Gone are the days when women with sensitive skin had no other choice than to use regular soaps for cleansing. With many companies bringing out specially formulated soap bars, taking care of delicate and super sensitive skin has become much easier now. But what should you keep in mind while struggling to find suitable soap for your sensitive skin? How to avoid the wrong products? Which are the best soaps for sensitive skin in the Indian market? Let us have a look at the answers to all these questions here.
What Causes Sensitive Skin?
Well, sensitive skin is neither a disease nor a serious concern. You may experience a symptom due to an adverse reaction to specific skincare or cosmetics products. While simple skincare modifications are enough to keep the issue of skin sensitivity under control, it is essential to know the underlying causes for achieving desired results. We have listed them below (1):
1. Dryness of Skin
When the skin loses its natural oils and moisture, it turns dry and sensitive. This leads to several symptoms like redness, roughness, itchiness, scaling, flaking, peeling, cracking, bleeding, etc. Though dryness can cause sensitivity in any part of the body, it is most common on arms, hands, lower legs, and feet.
2. Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema may make the skin extra sensitive by affecting its ability to protect against irritants. Common symptoms for this are dryness, itchiness, small crusty bumps, skin patches (red to brownish-gray in color), swelling, thick and scaly skin, cracking, and so on.
3. Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is an uncomfortable skin condition in which the protective layer of the skin gets damaged and develops red, itchy rashes through direct contact with an irritant (Irritant Contact Dermatitis) or an allergic reaction (Allergic Contact Dermatitis) to it (2). This often turns the skin sensitive with many other symptoms, such as crusty swellings, tenderness, burning, scaly and cracked skin, bumps, blisters oozing fluid, etc.
If you experience blushing or flushing too frequently, it may be the early signs of rosacea. This makes the facial skin highly sensitive, which usually causes redness (face, ears, chest, and back), visible blood capillaries, sunburned appearance, small bumps, pimples, stinging, burning sensation, etc.
6. Hives (Urticaria)
Hives can be caused by direct contact with an irritating substance (Contact Urticaria) or exposure to plants, chemicals, extreme weather, or exercise (Physical Urticaria). No matter whatever triggers the condition, it results in skin sensitivity with symptoms like welts, redness, swelling, itching, burning, tingling, etc.
In this condition, the skin reacts abnormally to the ultraviolet rays of the sunlight and becomes very much sensitive. As a result, you may develop rashes, scaly patches, and even blisters.
9. Cutaneous Mastocytosis (CM)
When too many mast cells from your immune system accumulate in your skin and release chemicals, the skin swells up and turns sensitive. This may give you small tan or red, flat spots on different parts of the body.
10. Aquagenic Pruritus
This is a very rare condition that makes the skin sensitive to water. You may experience itchiness for a few minutes to a few hours after touching any type of water (3).
Choosing the Right Soap for Sensitive Skin
Regular soaps come loaded with harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and several other toxins, which are too harsh on sensitive skin. A mild soap with calming and soothing properties can be a better option. Mild soaps are made of gentle ingredients that help in cleansing the skin effectively and leave it moisturized and healthy. They do not disrupt the skin’s natural pH level, which prevents further chances of irritation or inflammation. Instead, those soaps work as emollients by softening the skin wonderfully, making the skin healthy and youthful over time. (4) Here are a few points to note while finding the suitable soap for sensitive skin:
- Ensure that your soap does not contain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, phthalates, etc.
- Avoid soaps with synthetic fragrance, color additives, alcohol, etc.
- Look for mild soaps with glycerin, plant oils, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, lanolin, etc. in their formulations.
10 Best Soaps for Sensitive Skin in India
So, here is our list of the 10 best soaps for sensitive skin available in India. Each of them has its benefits, and you must find out the most suitable one for yourself based on your unique requirements. Check them out below:
1. Johnson’s Baby Milk Soap
The Johnson’s Baby Milk Soap is clinically proven 100% gentle and safe for the delicate skin of babies, which makes it a perfect choice for any adult with sensitive skin. In addition, it restores skin’s lost moisture to cultivate its natural microbial flora.
- Clinically proven gentle formula
- Enriched with milk proteins and vitamin E
- Comes with Triple Baby Protection
- Best for delicate and sensitive skin
- It does not cause irritation
- Delivers complete skin nourishment
- It gives healthy, smooth, and baby-soft skin
- Contains no parabens, SLS, dyes, alcohol, or phthalates
- It has a pleasant fragrance
- Recommended by dermatologists
Price: Rs. 57 for 75 gm.
