The best makeup for sensitive skin

Article Read Duration 10 min read

Sensitive skin is often subject to visible reactions such as redness, discolouration or blemishes. Women often look for solutions to minimise or cover up these flaws, but because sensitive skin can be unpredictable or even reactive, many makeup products only make the issues worse. Find out how to choose and apply the right makeup to keep your sensitive skin or eyes firmly in their comfort zone.

The basics:

  • Check your makeup is hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested and nickel-controlled.
  • Test makeup on your neck to screen for reactions.
  • Choose products with moisturising, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant active ingredients to soothe skin, plus UV and pollution protection.
  • Avoid contamination by washing your hands prior to application and cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. Store your products in a cool, dry place.

The routine:

  • Prepare skin for makeup by systematically cleansing twice daily and moisturising prior to makeup application.
  • Use colour-corrector pens to conceal imperfections and a hypoallergenic BB cream to even out the complexion on “no makeup days”.
  • For fuller coverage, choose a soothing and skin-correcting foundation from La Roche-Posay’s TOLERIANE Teint range.
  • Set your base with a non-irritant mattifying powder.
  • Sculpt your face with a blush suitable for sensitive skin types.
  • Glorify your eyes with the allergen-free RESPECTISSIME range of mascaras and eyeshadows.
  • Enhance your smile whilst lavishing care on chapped lips with NOVALIP Duo.
  • Round off your makeup application with a spritz of naturally soothing and anti-oxidant thermal spring water.
  • Religiously remove makeup every night with a remover adapted to sensitive skin and eyes. For super sensitive eyes, consider cleansers that come in sterile monodoses such as TOLERIANE Ultra Monodose Eye Makeup Remover.

Sensitive skin makeup:
The basics

How to choose, use and look after your makeup

The best sensitive skin makeup will conceal flaws and look amazing but it will also work to protect and soothe sensitive skin throughout the day. Expert makeup products specifically formulated for sensitive skin types can actually stop redness in its tracks, improve the appearance of skin reactions, and protect your skin against external aggressors.

Before diving into your 10 point makeup routine let’s look at 5 basic steps to help you choose, use and look after your sensitive skin makeup.

1. Check the label for allergens

When choosing makeup for sensitive skin, one very important tool is the list of ingredients on the pack. Make sure that the product meets all sensitive skin’s safety criteria: Check that it is hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. Nickel is a potent allergen, so it is wise to also choose nickel tested and nickel controlled products.

2. Try before you apply

Sensitive skin reacts to factors usually tolerated by “normal” skin. It is therefore important, before adopting a product, to test it on your neck. If you experience no discomfort or reaction within 48 hours after applying it, it’s good news – you’ve found the right product for you.

3. Choose makeup that does more for your sensitive skin

Your sensitive skin does have enemies, but it has many friends too! Go for hypoallergenic, non-greasy, and non-comedogenic makeup formulas that are also enriched with moisturising, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. Also look for products that provide added UV protection against the sun, pollution, and other external aggressors.

4. Hygiene is key

To avoid spreading allergens and bacteria, always wash your hands before touching your face. Clean your makeup brushes and sponges regularly with a suitable cleanser. This will minimise the risk of contamination and extend the life of your products.

5. Look after your makeup, and it will look after you

Your cosmetics care for your skin. But do you take care of your cosmetics? To ensure they remain as effective and pleasant to use, store them in a cool, dry place (so maybe not in the bathroom). Never leave them uncovered and in contact with the air. Also keep in mind the throw-out dates of different types of product. Here’s our quick guide on how long to keep your makeup favourites once opened:

  • Mascara - 2-3 months
  • Foundation - 6 months
  • Eye Shadow - 1 year
  • Concealer - 6 months
  • Blush - 1 year

The sensitive skin
makeup experts

At La Roche-Posay we believe that every woman can dare to wear makeup

As early as 1994, in an effort to help people with visible skin conditions like vitiligo or burns feel more confident in their daily lives, La Roche-Posay Dermatological Laboratory created corrective makeup workshops at the La Roche-Posay Thermal Centre. Since then, the initiative has been replicated by hospitals around the world.

Furthering this commitment, at La Roche-Posay we have gone on to develop high-tolerance makeup ranges in line with a minimalist charter that excludes all known allergens. Formulated without preservatives, parabens or fragrance, our products are extremely gentle and suitable for even the most fragile, sensitive skin.

The perfect makeup
routine for sensitive skin

Your 10-point plan

At La Roche-Posay we believe that every woman can dare to wear makeup. To make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your sensitive skin in the comfort zone, keep scrolling for our 10-point makeup routine plan:

1) Always start by cleansing your skin

You simply can’t expect a perfect finish if your canvas isn’t clean! Dust, grime and fine particles on the skin can potentially cause irritation as well as preventing skin from breathing and makeup from holding. Use a cleanser formulated for sensitive skin every morning and evening. No more than once a week, use a gentle exfoliating cleanser to purify and smooth your skin.

