What Facial Moisturizer to Use for an Irritated Itchy Face

by Aiden Summer ; Updated September 28, 2017

An irritated, itchy face caused by dry or sensitive skin can be relieved and soothed with the right moisturizer.

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Facial irritation and itchiness can be caused by common conditions such as dry skin, exposure to the elements, or minor blemishes from acne or rosacea. If you have experienced prolonged, intense or debilitating sensitivity, redness or swelling, it is advisable to see a doctor. However, if skin irritation is minor, it can often be relieved by the right moisturizer, particularly if the culprit is dry skin.

Ingredients to Avoid

It is important to recognize that common ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products can aggravate and often even cause skin irritation. If you are suffering from itchiness or irritation and generally have sensitive skin, choose a neutral, fragrance-free moisturizer that does not contain any lanolin or exfoliants, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid or retinoids.

Deep Moisturizing for Dry Skin

If you are suffering from itchiness and irritation due to dry skin, choose a thick, deeply penetrating formula that will provide quick and lasting moisture relief. Look for ingredients such as petrolatum, shea butter or glycerin. Lanolin is not only an effective moisturizer but will also help to block and prevent further dryness.

Ingredients that Soothe

To soothe irritation, look for moisturizers with colloidal oatmeal, an ingredient that has been shown to relieve irritation and inflammation. Chamomile can have a relaxing effect on sensitive skin, and green tea and licorice extracts work well to soothe skin that is red or irritated because of acne or rosacea. Willow herb has anti-microbial properties, and pure witch hazel can also help to relieve redness.

Sun Care

Skin irritation is often caused by prolonged sun exposure and subsequent sun burn or sun damage. To relieve irritation caused by the sun, look for a moisturizer with aloe vera, which has a cooling and anti-inflammatory effect. Moisturizers that contain soy can also help to reduce redness and discoloration from sun damage. When choosing sunscreens, be careful to avoid chemical sunblocks like oxybenzone, and instead choose a moisturizing sunscreen with a mineral sunblock like zinc oxide.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Aiden Summer is a creative production consultant for artists, architects and designers.