Stress and pollution can show up on the skin as sensitivity or redness, which is why it’s always good to keep around some soothing skin serums, creams and masks in case of a skin SOS. Here are our go-to products to help soothe inflammation and sensitive skin.
In our urban lifestyle, stress and pollutants are two of the worst skin offenders. When left unchecked, it leads to hyperpigmentation, sagging skin and dehydration. RATIONALE’s #2 Mask ($241) contains gallic acid and vitamin C to prevent and fade dark spots, as well as vitamin E and ceramides to strengthen and protect skin from external pollutants such as UV rays.
Derma Lab has a proprietary Derma Mimic Complex that was formulated specifically to repair and strengthen dry, sensitive Asian skin using a combination of ceramides 1, 3 and 6 and hyaluronic acid. The Ceramide Repair Liquid also touts anti-inflammatory properties to calm and soothe and protect against pollution.
Sensitive skin can be accompanied by uncomfortable tingling, stinging and even a rise in temperature that leaves you flushed. To relieve and heal, La Roche-Posay has included Neurosensine to this lightweight serum. This ingredient blocks pain sensation, and Osmolyte another key ingredient aids skin barrier repair.
The Clarifying Clay Mask (around $99) from Tatcha contains oil-absorbing Okinawan kucha clay as well as exfoliating Japanese konjac and volcanic ash, which target clogged pores and help purify skin. The mask warms up as it’s applied, drawing out impurities and excess sebum, all of which is whisked away when it’s rinsed off.
Sensitive skin will rejoice with this lightweight oil, which provides immediate comfort for reactive skin, while providing intense moisture as it protects against pollution. Its blend of clary sage extract and organic apricot oil helps to relax as it nourishes thirsty skin.
Enhanced with camomile and magnolia extracts to soothe and minimise skin irritations, this also has liquorice to stop inflammation in its tracks. Its formula is further enriched with damask rose and cedarwood oils to diffuse tension.
Commonplace in urban living, stress and pollution can manifest on skin as redness and sensitivity. Calm things down with this soothing serum that promises to reduce redness by up to 60 percect in an hour thanks to the 10 percent Alkaline Amino Acid extract in its formula, which reduces erythema, a type of skin rash. There is also alteronomas ferment extract to counter oxidative stress, as well as hydrolysed yeast protein to reduce inflammation and boost moisture, with sodium hyaluronate providing deep hydration.
Turn to LANEIGE’s Water Sleeping Mask EX Sleeping Microbiome ($47) for intense overnight hydration. The latest iteration of this cult favourite now features squalane to boost moisture and its proprietary Sleeping Microbiome technology uses a probiotics complex to strengthen skin’s protective barrier and restore its balance while you sleep.
Peony, cornflower, cherry blossom and passionflower extracts work to calm redness and sensitivity, while vitamin C and squalane help to improve skin strength and hydration, so that your skin can better defend against pollutants and free radicals. The overnight mask has a lightweight texture that cocoons the skin to deeply soothe while you snooze. It can also be used as a daytime SOS treatment: Simply dab a small amount on sensitive areas for instant relief.
This serum promises to undo the day’s stress with pre- and probiotics to balance the skin’s microbiome, which helps healthy bacteria flourish and resist outbreaks. Reishi mushroom extracts calm skin, while pine bark extracts help with cell regeneration.
This leave-on overnight treatment is packed with skin-loving peptides, ceramides, and niacinamide to soothe and help repair compromised skin. It also boasts an innovative new active ingredient, MossCellTec, a biotechnologically-produced moss that supports skin repair and resilience. The balm-like texture melts into skin like a cream to form a veil that acts like a bandage to aid repair and help skin restore its strength.
If you’re having one of those days where you only have 15 minutes to breathe life back to dull skin, make it FILORGA’s Meso-Mask (around $90). The creamy, concentrated mask is rich in collagen- boosting amino acids to plump and smooth skin, while rhamnose polysaccharide soothes redness.
The seventh iteration of the Water Bank series boasts the new Blue Hyaluronic Acid, an exclusive ingredient reportedly 2,000 times smaller than conventional hyaluronic acid (which was used in previous versions), allowing for faster absorption and deeper penetration. This lightweight toner is also fortified with Beta Pro-nol Complex, which works on improving the skin’s ability to retain moisture, ensuring that dry skin stays hydrated.
Containing centella asiatica (or cica) as its main ingredients, it’s been rumoured that tigers rub and roll in this grass to accelerate wound healing. This soothing cream has a gel-like texture that not only calms redness and soothes sensitive skin, but also refreshes skin.
This serum and moisturiser hybrid contains Japanese indigo extract to sooth and restore irritated skin; ceramides to replenish hydration; and mondo grass root to balance the skin microbiome. The whole idea behind the formula is really to allow the skin barrier to reach a healthy state so that it is strong enough to fend off aggressors, while retaining essential hydration. Plus, this cream also harnesses skin’s natural circadian rhythm, so it’s able to optimise skin repair when you sleep. Who doesn’t want beautiful skin when they wake up?
Additional reporting by Ruth Chew/Her World