Skincare for Sensitive Skin

Skincare for Sensitive Skin

Anyone with sensitive skin is painfully aware of how a single misstep can cause uncomfortable dryness, itching, burning, and visible signs of irritation. For the ultra-sensitive, even switching dish soap or laundry detergent can be a gamble.

Recent surveys show that nearly 50 percent of our population has at least some level of skin sensitivity. Women tend to have troubling symptoms a little more often than men.1 If your skin is prone to irritability and irritation, if your current skincare routine causes dryness, blemishes, or an uncomfortable flush across your cheeks or chin, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your skincare routine.

What is Sensitive Skin? What Causes Sensitivity?

There are many potential causes of skin sensitivity. For some, sensitivity goes hand-in-hand with eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, skin conditions with strong genetic components.  For others, skin sensitivity is triggered by common allergens. Sensitive, reactive skin can also be a sign of barrier dysfunction.

When the epidermal barrier is compromised, skin is far more susceptible to allergens and irritants. Current investigations show that people with impaired barrier function are 5 times more susceptible to allergic skin reactions than control groups. Studies also show that having a weak epidermal barrier reduces skin’s natural ability to retain essential moisture and leaves nerve endings vulnerable to uncomfortable burning, stinging, tingling, and itching.2 Regardless of the cause, having sensitive skin means your skin reacts, or reacts faster, to external influences.3

The Product Ingredients Sensitive Types Should Avoid

If you have sensitive skin, you’ve likely found that your skin often reacts to many skincare ingredients your friends and family members swear by. If your skin feels dry or tight after washing, burns after applying a serum, or starts itching soon after applying your moisturizer, first, consider your water temperature. Cleansing with hot water can strip too many protective oils from your skin. Then consider eliminating products made with some of the following skincare ingredients.

Hydroxy Acids

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are often added to facial serums and moisturizers to help boost skin cell turnover and collagen production. These chemical exfoliators also help loosen the bonds that keep depleted skin cells from shedding evenly. Although alpha and beta hydroxy acids can help keep skin looking smooth and vibrant, they’re also known to cause burning, itching, peeling, irritation, and sun sensitivity.4


Sulfates are often added to cleansers, shampoo, and body washes to make the products lather and foam while lifting dirt and oil. The longer sulfates remain in contact with your skin, the greater the risk of irritation. If you’re using a foaming face wash made with sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, or ammonium lauryl sulfate, consider switching to a sulfate-free formula.5


If you have sensitive skin, you’ll also want to avoid any toners or gel moisturizers made with simple alcohols. Although these products might initially feel quite refreshing, they’re well-known for stripping natural oils and compromising barrier function. If you see alcohol 40, ethanol, denatured alcohol, or SD alcohol listed in the ingredients, you may have identified the source of your skin sensitivity.6

Artificial Fragrances  

The International Fragrance Association lists more than 3000 possible fragrance components. However, fragrance manufacturers are not required to reveal the ingredients used in their products. Since many ingredients used to make fragrances are known skin irritants, consider switching to fragrance-free formulas or products scented with natural botanicals.7

Natural Ingredients That Could Help Calm Your Sensitive Skin  

The best product ingredients for sensitive skin clean without stripping, reduce inflammation, help keep your skin hydrated, and fortify its protective lipid barrier. Instead of repeatedly subjecting your sensitive skin to harsh skincare ingredients that increase your risk of unpleasant reactions, consider how your skin might benefit from the following plant-sourced ingredients that are kind to your skin.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is a significant source of the essential fatty acids that could help keep your sensitive skin feeling calm and hydrated. As the natural anti-inflammatory properties help soothe irritation, the palmitoleic acid helps improve skin elasticity, the omega 6 fatty acids promote healing, and the phytosterols help improve circulation and fade discolorations.8,9

Manuka Oil

Extracted from the leaves and stems of a tree native to south-east Asia and New Zealand, manuka oil is a natural botanical shown to help skin retain essential moisture. Adding manuka oil to your skincare routine also helps calm redness, itching, and other symptoms of irritation while boosting collagen production and protecting skin from UV damage. 10,11

Ginger Root Oil

Ginger root oil has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The plant extract has more than 40 antioxidant elements that help protect your skin from free radicals. Anyone with sensitive skin could also benefit from its potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, ginger root oil is also shown to help boost collagen production and balance pigmentation.12,13


Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant of the many cannabinoids found in full-spectrum hemp extracts. Based on what the research shows so far, CBD has many potential skin benefits. When applied topically, this active plant element penetrates the surface and interacts with important receptors found on nearly every type of skin cell, including the receptors involved in itching and inflammation, moisture retention, skin cell formation, and barrier function.14

A Simple 4-Step Skincare Routine for Sensitive Complexions

Many of the skincare products lining the shelves of your favorite department store are made with harsh chemicals and compounds known to cause unpleasant skin reactions. Some ingredients can cause redness and other visible signs of irritation, while others might cause uncomfortable burning, tingling, itching, or stinging. If you have sensitive skin, consider how your complexion might benefit from a 4-step skincare routine featuring BOTA™ CBD skincare products.

