Skip to main content

Top 5 Myths about Sensitive Skin and the truth that will set your skin free!

Myth #1: All sensitive skin is similar

The truth is: there’s no one type of sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is a self-diagnosis and could mean a multitude of skin issues. It could mean you’re prone to redness or inflammation, peeling or itching, that you feel stinging or burning with certain ingredients and formulas, or that you are susceptible to breakouts when you change up your beauty routine. It reacts rather than adapts to the environment.

While there’s no one type of sensitive skin, a clean slate with a gentle, soothing, effective skin routine can do wonders for all skin types. The key is to find products that cleanse without damage and nourish without irritation.

Myth #2: Sensitive skin is uncommon

The truth is: Over 50% of women say they have sensitive skin. Because of the interest around it, loads of research has gone into discovering the best ways to calm sensitive skin, much of it from our own skin care labs.

That being said, only 11% of products on the market are designed for sensitive skin. Olay is here for you, continuously finding new and better ways to give you the best skin care without negative side effects. You don’t have to sacrifice your best beauty routine when you have sensitive skin.

Myth #3: If you have sensitive skin, it will always be sensitive no matter what you do

The truth is: this is definitely not the case. There are many factors in skin sensitivity but the most insidious is stress. Stress increases the “stress hormone” Cortisol, which weakens the immune system and damages the skin barrier, both of which can make you more stressed out.

While reducing stressful factors in our lives would make a huge difference in skin sensitivity, that’s not helpful when your stressors are out of your control. So we’ve formulated products that improve the health of stressed skin and put the power back in your hands.

Extra fact: over 70% of women report having moderate to high stress.

Myth #4: Sensitive skin should only be touched with water, not cleansers.

We understand why this would seem like a good option but the truth is: many skin care products are specifically formulated not only to be gentle on sensitive skin, but to actively soothe it leaving your skin feeling calmer, softer, and less irritated with use. While splashing water on your face is great between washes, water itself doesn’t cleanse skin, and it doesn’t help strengthen compromised skin barriers. Plus, you don’t get all of the benefits of vitamin-rich products. Our sensitive skin products are formulated with pro-glycerin and petrolatum, which are proven to gently repair the skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier keeps you moisturized throughout the day while protecting from pollutants.

While it’s true that many cleansers have harsh surfactants and fragrances, cleansers specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind strengthen the skin barrier without irritation. Look for the words “Dermatologist proven” in all your skin care, and when you’re at Olay, look for the GREEN SEAL to make sure you’re getting the products will do the most work for your stressed, sensitive skin.

Avoid using harsh soap on your face, regardless of your skin’s sensitivity. When you do, soapy residue gets left behind in the cracks of your skin and weakens your skin barrier. Also, avoid products that contain dyes or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), a soap that can be found in many facial cleansers that isn’t suitable for easily-irritated skin.

Myth #5: Makeup will irritate sensitive skin

Makeup itself doesn’t necessarily aggravate sensitive skin: it’s putting products on top of already-inflamed skin that can exacerbate issues. A skin care routine which repairs and nourishes the barrier of your sensitive skin will give you the best slate possible for makeup. Our beauty scientists understand the nature of sensitive skin and know which dermatologist-proven ingredients will work with your beauty routine. We’ve introduced a collection of sensitive makeup removers that are gentle on skin, melt away makeup, calm stressed skin, and hydrate. They’re formulated with naturally-derived glycerin which gently, effectively penetrates the skin barrier to soothe damage from stress and dryness at the source.


It’s also extremely important to remove makeup before bed because makeup residue can irritate your skin while you sleep. We’ve introduced two makeup removers: a traditional wash and an easy-to-use wipe, so no matter what the day has in store for you, you’ll wake up to hydrated, stress-free skin.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you have sensitive skin, always patch-test new products before putting them on your face. Put a bit of the product on your wrist or on a small area of your neck and wait 24 hours to see if any redness or irritation develops – if it doesn’t, you’re good to go!

Was this article helpful?