  • La Roche-Posay has developed a range of cleansers perfect for every skin type

2) Moisturise before applying makeup

Successful makeup application starts with good skin preparation, which means cleanse and then moisturise! Why? With a properly hydrated base, foundation will appear more even and luminous. Be sure to choose a moisturiser specifically adapted to your sensitive skin's needs:

  • Top of the list for sensitive skin prone to tightness, tingling, dryness, discomfort and occasional redness is TOLERIANE Sensitive [TOLERIANE SENSITIVE]. It not only repairs skin’s surface protective barrier: It also repairs its invisible living barrier made up of friendly bacteria thanks to its prebiotic active ingredients. Its double barrier restored, skin is intensely soothed, its sensitivity reduced day after day.
  • Allergy-prone skin will benefit from the soothing and protective properties of TOLERIANE Ultra. Formulated for the most sensitive or even allergic complexions, it reinforces skin to make it allergen-proof and pollution-proof. With TOLERIANE Ultra, allergy-prone skin can take on the world!
  • To soothe and cool sensitive skin that’s prone to redness, try ROSALIAC moisturisers  by La Roche-Posay.
  • For oily and blemish-prone sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay's EFFACLAR range is formulated to retain moisture whilst targeting breakouts and reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and shiny, oily skin.
  • For dry, sensitive skin La Roche-Posay's NUTRIC range  provides intense moisturising and comfort.
  • For anti-ageing solutions that are adapted to sensitive skin, look no further than the REDERMIC and HYALU B5 moisturisers which provide lasting hydration whilst simultaneously combating wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing.

3) Correct with a concealer

Now your base is prepared, let’s look at tinted concealers which help to mask skin flaws. Green neutralises the red of rosacea, recent scars, visible blood vessels, and post-laser redness. Yellow offsets the blue of under-eye circles or post-surgery bruising. Beige concealers help to cover sun damage and other imperfections. A BB Cream is a great way to cover minor imperfections and even out skin tone, even on 'no makeup' days.

As always, make sure your makeup choices are sensitive skin-friendly:

  • La Roche-Posay TOLERIANE TEINT Corrective Concealer Pen gives you ultimate control. It comes in four colours, to neutralise and cover every kind of skin blemish.
    Concealer: Before or after foundation? Well, it depends. If you are using a liquid foundation, put that on first and then dot the concealer over it so that the concealer stays in place. If you are using a compact foundation, you should apply your concealer first as the powder in the foundation will actually set it in place.
  • HYDREANE BB Cream is a protective, moisturising primer with SPF20 that will soften your skin and even out minor variations in tone. It is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and nickel-controlled, so suitable for all sensitive skin types.

4) Even out the complexion with a foundation formulated for sensitive skin

Begin by applying your foundation in five dabs on the forehead, both cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and chin. Then blend gently outwards to create a seamless finish. The application technique will be the same regardless of the foundation type you choose: cream, fluid, or compact. Apply with a brush and blend gently with a sponge or fingers for a natural look.

Sensitive skin’s BFF foundation? La Roche-Posay's TOLERIANE TEINT range of foundations provides a perfect formulation for every sensitive skin need:

  • TOLERIANE Corrective Liquid Foundation covers redness, spots, dark circles and marks, without clogging pores, and is suitable for all sensitive skin types.
  • TOLERIANE Cream Foundation hydrates and illuminates dry and normal skin types.
  • TOLERIANE Corrective Compact-Cream Foundation provides correction and fuller cover with an even finish for dry to normal skin.
  • TOLERIANE Mousse Foundation provides mattifying cover with a natural, velvety finish for oily and blemish-prone skin.
  • TOLERIANE Corrective Compact Powder Mineral Foundation is a miracle worker for oily, blemish-prone skin types. This ingenious foundation covers, evens out, and helps to reduce blackheads, dilated pores, spots, shine, and redness. Its avant-garde mineral formula gives an even, matte finish that lasts up to 12 hours, allowing skin to breathe and providing unequalled comfort from morning to night. After four weeks' use of TOLERIANE Corrective Compact Powder Mineral Foundation, blemishes are reduced by 60%, and 90% of women observe an improvement in their skin's appearance and texture.
h3>5) Set your makeup with mattifying powder

Set your base with a few puffs of powder to fix the concealer and foundation as well as mattify areas prone to shine like your forehead, chin and sides of the nose.

  • The ultra-soft and light texture of La Roche-Posay's TOLERIANE TEINT Mattifying Fixing Powder provides a sheer finish for all sensitive skin types.

6) Sculpt your face with blush

Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks to liven up your complexion and create a healthy glow.

  • TOLERIANE TEINT Blush [TOLERIANE FACE BLUSH] will bring a blush of radiance to all sensitive skin types.

7) Glorify your eyes with sensitive eye makeup

The eyelids are fragile and prone to allergies. Hence it is super-important to use eye makeup products that are dermatologically tested and free from allergens. Such products will benefit not only those with sensitive skin, but contact-lens wearers too.

