Sensitive skin can be tough to treat as generally, it reacts to even the gentlest of formulas. It can also have other issues such as dehydration, blemishes and redness, which need to be treated without disrupting its natural balance.
If you want to create a spa-like experience at home and treat yourself (and your complexion) to a little extra care, there's nothing more indulgent than a face mask. However, if you have sensitive skin, trying to find skincare products that won't irritate isn't always an easy task.
"Skin can become overly oily or dry, flakey, red, itchy, bumpy, blotchy, stinging, burning, and dehydrated," says Elizabeth Hand, esthetician at JECT in New York City. If that happens, it's time to re-examine your skincare routine.
While specific skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis are often confirmed with a diagnosis from a dermatologist and make it easy to determine if you have sensitive skin, unfortunately, for many who suffer from sensitised skin, it isn't as easy to get to the root of the problem.
"Sensitised skin is another skin condition that people mistake for true sensitivity because the symptoms can be the same," says Hand.
"What differentiates it is that it has nothing to do with genetics, but is brought on by environmental factors, diet, ingredient allergies, and overuse/misuse of harsh skin care products."
A few of the most common indicators that you have sensitive skin are dryness and flaking, rashes (that most likely show up after using an irritating product or skincare ingredient), and general irritation.
Luckily for everyone with sensitive skin out there, there's a bevvy of skin-soothing ingredients that won't stress out your complexion.
"Ingredients with calming, hydrating, and repairing properties to protect and heal are best for sensitive skin," says Hand, who recommends looking for face masks that incorporate ingredients like:
- colloidal oatmeal
- green tea
- azelaic Acid
- jojoba oil
- hyaluronic Acid
- hemp seed oil
In order to prevent irritation, steer clear of anything with "fragrance, dyes, and highly abrasive products," adds Hand.
Suppose you do notice that you tend to experience irritated skin after using certain products.
In that case, you'll want to pay close attention to any ingredients in your skincare routine to avoid any potential causes. It's best to always do a patch test before slathering products on your complexion.
"For both sensitive and sensitised skin, when trying new products, apply to the side of the face or inner arm, so you know which product is irritating and it isn't as visible if you do experience a reaction," says Hand, which recommends waiting a full 24 hours after doing a patch test before applying the product on your complexion.
Unsure which mask is right for you? Well, you've come to the right place.
We've rounded up the best face masks to calm and soothe sensitive skin, so read on to find your perfect match.
It's no secret that a great face mask is a key to removing stubborn dirt and oil buildup, revealing a fresh and seemingly poreless complexion.
However, if you're prone to dry, irritated, overly sensitive skin, a heavy-duty mask is not necessarily the best option. To help you achieve glowing skin without the added irritation, we've rounded up the perfect skincare masks for a sensitive complexion.
What Are The Benefits Of Face Masks?
The great thing about face masks is that there's something for everyone, whether you've got dry, oily, sensitive, or combination skin.
Depending on the type of mask you use, they can help moisturise dry skin, strip pores of unwanted debris like oil, dirt, and dead skin, fight and prevent acne breakouts, soothe sensitive skin, and even out skin tone.
Choosing The Best Mask For Your Skin
While clay and peel-off masks reduce oiliness, gel masks, on the other hand, will refresh and hydrate dry skin. They're often made with natural ingredients with hydrating properties, such as aloe vera, avocado, oatmeal, and collagen.
Much like gel masks, cream masks are ideal for dry, dehydrated skin. Some cream masks also have anti-acne properties, as well as wrinkle and fine-line treating ingredients. This is why you'll often find cream masks marketed to women over 40.
Clay, Mud, And Charcoal
Clay masks have been around for millennia, being the preferred beauty product of ancient Egyptians and Aztecs alike.
Clay and charcoal are absorbent substances, meaning they're excellent at drawing out dirt and unwanted nasties from your pores and lessening oiliness.
Like clay masks, peel-off masks work as exfoliants, stripping off dead skin cells, dirt, and oil.
These are great for acne and blackhead-prone folks. Though they can be a bit painful to remove, peeling off a mask can be incredibly satisfying, especially after seeing your skin glow!
Which Is The Best Sensitive Face Mask For Me?
OVI. Deep Cleansing Body Mask
OVI. Deep Cleansing Face Mask is a mineral-rich, age-defying Volcanic Ash facial mask that gently absorbs oil, helping to reduce large-sized pores and eliminate built-up impurities leaving tired and stressed skin feeling energetic, vibrant and whole again. OVI is a powerful raw detoxifier & cleanser made for stressed and sensitive skin with natural oils and rich nutrients found from volcanic islands worldwide.
