Delicate or Sensitive Skin? We got you covered!

Posted by Daniela Pelonara on


If you have sensitive skin, then you’ve likely tried natural skincare as the most promising alternative to synthetic beauty products.

While some people might end up flaunting flawless skin, sadly there are some who get mixed results, such as an annoying rash.

The key point here is that not all-natural skincare is right for your skin. It all comes down to knowing which ingredients are most ideal for your skin and which are best to avoid.


It’s only natural to start with knowing what type of skin you’re living in.


What is delicate skin? 

Is when the skin at times reacts to a product or an ingredient applied (whether a leave-on or rinse-off cosmetic). The result is usually temporary discomfort, skin redness and itchiness.  


What is sensitive skin? 

Is when the skin regularly reacts to a product or an ingredient applied (whether a leave-on or rinse-off cosmetic). The result can be from simple skin redness to bumps and pustules (think pussy filled sacs) to allergic reactions.

Sensitive skin can also originate from very dry skin because the upper layer of the skin is not thick and strong enough to protect nerve endings.

The good news is that, in general, many people develop only a temporary skin reaction to a product or a specific ingredient, so once you stop using the product or avoid the specific ingredient the sensitivity decreases. Phew!


You have sensitive skin if:

  •  Your skin reddens very easily or/ and you have broken capillaries. 
  •  You experience a stinging and burning sensation within 30 seconds post-application of a product.
  •  If you spray fragrances with alcohol on your neck, and immediately develop a rash.
  •  Your skin may have dry patches or be very dry.
  •  You breakout easily.
  •  You react to very humid or very dry weather with redness or a rash
  •  Pollution increases your susceptibility to itchiness, rashes, and bumps
  •  You notice your skin changes in response to different points in your menstrual cycle (fun fact: due to hormonal changes).
  • If you have freckles after sun exposure
  • If you can’t tan but burn easily


Can natural skincare/ingredients cause a skin reaction?

Most definitively (and sadly) they can, and the same applies of course to synthetic ingredients. A handful of natural ingredients if not safely formulated, can be harsh on the skin, too drying, or increase the PH, especially if applied in high concentrations or in combination with other ingredients.

The good news is that most natural skincare works fantastically with sensitive skin and the results can be amazing when you find the right products.


What natural ingredients should be avoided with delicate and sensitive skin?

  • Essential oils in high concentration, especially citrus, cinnamon, clove. If your skin is particularly sensitive then it is best not to use these at all. Essential oils contain very active organic chemicals such as phenols, powerful antioxidants with strong antibacterial properties not well tolerated by sensitive skin. Avoid synthetic Fragrances too.
  • Willow bark derived Salicylic acid: which is often way too strong as a chemical exfoliant
  • Natural Vitamin E (Tocopherol): While Vitamin is ‘ok’ in small concentrations, Vitamin E in high concentration can clog pores and cause breakouts.
  • Honey or Glycerin: if used straight on the skin and undiluted, they both generally draw too much water from your skin.
  • High Concentration of Comedogenic (aka pore-clogging) butters and oils such as Cocoa butter, Wheatgerm oil, Coconut oil
  • Harsh and irregular size exfoliants like Apricot, as they make cause micro-tears in the skin leading to infection.
  • Fresh Lemon or Grapefruit: While nice smelling these can soon manifest into a nasty itch
  • Anything with alcohol even naturally derived alcohol.
  • Harsh clays: Moroccan Rhassoul or Ghassoul is very drying for the skin.
  • Benzyl alcohol, a natural preservative, may cause redness.
  • Nut derived oils (if you suspect you have a nut intolerance)
  • Vitamin C: It’s a wonderful ingredient because it’s a natural antioxidant, it has anti-inflammatory properties, helps with hyperpigmentation and is essentials for collagen biosynthesis; However, sadly too powerful for sensitive skin.
  • Retinoids, especially Retinoic acid: only Bakuchiol, a form of naturally derived Retinol, is mild on the skin


What are the best soothing, hydrating, and nourishing safe natural ingredients for delicate and sensitive skin?


There are so many wonderful ingredients ideal for sensitive skin; here are our favs:

  • Aloe Vera: Think soothing and cooling
  • Hydrosols or plant distillates: fragrant, hydrating, with a tiny content of essential oil
  • If you really want to try essential oils stick to a very low concentration of Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia (New Zealand produces a beautiful lavender low in Linalool, a knows allergen) and Roman Chamomile – Anthemis nobilis
  • Clays: choose light clays for a delicate pore cleansing
  • Non-Comedogenic Oils such as Marula, Sacha Inchi, Safflower oil
  • Olive-derived Squalane: a wonderful light emollient with anti-inflammatory properties
  • Glycerin infused gentle plant extracts: from White tea to Orchid extracts, the list of well-tolerated gentle plant extract is very long
  • Naturally derived AHAs in concentration between 3 and 5%: berries and citruses are wonderful and gentle
  • Biodegradable spherically shaped exfoliant beads: we love Jojoba beads
  • Probiotics: they boost your natural biofilm and help to strengthen your skin
  • Hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate): depending on its molecular weight, this ingredient replaces some of the water lost in the dermis, essential to fill the spaces between the connective fibers known as collagen and elastin.
  • Ceramides: to protect and strengthen the skin's barrier


Our safe skincare for delicate and sensitive skin


All Native Essentials products are formulated with safe and gentle botanicals, suitable for all skin types.

Our Aromatic Collection features AZURSHAANTKORU and SOLE, exquisite face oils and exfoliant/mask enhanced by a safe concentration of essential oils.  

If you have delicate skin, check out our  Normal + Delicate Skin collection:




← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment



3 Science-Backed Age Delay Skincare Essentials

Daniela Pelonara By Daniela Pelonara

Picture this: a skincare routine that not only promises a radiant and healthy complexion with plant-based ingredients but also boasts the backing of solid scientific...

Read more

Pimples: should I pop them?

Daniela Pelonara By Daniela Pelonara

Popping pimples can be incredibly tempting. That little squeeze, leading to the satisfying discharge release, can feel like an irresistible urge. Doctors even have a fancy...

Read more