  • Toleriane Eyeshadow by La Roche-Posay combines a soothing, fixing primer with an eyeshadow duo in four harmonised colour palettes, that provide intense pigment whilst being non-irritating for sensitive eyes.

Tip: To capture light and open up your eyes, apply light colours to the inner, lower eyelid followed by darker, more intense shades at the outer corners of the eyes.

A few strokes of mascara will always perfect eye beauty and La Roche-Posay's TOLERIANE Mascara range  ensures every woman with sensitive eyes can claim her right to beautiful, covetable lashes!

  • TOLERIANE Mascara Multi-Dimensions lengthens, defines, and protects.
  • TOLERIANE Volume volumises and adds density to lashes. TOLERIANE Mascara Extension smoothes and strengthens the lashes. TOLERIANE Waterproof  curves and separates lashes. All are suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
  • Add drama to your look with TOLERIANE Intense Liner  or create a smudgier effect with TOLERIANE Soft Eye Pencil.

8) Enhance your smile

Begin by tracing the outline of your lips with a lip liner pencil in a shade close to the colour of your lipstick. Why? A lip liner will define your lips’ shape, prevent lipstick from bleeding and also help it hold better.
Then apply your lipstick from the centre of the lips out to the corners.

  • TOLERIANE Lipstick  combines repairing care for lips with long-lasting colour. LHA +, 8% glycerin, and D-Panthenol work as a tag team to intensely hydrate, repair, and smooth your lips, whilst intense pigments provide perfect all-day colour.

9) Perfect your makeup and protect your skin with thermal spring water

After applying makeup, lightly spritz your face with LA ROCHE-POSAY THERMAL SPRING WATER. This unique water contains a combination of minerals and trace elements, including antioxidant selenium, that work to support sensitive skin health.

Did you know? Thermal water is a natural prebiotic that rebalances the friendly bacteria that live on skin to help optimise its health. It will soften, moisturise, and protect your skin – and your makeup will last longer too!

10) Use a makeup remover formulated for sensitive skin and eyes

We know you know this, but it can't be said often enough: It is essential to completely cleanse the face each night in order to eliminate dirt, allergens, and impurities that can potentially irritate your skin and prevent it from breathing.

To ensure every woman with sensitive skin can dare to wear (and remove!) makeup, La Roche-Posay Dermatological Laboratory has developed a cleanser specifically formulated to suit the makeup removal needs of sensitive skin and eyes.

  • Opt for sensitive skin-friendly non-rinse options such as Micellar Water or TOLERIANE Dermo-Cleanser. These gentle cleansers will remove every trace of dirt, makeup and pollution without stripping skin of its surface protective layer.
  • Be sure to remove eye makeup with products formulated to take extra care of your sensitive eyes. Try this soap, alcohol, colorant and paraben-free remover that also respects your eyes’ lacrymal pH Or you could opt for a cotton pad soaked in Micellar Water that will melt off eye makeup without rubbing. For super sensitive eyes, or when travelling, consider makeup removers that come in handy sterile monodoses such as TOLERIANE Ultra Monodose Eye Makeup Remover

Click HERE to learn more about skincare for sensitive skin.

And to find out more about sensitive, reactive and allergic skin, try [ART-ALL001].


True or False Visual 3

 "False" question image

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True or False Visual 2


FALSE  "False" question image

It might ease your muscles after a busy day, buta long hot shower or soak is not a good option for sensitive skin condition. Exposingsensitive skin to hot (and cold) temperatures stimulates the release ofhistamine (the itch molecule), which can trigger the chain reaction ofirritation. It is best to opt for brief, lukewarm showers or baths.
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True or False Visual 1


FALSE  "False" question image

One of the frustrating things about sensitive skin is that however annoying your symptoms may be, doctors will often say the skin is “normal” since it shows no visible signs. But clued-in dermatologists will recognise the features of sensitive skin and recommend specific treatments for sensitized or hypersensitive skin.
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True or False Visual 2


TRUE  "True" answer image

Stress and intenseemotion cause blood vessels in the skin to dilate, triggering flushing andsensations of discomfort. Many people find mindfulness or similar relaxationtechniques a valuable ally to keep their sensitive skin in the Zen zone. This approach works best when combined with expert sensitive skincare such as the TOLERIANE range.
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Safety standards beyond international cosmetics regulations.

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One Prerequisite = Zero Allergic reactions
If we detect a single case, we go back to the labs and reformulate
a product head with an essential active dose


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Developed in collaboration with dermatologist and toxicologist, our products contain only the necessary ingredients, at the right active dose.
a baby model with sensitive skin


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Our products' tolerance is verified on the most sensitive skin: reactive, allergic, acne-prone, atopic, damaged or weakened by cancer treatments.
a model's face with a product on their forehead to protect their skin


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We select the most protective packaging associated with only the necessary preservatives, to guarantee intact tolerance and efficacy over time.