✓ Vegan & cruelty-free.
✓ Remove impurities built up in pores.
✓ Natural detoxifier & cleanser.
ESPA Essential Cleansing Mask
Perfect for sensitive complexions, the Essential Clay Mask from ESPA contains kaolin clay to decongest, alongside marshmallow, rose and benzoin to nourish, soften, soothe and calm red and inflamed skin.
It only needs to be kept on for 20 minutes but is one of the best face masks for sensitive skin that is also a little combination as it helps to clear blemishes without the need for strong acids.
Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask
Heal blemished skin and decongest with this cooling, purifying mask. Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask is ideal for oily or problem skin to revitalise and start fresh. This powerful oil-absorbing, healing and the regenerating mask contains antiseptic Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender Essential Oils.
L'Oreal Paris Pure-Clay Purifying Mask
Ingredients: Kaolin clay, montmorillonite, ghassoul, charcoal
Why we love it: Instead of relying on just one type of clay, this mask combines 3 pure clays which absorb excess oil without drying out your skin. It's a powerful yet gentle mask that works wonders on oily and combination skin.
BRANDT SKINCARE HYDRO BIOTIC™ Recovery Sleeping Mask
If you have sensitive skin, dealing with redness and irritation is a common skin concern. This fragrance-free mask combines probiotics, fatty acids, and ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier and reduce redness and inflammation, all while it hydrates the complexion.
Simply slather it on during your evening routine as you would a moisturiser to reap the benefits.
SAND & SKY Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
If you're looking for a skin-tightening mask that won't stress out your sensitive skin, look no further than this cult-favourite brightening mask that employs skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera, Kakadu plum (which is rich in vitamin C), and mangosteen to calm your complexion, tighten pores, and provide antioxidant protection.
"Absolutely loved this mask. It tightened my pores and made my skin look less red," raves one user.
AHAVA Hydration Cream Mask
If your complexion is feeling more dry than usual, treat yourself to a much-needed shot of moisture thanks to this vegan, paraben-free mask, which serves up a serious dose of hydration thanks to mineral-rich Dead Seawater.
Users rave about how well it works on psoriasis and the plumping benefits they noticed after just one use.
"Smells so good, and I have psoriasis. I wake up with softer skin and no scales," says one review. "Rejuvenates suppleness and moisture," says another.
YENSA BEAUTY PUMPKIN TURMERIC 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask
Finding an exfoliant that won't exacerbate sensitive skin isn't an easy task—that is until you reach for this good-for-you formula that incorporates collagen-boosting pumpkin, soothing turmeric, and brightening fruit enzymes.
Clients can't stop raving about how gentle and effective it is. "Very gentle exfoliant that smells amazing.
Worked well with my sensitive skin and made my face feel soft and glowing," says one reviewer. "This mask is wonderfully exfoliating and feels great," says another.
HEY HONEY Take Away The Drama Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask
If you're looking for a peel-off mask that's suitable for sensitive skin, look no further than this gentle formula that employs alpha-hydroxy acids and propolis to encourage cell growth, help heal damaged skin, and fight acne.
People say it makes their skin feeling "amazing" and call it a "miracle product" in their skincare regimen. "I just used this for the first time, and it is AMAZING! My pores look smaller, skin is less red with an even tone, and it feels so soft," says one review.
Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque
If you're looking for a vegan formula that won't break you out, Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque could be the right pick for you.
Made in Australia, the cruelty-free formula works to combat even the most stubborn blemishes. Packed full of skin-loving ingredients such as Chamomile Bud, Tea Tree Leaf, Rosemary, Lemon Peel, Sage, and Lemon Verbena, this formula helps draw out impurities from the skin in the gentlest way possible.
The sulphate-free formula is kind to the skin and won't irritate any red patches. Scented with the inimitable Aesop botanical fragrance, this face mask is the perfect way to unwind once a week.
If you're suffering from acne and sensitive skin, you'll want a face mask that takes a gentle and kind approach. Many face masks are laden with harsh chemicals, but Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque is a soothing but effective at-home face mask for sensitive skin.
When you're suffering from a big blemish breakout, it can seem like nothing will work. This fast-acting, purifying mask combats unwelcome spots with a potent blend of clays and plant actives.
Once you apply it directly to the blemish, the formula draws out any inflammation and stops bacteria on the skin from spreading. Enhanced with Azulenes, this mask can be applied whenever your skin needs a bit of a boost.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque
Sensitive skin can be prone to red patches and sore spots. When your skin feels tight and uncomfortable, it can be hard to know how to treat it. SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque is a gentle face mask that works to calm the skin without any nasties or aggressive ingredients.
