Japanese drugstore brand Curél, which launched yesterday at Ulta, was developed with exactly this issue in mind. Their products are specifically designed for skin that can’t handle the usual “more-is-more” types of products like foaming cleansers, exfoliating toners, and anything with an intense roster of actives (looking at you, my fellow dry and sensitive skin friends).
The brand has been around since 1984, and uses ceramides as its skin-saving superstar—and it's got years worth of derm intel and research to back its formulations. Ceramides help to hydrate skin while also repairing the skin barrier at the same time, ensuring that all of that good moisture is locked in beneath the surface. Board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, calls ceramides "the spackle between skin cell tiles," because they prevent moisture from escaping through the outer layer of your skin by way of transepidermal water loss. The result is happy, hydrated skin that truly feels like a non-fussy baby's bottom.
While every one of Curél’s offerings is like a tall drink of water for sensitive skin, the real star of the show is its Moisture Facial Milk ($30). It's as if a serum and a moisturizer joined forces in order to give cranky skin exactly what it needs: gentle, protective hydration. In Japan, women often employ a "double moisturizing" routine, and this stuff is the ideal second step that works to seal in those hydrating ingredients. It's chock-full of those A+ ceramides (hence its "locking in" powers), and like the rest of the line, is free of irritating elements like fragrance and alcohol.
While you might think all of this super science-y skin care will deplete your wallet, that's actually not the case: All of Curél's products retail for less than $32. In fact, you can take the entire four-step routine for a test drive for $26 flat. Your sensitive skin—and your wallet—have never been happier.
Another sensitive skin savior? Colloidal oatmeal, which has made a major resurgence in the beauty world of late. Plus, how to deal with acne when every pimple product on the market irritates your sensitive skin.
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