2. Pears Pure & Gentle
This 225-year old original glycerin bar Pears Pure & Gentle cleanses gently and moisturizes intensely, causing lesser damage to sensitive skin than even baby soaps. It is a clear and transparent soap with a mild lingering fragrance.
- The world’s first clear and transparent soap
- An original glycerin soap bar with pH-balanced formula
- Has 98% pure glycerin and natural oils
- Cleanses gently without causing dryness
- Deposits glycerin in 10 layers of skin for intense moisturization
- It gives a soft, supple, and younger-looking skin without irritation
- Nourishes the skin for a healthy radiance
- Pampers the skin with soft lathers and mild fragrance
- Dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, and hypoallergenic
Price: Rs. 38 for 75 gm.
3. Dove Cream Beauty Bathing Bar
The Dove Cream Beauty Bathing Bar is not a soap but a beauty bar with a rich blend of mildest cleansers and skin-natural moisturizers. It suits sensitive skin perfectly and makes it look beautiful with regular use.
- Dermatologist-recommended no. 1 brand
- A classic formula comprising ¼ moisturizing cream and mild cleansers
- Cleanses gently without drying out the skin
- Moisturizes the skin and helps it retain its natural moisture too
- Nourishes dry skin by replenishing its nutrients
- It makes the skin soft, smooth, and glowing
- It leaves you smelling great after each bath
- Ideal for daily use on face, hands, and body
Price: Rs. 42 for 75 gm.
4. Oriflame Sweden Nature Secrets Soap Bar with Soothing Rose
When it comes to pampering sensitive skin with a unique soap formula, the Oriflame Sweden Nature Secrets Soap Bar with Soothing Rose is a great choice. It is a gentle cleansing soap bar that soothes, comforts, and beautifies the skin naturally.
- A unique natural formulation ideal for people with sensitive skin
- Infused with rose extracts, mango butter, and jojoba oil
- Cleanses the skin gently without stripping off its natural oils
- Soothes sensitive skin in case of any irritation
- Protects the skin from cellular damage
- It has a delicate flowery aroma that invigorates the senses
- It can be used for the whole family
Price: Rs. 49 for 75 gm.
5. SebaMed Baby Cleansing Bar
Try this 100% soap-free and alkali-free SebaMed Baby Cleansing Bar if you have sensitive skin. The pH-balanced cleanser contains all botanical ingredients that protect the skin without irritating it.
- A 100% soap-free and alkali-free formula made in Germany
- A sugar-based mild cleanser with the pH value of 5.5
- Features a unique moisturizing complex with wheat germ oil, vitamins, and amino acids
- Nourishes and hydrates the skin thoroughly
- Clinically proven to promote the development of skin’s acid mantle
- Reduces water loss through the skin and makes it healthier
- Supports its natural lipid balance
- Refatting compounds prevent dryness
- Consolidates the resistance of a delicate skin
- Panthenol stimulates the regeneration of the skin
- Chamomile in it soothes the skin
- It has a pleasant botanical fragrance
- 0% irritant reactions and almost 0% allergic reactions
- Best suited for delicate baby skin and dry or very sensitive adult skin
- Free from color additives, nitro-mochus compounds, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, dioxane, etc.
Price: Rs. 202 for a 100 gm.
6. Himalaya Gentle Baby Soap
Here is another Gentle Baby Soap from Himalaya Herbals that cleanses, moisturizes, and protects even the driest and the most sensitive skin. Natural oils and vitamins present in the product make the skin healthy and glowing.
- Combines the goodness of olive oil and almond oil
- Gentle cleansing for delicate and sensitive skin
- Vitamin A and E in it replenish skin’s lost moisture
- Nourishes, conditions, and protects the skin
- It makes the skin well-hydrated and baby-soft
- Soothes irritated skin and prevents chafing
- Free from parabens, SLS/SLES, and synthetic colors
- Researched and clinically tested safe formula
- It can be used daily
Price: Rs. 50 for 75 gm.
7. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
The Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar is highly effective in cleaning and soothing dry and sensitive skin. It also has nourishing ingredients that leave the skin soft and hydrated.
- Dermatologist recommended brand
- Clinically proven to be gentle on the skin
- Specially formulated with 5 nourishing ingredients
- Gently cleanses without stripping or drying the skin
- Moisturizes the skin to restores its natural protective oils and emollients
- It leaves the skin feeling soft, clean, and hydrated
- It does not irritate the skin
- Blends into a rich lather for close shaving
- Free of soap and harsh, irritating detergents
- Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic
- It suits all types of skin
- Ideal for dry and sensitive skin
- It can be used on both body and face
Price: Rs. 210 for 75 gm.
