How to make cosmetic formulas for sensitive skin


Do you want to make cosmetic formulas for babies, children, or those with sensitive, dry and easily irritated skin? The create cosmetic formulas program makes it easy – this blog will talk you through the how, and the program will guide you every step of the way!

How to make cosmetic formulas for sensitive skin

Sensitive skin formulas step 1: Decide on the cosmetic formulas you want to create

When creating formulas for sensitive skin, first think about the type of cosmetic formulas you want to create. For example:

  • cleansers for babies and children should use mild foaming agents at the lower side of the recommended input. The create cosmetic formulas program will always describe the foaming agents, so choose those that mention mildness or gentle clean. The create cosmetic formulas program will also provide you with a guide range of how much foaming agent to use in your formula – so use the lower side of the listed inputs to keep the foam and cleansing power as mild as possible. This helps the skin retain vital oils.
  • facial cleansers and exfoliants for sensitive skin should be crème-based. The program will guide you on the type of emulsifiers to use and their inputs, so make sure you maximise the input of the non-ionic emulsifiers for the mildest yet thorough creamy cleanse.
  • if you have very dry, damaged skin, you may prefer to use a cleansing oil, cleansing balm or oleogel for cleansing instead – these formulas are much higher in oil content to leave your skin feeling extra soft even after it has been cleansed.
  • whether you are making body butters, lotions or any of the types of creams, make sure you maximise the input of humectants for hydrating and skin softening benefits. Also look for nurturing plant oils rich in omega and fatty acids to boost skin barrier protection, and maximise the input of your oils and non-ionic emulsifiers for a stable, glossy white cream with incredible softness.
  • body balms, w/o creams or w/o ointments may be ideal for those with very dry and damaged skin to provide an extra protective emollient barrier on the skin. These types of products would be too greasy for those with oily skin types but are ideal for those with very dry, damaged and irritated skin for their soothing burst of moisture.


Just be careful: layering multiple products should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, as sensitive skin can be very reactive to too much product – and the more products used, the greater the risk of reacting to any one (or combination) of ingredients present.

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Sensitive skin formulas step 2: Maximise the input of humectants

Humectants are an unsung hero in many cosmetic formulations. As osmolytes, they enhance delivery of active ingredients to the mid-layers of the epidermis; and because of their humectant properties, they draw moisture to the skin, making it appear more supple and hydrated.
Sensitive skin is often dehydrated, so using humectants in your formulas can be a great way to put some of the missing moisture back into the skin. This will make it looking and feeling instantly smoother and softer and more revitalized.
Basic humectants such as glycerin, pentylene glycol and propanediol are commonly available from most suppliers and very reasonably priced for the benefits they provide. Maximise their input in formulas where suitable and experience the difference for yourself!   


Sensitive skin formulas step 3: Use nutritive plant oils

Plant oils can be a great way to layer nutrients on the surface of the skin whilst providing a moisture protective barrier that stops trans-epidermal water loss. That protective barrier not only smooths the out layer of the epidermis, it also helps it feel softer, and by preventing excess moisture losses, keeps valuable hydration in the skin for a smoother appearance.
The nutrients of plant oils and the moisture protective barrier they provide can also have other benefits such as antioxidant protection or boosting skin elasticity.
The create cosmetic formulas program provides descriptions of the benefits of each of the plant oils so you can pick and choose those with the dry, sensitive or damaged skin specifically mentioned for the best results.
You can use synthetic oils if you want – they will still provide a breathable moisture protective film on the skin to protect against trans-epidermal water loss and are not harmful (despite what you might read on the internet). They just won’t have the extra antioxidant or fatty acid benefits found in plant oils.


Sensitive skin formulas step 4: Add soothing actives and herbal extracts

While allantoin and bisabolol are two of the most commonly known anti-irritant actives, there are loads of other soothing actives to choose from in the program. Within each formula, look for:

  • Water replacements or aloe vera extract: these can be a great way to add soothing benefits to a formula in place of some or all of the water. Hydrosols can be a great addition and concentrated aloe vera extract is renowned for its skin soothing benefits.
  • Actives: present in all formulas where they will provide benefits, every active ingredient in the create cosmetic formulas program has a description about its function and the types of products it best suits. There are a variety of highly active extracts and oils with proven data to support their skin and hair benefits, while adding hydrolysed proteins and ceramides can be a great way to provide protective and repair benefits to your formulas – perfect for dry and damaged skin!
  • Added extras/extracts: suitable to add to most formulas, extracts in a glycerin base are particularly soothing and a great addition. In the create cosmetic formulas program look for the descriptions listed with each extract to find ones particularly rich in antioxidants or with soothing and repairing benefits.


Get inspiration from our videos:

  • How to make an aloe vera face wash
  • How to make soothing aloe vera gel
  • How to make anti-redness serum
  • How to make a ceramide rich night cream


Sensitive skin formulas step 5: limit or avoid essential oils and fragrances

Even though they are natural, essential oils contain a variety of natural allergens and can be irritating to babies and those with sensitive skin. While fragrances and essential oils can be great to enhance the enjoyment of personal care products for those with normal or oily skin, these aromatic ingredients can be irritating or problematic for those with damaged and easily inflamed skin.
The create cosmetic formulas program guides you on the input of fragrances and essential oils so you can:

  • avoid them completely, or
  • use a really small input – much lower than the maximum input suggested for that product type, and
  • use only essential oils that are listed for their gentleness/mildness on the skin.


Sensitive skin formulas step 6: test your sensitive skin formulas on a small group of people first

If you are planning to sell the cosmetic formulas you create, especially if you are marketing them for babies and people with sensitive skin, it is ideal to test the products first on adults with very fair and/or sensitive skin types. Using a small consumer test group to ensure the products really deliver on their promises will give you peace of mind before selling to a larger group of sensitive individuals, or precious little babies! If you follow the steps above and use the create cosmetic formulas program properly, you will find these cosmetic formulation tips, and the program itself, make it super easy to create amazingly gentle products for babies and sensitive skin types.

Happy formulating!

Did you know there are three types of the create cosmetic formulas program that make it easy for you to create cosmetic formulas fast and easily – and always get a formula that works!

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