Saturday, January 25, 2014

Best Skincare Brands for Sensitive Skin

[As published on HERE]

Last week, we shared some tips on how to care for your sensitive skin. You’ve got the knowledge, and now you need the tools to help you achieve smooth, baby-soft skin that’s free from redness, rashes and irritation.

Here are Emmagem’s top picks of the best skincare brands that are sensitive skin-friendly:

Budget-friendly Skincare
Price: RM20 to RM60
This UK-based brand has been going strong since 1960, and all their products are free from dyes and artificial perfumes, and are thus safe for sensitive skin. The products contain skin-loving ingredients like Pro-vitamin B5 (a great moisturiser), Vitamin E (promoted skin elasticity) and Almond Oil (a non-greasy, fast-penetrating moisturiser), to name a few. Simple also advocates a ‘no animal testing’ philosophy.


This is probably one of the most overlooked ‘underdog’ skincare brands. People usually turn to Cetaphil only when they need it (ie. serious flare-ups, allergies). The packaging is nothing to shout about, but the Gentle Skin Cleanser has been around for decades, and is also safe for use on children suffering from eczema. Although it has received some negative comments because of its use of parabens like methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben, the number of awards Cetaphil has received (as recently as InStyle Best Beauty Buys 2013) proves that the formula still works wonders.

Hada Labo
Produced by Mentholatum USA (makers of Lipice) and Rohto Japan (makers of contact lens solution Rohto-C), Hada Labo prides itself as a brand that sticks to the very basics of skincare. Its philosophy is straightforward, evident from the tagline ‘perfect and simple’. Therefore, Hada Labo products contain NO additives, colourants, fragrance and mineral oil. Its star ingredient, Super Hyaluronic Acid, is said to be twice as powerful as conventional Hyaluronic Acid in terms of moisture-locking benefits. With 1 bottle sold every 4 seconds in Japan, we’re not surprised.

Mid-range Skincare
Price: RM70 to RM130
Skin sensitivity presents itself in different ways, and Eucerin is quick to address this topic with a wide selection of solutions, specially formulated to target each concern effectively. There are products for all skin types (oily, dry, normal), covering all areas from face to body. Eucerin is also against animal testing, preferring the more human alternative of clinical and volunteer testing instead.

French thermal spring water is widely known as a miracle cure for all sorts of skin-related ailments. Avene’s history goes way back in time: in 1736, a horse in the small town of Avene, France, was left for dead due to a severe skin disease. It found a thermal spring and drank from it. Soon after, the horse’s skin disease was cured, and that was how people discovered the healing power of spring water. Now, people can also visit the Avene Hydrotherapy Center in France to experience the cure for themselves.

This is another French skincare brand that harnesses the power of thermal spring water. Thermal water contains high levels of mineral salts and trace elements, and its isotonic properties make it extremely compatible with our skin. Benefits of thermal water include: anti-inflammatory, anti-free radical effect, healing, soothing and more. Uriage is available at Guardian outlets, and carries a wide range of products from anti-ageing to whitening skincare.

Luxe Skincare
Price: RM150 and beyond
Founder Jane Wurwand created Dermalogica in 1986 after realising no other brand agreed with her belief of skin health at the time. She wanted products that were free from common irritants like lanolin, SD alcohol, mineral oil, artificial colours and fragrances. Due to her background as a skin therapist, Wurwand was able to obtain the green light to make Dermalogica available from skincare experts at the International Dermal Institute (IDI). Today, Dermalogica is well-known worldwide as a skin-friendly brand trusted by professionals. UltraCalming is a range of products specifically developed for people suffering from sensitive skin.

La Mer
If you’re looking for a remedy for sensitive skin, La Mer is as good as it gets (provided if you have the budget). La Mer was formulated by aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber, who suffered severe burns in a laboratory accident, and decided to take things into his own hands to find a ‘cure’. 12 years later, Crème de La Mer was born. The healing powers of La Mer products come from a top-secret concoction called the Miracle Broth, which is made from fermented algae. Precious gemstones like malachite and tourmaline are also used in the products to help with skin renewal.

EXTRA: Soothing Bodycare
In 1958, Eubos launched a non-soap bar, something unheard of during the time. Soap is an extremely drying ingredient, which wreaks havoc on sensitive skin, making it itchy and flaky. Eubos has a decent range of bodycare products, ranging from shower oils to soap-free cleansing emulsions that are safe for use, even for children. Allantoin, Vitamin E, Soybean Oil and Almond Oil leave skin feeling soft and soothed, without stripping away its natural moisture.

Did you know that QV was named in honour of Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne? Chemist Gerald Oppenheim (also founder of Ego Pharmaceuticals) was approached by the hospital to create a product for use in their dermatology wards. The first product, QV Bath Oil, remains a bestseller to this day. In Malaysia, you can find QV bodycare products in pharmacies and supermarkets, but the brand actually carries a pretty comprehensive range of skincare, haircare and kids’ products elsewhere around the world.

Physiogel Group Product Packshot
We’re not exactly fans of the packaging, but Physiogel is making its mark as one of the most highly recommended skincare brand among dermatologists. Its Derma Membrane Structure (DMS) technology allows the product to absorb deep into the skin to maintain and repair lipid barriers. Unlike conventional moisturisers that only replace moisture temporarily, Physiogel’s key ingredients are structurally similar to our skin’s natural lipid layers, so moisture is not lost even after rinsing with water.


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