8. L’Occitane En Provence Extra-Gentle Milk Soap with Shea Butter
This Extra-Gentle Milk Soap with Shea Butter from L’Occitane En Provence can make your sensitive skin clean, nourished, and healthy in an extremely gentle way. However, it is a globally-acclaimed product with a pretty high price tag.
- An internationally-acclaimed product
- It does not irritate sensitive skin
- Formulated with 100% vegetable base
- Enriched with organic shea butter (collected from western Africa) and shea milk
- Cleanses the skin gently yet thoroughly
- Provides hydration and nourishment to it
- Protects the skin from damage
- It makes the skin softer and smoother
- Available in a range of L’Occitane fragrances
- Free from BHA, BHT, formol or formaldehyde, parabens, SLS, synthetic colorants, and triclosan
- Suitable for men, women, and children
Price: Rs. 1000 for 250 gm.
9. Biotique Advanced Ayurveda Basil and Parsley Revitalizing Body Soap
The Basil and Parsley Revitalizing Body Soap from Biotique employs advanced Ayurveda to gently care for super sensitive skin. It contains a rich blend of pure fruit and vegetable extracts that provides you with fabulous results.
- A rich blend of traditional Ayurvedic formulae
- Recommended by doctors for people with super sensitive skin
- Formulated with coconut oil, wheat germ oil, and reetha oil along with the pure extracts of basil, parsley, tulsi, pudina, and margosa
- Cleanses impurities and exfoliates the skin very gently
- It does not disturb the skin’s natural pH balance
- Treat scarring diseases (ringworm, dermatitis infection, scabies) with regular use
- It leaves the skin refreshingly fragrant
- Has no harmful dyes, hardening agents, or additives
- Clinically tested and hypoallergenic
Price: Rs. 90 for 150 gm.
10. MamaEarth Moisturizing Bathing Bar for Babies
The Mamaearth Moisturizing Bathing Bar not only suits the delicate skin of babies but also treats dry, sensitive, itchy, and eczema-prone adult skin wonderfully. It leaves the skin soft, smooth, and healthy.
- A pH-balanced (5.5) product with a moisture-rich cream formula
- Best suitable for delicate, sensitive, dry, itchy, and eczema-prone skin
- Loaded with goat milk, shea butter, oatmeal, and coconut-based cleansers
- Soaks up excess oil and removes dead cells
- Cleanses the skin well without overdrying it
- Keeps the skin moisturized by retaining its natural oils
- Nourishes the skin from deep within and makes it healthy
- Improves skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, etc.
- It does not contain soap, SLS, SLES, parabens, and synthetic fragrance
Price: Rs. 125 for 75 gm.
Sensitive skin is a symptom that you may experience as a result of an adverse reaction to certain skincare or cosmetics products. While simple skincare modifications are enough to keep the issue of skin sensitivity under control, it is important to know the underlying causes for achieving desired results. Dryness, Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis), Contact Dermatitis, Rosacea, Hives (Urticaria), Photodermatoses, Cutaneous Mastocytosis (CM), and Aquagenic Pruritus are some known causes of skin sensitivity. As regular soaps come loaded with harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrance, and several other toxins, they are too harsh on sensitive skin. Mild soaps are made of gentle ingredients that not only help in cleansing the skin effectively but also leave it moisturized and healthy. They maintain the natural pH level of sensitive skin, softens it wonderfully, and calms it down. Make sure that your soap does not contain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, color additives, alcohol, etc. Rather, it should contain glycerin, plant oils, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, lanolin, etc. All you need to do is choose from the best soaps for sensitive skin available in India based on your unique requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Should I Avoid If I Have Sensitive Skin?
If you have sensitive skin, make sure that you avoid the use of harsh exfoliants, chemical sunscreens, essential oils, alcohol, synthetic fragrance, etc. on your skin.
What Foods Inflame Skin?
Common foods that trigger inflammation are sugar, dairy products, processed meat, fried items, gluten, sodas, etc.
What are Signs of Sensitive Skin?
Common signs of having sensitive skin include dry patches, itchiness, frequent flushing, broken capillaries, stinging or burning sensation caused by cosmetics, sensitivity to sunlight, etc.
- “What Causes Sensitive Skin and How Can I Care for It?“, HealthLine.com
- “Contact Dermatitis“, MayoClinic.org
- “Aquagenic Pruritus“, RareDiseases.info.NIH.gov
- “What Is Mild Soap and When Should I Use It?“, HealthLine.com