or dirt, ingredients meant to nourish and moisturize your skin will not penetrate the skin effectively, leaving them unable to do their job.
Do you have acne-prone skin? Using a cleanser before applying makeup is essential to avoid trapping dirt and oil beneath the surface. When it comes to ensuring your skin is clean and ready for makeup, use our Cleansing Stick to gently wash away makeup and impurities without sapping moisture from your skin, leaving your face feeling clean with no irritation.
From there, apply your moisturizer and sun protection—bonus points if your moisturizer includes SPF (aim for broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher)—and your skin’s canvas is ready.
Best Makeup for Sensitive Skin
Now that we’ve laid down the basics, let’s explore how to choose the best makeup for sensitive skin and some of our favorite recommendations for your skin type
1. Build up your base
Before anything else and after you’ve prepped your skin, we recommend that you apply foundation as your base layer. (Yep, even before concealer.) When it comes to sensitive skin, it’s imperative to look for products that are formulated for your skin type. Or even if they don’t specify that they suit sensitive skin, then do a little research on the ingredients to see if they are gentle enough. This is important for every cleanser, moisturizer, or makeup item but especially for products that you’re most likely going to apply over a larger surface area.
With that in mind, of course we’re also going to recommend our What the Foundation. This tinted moisture balm slash traditional foundation is buildable and blendable, offering light to medium coverage for a seamless, even finish. Not everyone with sensitive skin will want to apply as much coverage as a foundation offers, but if you do, then WTF is a great place to start.
With 12 shades, there’s an option to cover any skin concerns you may have. We recommend having a summer shade, on the slightly darker side, and winter shade, for when your skin is lighter, so you can match exactly no matter the season. This foundation also contains nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil and sodium hyaluronate. Jojoba oil is easily absorbed by the skin, providing moisture and protection. It is well tolerated by all skin types and rich in antioxidants, which helps support the skin in counteracting environmental damage. Sodium hyaluronate works by attracting and retaining moisture in the skin, which helps your skin stay hydrated, which will in turn help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Again, those with extra sensitive skin may want to forgo using foundation and only want to touch up or target specific areas where they need extra coverage. Our Face Pencil is a multi-purpose pencil that you can build to correct and conceal for a natural-looking finish. (It suitably covers redness and spots on its own, but it also pairs seamlessly with WTF or your foundation of choice.) Containing shea butter, a rich plant extract that can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the pencil is easy to apply, allowing you to spot-correct blemishes as needed.
We recommend using two or even three shades since your skin tone may vary across your face. Look for the shade that disappears on your cheek and the shade that disappears on your forehead; our quiz can help you find the perfect hues for you.
2. Add back in color
If your skin is red or suffering from blemishes, you’re probably focused on counteracting those signs of irritation, but it’s important to add back in dimension and natural-looking warmth once you’ve color-corrected.
Look no further than Miracle Balm, which can tint, highlight, or bronze your skin. It also includes hydrating jojoba oil that gives your skin moisture and replenishes the fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals your skin needs.
If you are looking for powdered formulations, The Best Blush and The Bronzer come in several hues that suit all skin tones. Plus, they are silky, sheer, and buildable, which allows you to control how much pigment you want to add. Use them on their own or layer over our Miracle Balm for extra radiance.
If you’ve been primarily focused on color-correcting your most sensitive spots, then you may want to impart a subtle glow to counteract any matte areas so your complexion doesn’t look flat or dull. In that case, our Shimmer Face Oil contains jojoba oil and will give your skin extra radiance without feeling heavy. It is easily applied with a brush or your fingertips; just tap wherever you want a little extra dimension and sheen. Use with your other products or on its own for a natural, no-makeup look.
3. Focus on your eyes
Sensitive skin types may experience sensitivity beyond the face, especially around the delicate eye area. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip applying products to your eyes. In fact, giving your eyes dimension and definition is a sure way to make your complexion look healthy and lively—which can sometimes feel elusive if your skin feels uncomfortable and irritated.
So when it comes to eye makeup, our Mascara is free of harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances, and will give your lashes buildable length and volume.
The curved wand will capture the baby lashes in the corners of your eyes and lengthen your lashes on the outside of your eyes. It contains vitamin E and carnauba wax, which means this mascara is easy to take off at the end of the day and you won’t have to deal with itching.
Feel like taking it a step further and lining your eyes? Our Best Pencil is a gentle, non-irritating eyeliner that’s perfect for sensitive eyes. Packed with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and cottonseed oil, it is gentle on the delicate eye area. The formulation provides a smooth, precise line that lasts all day, with no tugging, irritation, or discomfort. For a soft look, smudge the eyeliner into your eyeshadow with your finger or The Eyeliner Brush. For more definition, shape up the pencil point with The Sharpener and apply it as is in a graphic line.
4. Lastly, the lips
Lips often feel the brunt of sensitive skin. Anyone who’s dealt with dry skin from wintry temperatures, medications, or more knows this well. Maintaining moisturized lips is so important
For a healthy flush of color, wear our conditioning Cool Gloss alone for a natural look, or layer over lipstick for more shine. But if you’re searching for a more traditional take on lip color, our Lip Tint is a buildable lipstick that can stay sheer or layer for a bolder look. Containing castor seed oil, this emollient will moisturize and soften the skin. It can help prevent dryness and chapping while providing a protective barrier against the elements.
The Bottom Line
It can be a challenge to select makeup for sensitive skin, but with Jones Road Beauty, you won’t have to worry. Our clean, cruelty-free makeup and skincare products are designed to be gentle for sensitive skin types and are made with nourishing ingredients that are high-performing, comfortable, and easy to incorporate into your routine. We’ve got everything you need to create whatever look you want, no matter how sensitive your skin.