I Found a Product That Fixed My Sensitive Skin in 4 Weeks
Photo via Peet Rivko

Every winter, my skin betrays me. It’s happened for as long as I can remember.

By “betrays,” I mean that it suddenly becomes a hundred times more sensitive and prone to random protests of visible irritation in the form of blotches and weird rashes, and a hundred times more mysterious in that all my usual quick-fixes and favorite products are rendered ineffective.

It’s as if I’m trying to soothe a crying baby that’s extremely upset about something but no matter how much jiggling and patting and cooing I do it keeps crying and I just want to be like, TALK TO ME AND TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED.

But it never has — my skin, I mean. I can make an educated guess as to the source of its hypersensitivity (stuffy dry air, boiling hot showers, wind chill, etc.), but I’ve always been flummoxed about how to ameliorate it beyond simply doubling up on moisturizer, which doesn’t appear to help all that much.

After a particularly bad flare-up, I whined (I guess my skin isn’t the only baby) about my dilemma to Sara — a freelance writer who frequently covers beauty, including this face oil explainer for Man Repeller.

In her typical problem-solving fashion, she claimed to know exactly what my Benedict Arnold pores needed. Later that day, a package arrived at my desk from a brand called Peet Rivko. Inside the package were three products: a cleanser, an oil and a moisturizer. I started using them that night (eliminating all my other beauty products save for my beloved Biologique Recherche P50).

That was one month ago. Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce that in the four weeks since I started using Peet Rivko’s product lineup my winter skin woes have been…fixed.

FIXED! Not just improved — gone entirely. I’m almost scared to put that in digital ink because it feels like a jinx, but I also cannot keep it to myself according to the rules of basic human decency which stipulate that when the solution to an annoying and probably pretty common problem turns out to be pretty simple, you are obligated to shout it from the rooftops at a high decibel, so here goes:

All of Peet Rivko’s products are plant-based and formulated with zero toxins and zero irritants specifically for sensitive skin. According to founder Johanna Peet, most natural beauty lines include ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin such as fragrance, essential oils and acids. There’s a reason your dermatologist loves to recommend Cetaphil – because it’s super, super gentle and free of fragrance (fragrance is a common irritant) and harsh ingredients. The ingredients are mostly synthetic though, and Peet was shocked to find that a clean, plant-based version didn’t exist. When she couldn’t find it, she created Peet Rivko.

Prices range from $30 for the Daily Moisturizer to $56 for the Balancing Face Oil. Not cheap, I know, but you can buy the whole lineup in travel-sized bottles for $46 if you want to try it out before committing. I love beauty products and have tried a lot, so I speak with authority when I say that these really, really work.

Sorry if I’m starting to sound like an infomercial. I’m just excited that when someone whines to me about Benedict Arnold pores, I can now tell them exactly what they need.

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  • Andrea Raymer

    I so relate to these feelings. I just purchased BioClarity after hearing about former bachelor contestants rave about it on their podcast ads (I’m very susceptible to Instagram influencer marketing). I’m like 2 days in and my skin looks and feels better than it has in months since the weather turned on me. I keep calling people to tell them about it like I’m a paid telemarketer.

    • Harling Ross

      oooooh i’m intrigued

  • Rita

    I strongly recommend the historical Tea Tree Cleanser of The Body Shop. It is not expensive: 10€ here in Europe and it works perfectly to me.
    But I take notes as it seems a really cool and interestic brand!

  • Before and after photos?

    • Joe

      There are none. It’s a scam.

  • Hannah Laub

    O my god. I’ve spent literal hours of my life looking for natural skincare that doesn’t have essential oils or irritants. Is this real life? Could it be?

    • Harling Ross

      IT’S REAL

    • Sarah

      Marie Veronique also has a lot of EO free products, but the price is significantly higher, and her self-righteous copy describing her products kind of annoys me 🙂

    • Sarah

      Also, though I appreciate the option to use EO-free products, I couldn’t help putting in a plug for some eco brands that I consider “responsible” users of EO’s. They treat them as actives to be sourced properly and used in small amounts, not just something to make your product smell fancy:
      Laurel Whole Plant Organics
      Stark (quite affordable for the quality)
      Josh Rosebrook
      Mun Skincare (you can always find at least a 15% off coupon)

  • tuberoseandvetiver

    Jordan Samuel Skin is also great. Simple, gentle and no essential oils.

    • Sarah

      I was just coming here to say the same thing 🙂 I just bought his new hydrate mist! And I have my fiancee using the whole line, too.

    • Zoe

      I also love his line. It’s so good yet so simple and easy, very gentle! Also, very good price point for the quality.

  • Kay Nguyen

    I have sensitive skin too, I have tried a lot of products from Claudie and origins but not much luck! I will have to try these out, thanks for sharing <3


  • Ashley

    Girl, I know it’d be unethical for you to hyperlink to one of your personal “Get $10” links ~in~ the article, but if you post one down here, I’d be happy to click it!

  • Ann P

    Am I the only person that can’t use Cetaphil? It leaves me red and irritated. I really wish that was not the case.

    • cecilrahn

      Cetaphil has never worked for me either, but I LOVE CeraVe! Not sure of the difference in ingredients, but it’s super gentle and the only moisturizer I can use that doesn’t leave my skin stinging!

    • Gene Day

      Please read this and everything else Caroline writes. She’s brilliant and hilds nothing back.

  • Meg Castellano

    What was the most effective of the lineup, or would you suggest using them as a “kit” all together?

    Still tryin to streamline my skin routine, but I have found that using NUXE dry oil over a hyaluronic acid mouisturizer helps calm my skin and smell like a billion bucks…. and I use the oil on every part of my body because it’s not super oily or gross. Works great rubbed into curly/wavy/frizzy hair as a pick me up. NUXE is 98.1% plant based 💯💯💯💯💯💯 I’m obsessed srry

  • Lola

    Great article, but please stop talking about toxins!

    Re: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/toxins-the-new-evil-humours/

    Natural skin care is great but it’s always saddled with this reputation for hippie theories because we keep using concepts like toxins/detox to talk about them.

  • Aradia123

    Yes! I’m so excited for Peet Rivko. I discovered Johanna and her products at a pop-up on Bowery (the same one where the MR pop-up was!) and have loved it ever since. They don’t get nearly enough press coverage!

  • Serena

    PSA if you purchase on their website – “Sign up for our newsletter and receive 10% off your first purchase.”

  • Serena

    Is it better than La Mer??? I just “invested” in the soft cream and I can’t say I’ve lost 10 years of my life just yet but my skin is supremely sensitive

  • Oh la la! I’m gonna have to try some of their products. Happy you found something for your skin, as I also tend to have similar problems with my face! Thanks for covering this topic. It was enjoyable to read!

  • The Darphin Intral range is great for sensitive skin too.

  • Kate Barnett

    has anyone with combo/acne-prone skin used these products???

  • Gorgeous packaging also!!

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com