A deep-dive into the best ingredients for sensitive and blemish-prone skin

When it comes to sensitive skin and acne, we often do too much. Sometimes, we over-exfoliate. Other times, use super active ingredients that end up doing more harm than good. And whilst blemishes can be frustrating and have a real impact on our self-confidence, it’s often not how much we’re doing, but instead what we’re putting on your skin that counts. Here’s our roundup of some of the best ingredients for sensitive and blemish-prone skin that may help simplify your skincare routine

1.  Lactic acid

Lactic acid is part of the alpha hyroxy acid family (aka AHAs) and is something that our bodies naturally produce. It's usually derived from milk products and is essentially a light peeling agent, which means it works to slough off dead skin cells that clog your pores and in turn bring out breakouts. Once you try lactic acid in your skincare routine, you’ll never go back – it works hard to banish breakouts, so you don’t have to.

2.  Vitamin C

Ever looked at your moisturiser's (or serums) ingredient list and felt a wave of confusion? Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which can protect skin cells from daily aggressors like sun damage, air pollution, and other premature agers. This process of protection is typically referred to as the neutralisation of free radicals (more on that later!). Vitamin C is 'that' overachieving ingredient that can help protect and enhance your complexion: it will also protect your skin from external aggressors, works to even out uneven skin tone, soften the appearance of fine lines, scares and promotes radiant skin. End result? skin that is healthy, looks and feels like healthy skin - and we all know that a healthy skin barrier is the key to minimising skin sensitivity. 

3.  Niacinamide

If you’re prone to acne and you haven’t used niacinamide in your skincare yet, you’re about to be in for a treat. Since acne is often the result of our skin producing too much sebum (oil) and going into overdrive, niacinamide can help in regulating your skin’s oil production and keeping breakouts in check. It’s great for reducing redness and supporting the skin’s barrier too, so it’s an all ‘round triple threat.

4.  Manuka honey

Where do we even begin with manuka honey?! Traditionally used to heal wounds and skin infections, manuka honey has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can kill acne-causing bacteria, making it a must-have ingredient in your skincare. With acne often comes unwanted itchiness, redness or irritated skin, and its soothing properties can also be a big source of relief when incorporated into your skincare routine. It’s not as easy to find skincare products with manuka honey in them, but luckily, we have one in mind, honey!

5.  Aloe leaf juice

Similarly to manuka honey, aloe vera is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties – and it has been for centuries! Given aloe vera naturally contains salicylic acid and sulfur (two pretty powerful antiseptic agents that you’ll usually find in targeted acne treatments), it can help to clear pores and calm skin down in the process. Tried and tested, this is one to keep on your radar.

6.  Liquorice root extract

Liquorice root extract is another ally for treating acne. How? Aside from its ability to kill acne-causing bacteria and control oil production in the skin, it also works to combat discolouration. For those who suffer from acne scarring, or just have some dark spots left behind from a recent breakout, liquorice root may be of assistance in helping to brighten those areas and fade any pesky spots.


Need some pointers on how to incorporate these ingredients into your skincare routine? Read more about the best routines for sensitive and blemish-prone skin here!



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