Step 1 – Cleansing

Healthy skin generally requires twice-daily cleansing. When you have sensitive skin, it’s important to use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip its lipid barrier. Instead of using a foaming face wash, choose a fragrance-free cream cleanser or sulfate-free soap made with natural plant oils. Wash with a gentle circular motion and rinse with lukewarm or cool water.

Step 2 – Toning

A well-formulated toner restores the delicate pH balance environmental pollutants, cosmetics, and cleansers can disrupt. When its pH balance is disrupted, your skin is more susceptible to the impact of bacteria, allergens, and moisture loss. Sweeping  BOTA™ Balancing Micellar Cleansing Toner over damp skin helps restore pH balance with a blend of soothing botanicals.

Step 3 – Hydrating

Sensitive skin often benefits from an additional boost of hydration. BOTA™ Age-Defying Hyaluronic Acid Serum is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive, reactive skin. As the hyaluronic acid helps infuse your skin with moisture, the meadowfoam seed oil, ginger root, and manuka oil help soothe inflammation while contributing to the serum’s anti-aging potential.15,16

Step #4 – Moisturize

Moisturizers help form a protective barrier between the surface of your skin and potential irritants. They also help prevent moisture loss. If your sensitive skin is dry, complete your morning skincare routine with BOTA™ Hydrating Daily Face Cream + Achiote Seed Extract. At night, fortify renewal processes as you sleep with BOTA™ De-Stressing Nightly Face Cream +Lavender to help calm your skin and reduce redness.

Could Your Sensitive Skin Benefit from a Plant-Powered Skincare Routine?

If your current skincare routine leaves your skin feeling dry, irritated, or uncomfortable, consider how your complexion might respond to a plant-powered skincare routine. At BOTA™, we’ve identified the best ingredients nature has to offer and created a line of natural skincare products enhanced with hemp-derived CBD.

If you’d like to learn more about the many potential skin benefits of  plant-powered products, visit BOTA™ to read our Complete Guide to Natural Skin Care. Then browse our collection of CBD-infused toners, serums, moisturizers, and body care products. All BOTA™ CBD skincare products are third-party tested, cruelty-free, and made with sustainable ingredients selected for specific skin concerns.



1. Harper’s Bazaar. R Schroeder. (2021 May 06) Skin School: Everything You Need to Know About Sensitive Skin.

2. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. L Misery et al. (2016 January 25) Sensitive Skin.

3. Health Hype. Dr Chris. (2021) Sensitive Skin – What Does It Mean and What Are the Causes?

4. Derm Collective. M Khamala. (2019 October 07) AHA vs. BHA: Differences< Benefits, Uses and Alternatives.

5. Hello Natural Living. (2017 June 19) What Are Sulfates? (And Are They Safe?)

6. Byrdie. L Metrus. (2021 July 23) Is Alcohol in Skincare Bad? We Asked Dermatologists.

7. Safe (2020) Fragrance.

8. Medical News Today. A Kandola. (2019 May 21) What Are the Benefits of Cocoa Butter?

9. Beauty Glimpse. (2021) Phytosterols and Their Incredible Benefits for Hair and Skin.

10. Plant Therapy. (2021) A Guide to Using Manuka Oil in Your Skincare Routine.

11. Well Me. A Sommers. (2021) 11 Manuka Essential Oil Benefits for Health & Beauty.

12. Wound Repair and Regeneration. N Bhagavathula et al. (2009 May 01) A Combination of Curcumin and Ginger Extract Improves Abrasion Wound Healing in Corticosteroid-Damaged Hairless Rats.

13. Ageless Allure Medispa. (2018 August 01) The Benefits of Ginger.

14. Molecules. K Toth et al. (2019 March 06) Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System.

15. Dermato Endocrinology. E Papakonstantinou et al. (2012 July 01) Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging.

16. Wellness Universe. P Luzi. (2019 August 18) The Benefits of Meadowfoam Seed OiI.


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