Designed to reduce redness and discomfort, the highly concentrated formula contains an array of naturally derived botanical extracts, which soothe and replenish any temporary skin complaints.
Also containing a calming Dipeptide and Hyaluronic Acid, this mask intensely soothes and nourishes the skin with moisture.
The mask has been clinically tested post-procedure to reduce any frustrating redness and upsetting discomfort effectively.
If you suffer from redness, tight skin, and uncomfortable spots, you want a mask that has a gentle touch.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque is so gentle, it can be used post-laser surgery, after an extraction process, post photodynamic therapy (PDT), and after intense pulsed light therapy.
If you spend a lot of time in the sunshine or find your skin turns red and raw after a hot bath or a heavy workout, this could be a great choice for you. Windburn, chlorine, and sea salt can cause havoc on sensitive skin.
This mask takes a multifaceted approach and soothes skin that's felt the pressure. The intensely calming formula cools the skin on contact and helps restore natural radiance and smoothness.
Société Rejuvenating Peptide Mask - 5 Pieces
There's nothing quite like a post-holiday glow. Spending time in the sun will give you a sun-kissed look, but let's face it: it's one of the worst things you can do for the health of your skin.
If you want to achieve a dewy, post-holiday glow without doing any damage, you should try Société Rejuvenating Peptide Mask. With a gentle approach, the comprehensive rejuvenation gel sheet mask is perfect for all skin types.
Working to support and refresh even the most sensitive skin, this mask will give your skin the intensive care it needs.
Originally used by cosmetic therapists on their client's post-procedure, this mask reduces redness and any signs of irritation.
Offering a broad range of uses, Société Rejuvenating Peptide Mask is a multipurpose, intense rejuvenation gel mask that's ideal for all skin types—designed to fit around the face comfortably; the mask hydrates and plumps dehydrated and stressed-out skin.
Cooling plant-based Stem Cells support and boost the skin, and the barrier-strengthening properties restore and help sore skin heal faster.
If you're looking to reduce puffiness, the Polypeptides in the formula will help rebuild the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid plumps the skin with moisture, so it looks fresh and healthy.
Even though this mask is designed for the face, you can apply it anywhere on the body that needs soothing. Use as often as you need to feel good.
Pai Curtain Call Brightening Mask 75ml
Some days, you want to treat yourself to something a little bit special. A face mask will always help slow down the pace of your day.
Applying Pai Curtain Call Brightening Mask will feel like you're cocooning the skin with something really special. Perfect for dull skin showing signs of fatigue, this precious mask features ingredients that will help the skin glow with health. Cruelty-free, vegan, artificial fragrance-free, and sulphate-free, this nourishing formula leaves the skin hydrated, radiant, and even more attractive.
The antioxidants in the mask help protect the skin from daily aggressors. And if you're prone to pigmentation, this formula will help even things out.
Pai Curtain Call Brightening Mask features a blend of supremely nourishing ingredients. Rosehip and Strawberry Leaf extract combine to lock in hydration and soothe any redness on the skin's surface.
These ingredients help to heal the skin and provide antioxidant protection. Made using organic ingredients, this mask delivers visible results every time you use it. Ideal for dry, dull and dehydrated skin types, this formula revitalises lacklustre skin.
Apply this mask to clean skin and leave for approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove with the Muslin cloth provided and splash your face with cold water to finish.
KORA Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask
If you want to wake up with soft, hydrated, radiant skin, it could be time for you to try a face mask while you sleep!
Even though you can see your skin needs some love, at the end of a long day, you often want to crawl into bed and not worry about it. With KORA Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask, you can simply apply the dreamy formula and then snuggle into your sheets quickly afterwards!
The lightweight, bouncy gel mask is cruelty-free, vegan, Australia-made, certified organic, and artificial fragrance-free, making it one of the kindest formulas available. Designed to hydrate and brighten the skin, the formula features botanicals that leave skin softer and plumper.
If you're looking to hydrate your skin and even out its texture deeply, you'll enjoy using KORA Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask.
The unique blend of Certified Organic Ear Mushroom, Coconut Milk, Caviar Lime, and Kakadu Plum works to help the skin repair and protect itself while you sleep.
If you want your skin to feel hydrated and super-soft, Hyaluronic Acid will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Aloe Vera Leaf Juice is blended with Salicylic Acid, so redness is lessened, and blemishes and imperfections are cleared.
Apply a generous amount of the mask to your clean face, neck, and décolleté. Leave the treatment overnight. Rinse off thoroughly with warm water in the morning, and you're good to go!