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Sensitive skin

Everything you need to know about sensitive skin and looking after it

9 causes of sensitive skin

Stress, cold, wind, sunlight or even the wrong products can be irritating to sensitive skin. Frequently agitating sensitive skin impairs its natural protective function, putting you at risk. But fear not, NIVEA are here to cover off some of the common causes of irritation. Helping keep you (and your skin) properly prepared, treated and protected from everything that life throws at you.

Caution: sensitive skin

Everyday stresses like showering with hard water, being caught in a cold snap wind, applying alcoholic perfumes or UV exposure can be just a few of the common triggers.


Having sensitive skin often means you are more predisposed to irritation. 


When it comes to choosing a cream for sensitive skin, it’s important to find a product that plays to your strengths, treating your skin gently to give it what it needs without causing further irritation.

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Features of Sensitive Skin

Is your body showing its sensitive side?

The body’s skin can be sensitive for various reasons. Environmental factors such as cold or heat, as well as internal processes such as hormonal changes, are known causes.
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NIVEA has a range of skin care products specifically designed to replace what your sensitive skin is missing, keeping it moist and soothed. 


What does sensitive skin look like? Visible signs such as redness, swelling or dryness associated with roughness or flaking skin, are particularly noticeable when you have sensitive skin. These are often accompanied by less visible subjective sensations such as surface tightness, itching, burning or even stinging. Sensitive skin can affect all areas of the body, but especially the face. Wherever you are affected, finding a suitable sensitive skincare routine is crucial to managing it.

There are some similarities to other skin conditions that accompany a lack of moisture, like dry skin. The effectiveness of your skin's function depends on enzyme activity, which is often also reducing in sensitive skin. As a result, the skin's natural barrier is affected resulting in lost moisture and increased penetration from irritants. The corneal layer is also often thinner and nerve endings are more sensitive. 

Triggering factors for sensitive skin

There are so many things that contribute to sensitive skin, outside and in. External factors can make your skin feel dry and inflamed, whereas internal factors, predisposition and time can have their effects too.
Nivea Soothing Night Cream

External factors such as: 
 - Cold and wind - these dry out your skin and reduce its sun-protective effects 
 - UV-radiation, ozone - can cause sunburn, premature aging and wrinkling
 - Dry air or a drastic change of climate can dry out the skin
 - Intense body cleansing, particularly regular soap can irritate the skin and cause redness and strip the skin of essential oils
 - Certain medications - can cause dryness and spots

Internal body factors such as:
 - Age (both very young and more mature) those with sensitive skin are more vulnerable at these ages
 - Psychological stress - higher cortisol levels due to stress can trigger breakouts and oil production
 - Hormonal changes such as the menstrual cycle can exacerbate the effects of sensitive skin 
 - Tendency to allergies - people with sensitive skin are more likely to have local reactions to fragrances, chemicals and dyes present in products and clothing



Finding the creams and moisturisers that are right for your sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, you should make sure you use particularly mild and gentle sensitive skin care cleansing products.


Avoid using regular alkaline soap, which impairs the skin’s protective acid layer and can be quite harsh on your skin, especially if already lacks moisture and essential enzymes. Instead, use products that have been specifically developed for sensitive skin. This applies in particular to cream for sensitive skin, moisturiser for sensitive skin and other skin care products.


The products you apply should only contain skin-friendly ingredients – i.e. they should be free of alcohol and fragrances. Effective components which can prevent the symptoms of sensitive skin or alleviate the signs of sensitive skin are also important, for example, liquorice extract or dexpanthenol.

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Ingredients for sensitive skin care

When it comes to sensitive skin, ingredients keeping the skin moist, strengthening the skin’s barrier and calming the skin all help to reduce the skin’s sensitivity. 
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Particularly suitable ingredients include:


  • Dexpanthenol, the precursor of vitamin B5. It strengthens the skin’s natural protective function and contributes to reducing its moisture loss. 
  • Glycerin, a natural moisturiser which supports the skin’s moisture balance.
  • Grape seed oil, which is rich in linoleic acid, is an important component of the natural, barrier-strengthening skin lipids. 
  • Liquorice extract from the root of the Chinese liquorice plant, which has antioxidant properties, soothes irritated skin and alleviates skin redness.

Your most sensitive area: your face

Sensitive skin is most noticeable on the face because it typically is exposed most to external influences, like wind, UV and more. Thankfully, NIVEA has a range of products to integrate into your sensitive skin care routine.
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Care tips for sensitive facial skin

  1. Make-up for sensitive skin: use foundations and concealers especially for your skin type. 
  2. Use face care products that are specially developed for sensitive skin. They keep your skin moist, strengthen its barriers and alleviate the symptoms of sensitive skin. 
  3. Use facial cleansing products which are particularly mild. It is best to use fluids or cleansing wipes specially developed for sensitive skin. Explore our Naturally Good range, the perfect products for sensitive skin.
  4. Avoid beaded facial scrubs as these can aggravate sensitive areas. 
  5. In winter, make sure you regularly apply facial care products in the mornings and evenings. This will prevent your skin from drying out, which can be painful.
  6. Sensitive skin is susceptible to UV radiation. Apply sun protection every day. For particularly sensitive areas of skin such as the face, neck and upper chest area, you should go for sun protection factor 50, such as in NIVEA UV Face Moisture Mousse SPF 50+, or NIVEA Sun Protect Sensitive Sun Lotion specially designed to care for the delicate skin on your face.
  7. Do not smoke, as this increases stress on your skin. 
  8. For further NIVEA product recommendations, shop our face care range


5 care top tips for your body

  1. Avoid exposing your skin to water for long periods of time: take a shower instead of a bath, but no more than once a day, for a maximum of 10 minutes, and preferably warm instead of hot. 

  2. Use skin-friendly cleaning products – do not use regular soaps. Ideal products are mild, pH-neutral shower gels and rehydrating shower oils such as a natural oil shower gel or Sensitive shower cream Shower for sensitive skin from NIVEA. And don’t rub too hard when drying yourself. 

  3. Don’t forget to care for your skin: Always apply cream after showering. 

  4. Avoid tight-fitting textiles and clothes made from ‘scratchy’ materials. This leads to unnecessary skin irritation, contributing to your irritation.

  5. Choose a deodorant that’s free of aluminium salts. Browse our extensive range of deodorants. 
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The relaxation programme for sensitive skin



Stress gets under your skin. Our minds and personalities have a major impact on the appearance of our skin. De-stressing exercises relax sensitive skin and help you to feel beautiful.
A healthy body needs a healthy mind – only when we manage to maintain balance in our life can we find our inner relaxation and equilibrium. And this is reflected in ourselves and our skin. Find out more about how to achieve inner balance.


Absolute musts for true inner beauty are relaxation exercises. Movement keeps us fit and healthy and reduces stress. Whether it’s classic yoga (e.g. Vinyasa Flow) or the trendy “Nia” workout: relaxation exercises create inner equilibrium and help you to be at peace with yourself.


A massage helps you relax and gives you renewed energy. It allows you to reset and creates a calm space away from our often hectic day-to-day lives.

Sensitive Skincare with NIVEA