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8 Face Masks That Will Soothe and Comfort Sensitive Skin

model holding sheet mask

Face masks are a lot of fun. But, as with almost any type of skin care product, you want to ensure you select a mask made with your skin type in mind, especially if you have sensitive skin. That’s because certain ingredients can cause sensitivities to heighten and make skin feel inflamed and irritated. Luckily, there is a multitude of ingredients found in some of the best face masks that work well with sensitive skin (or at the very least, can go after the repercussions for a clearer, more radiant complexion).

Up ahead, we take a closer look at masking with sensitive skin, deep dive into the best face masks for this skin type, the ingredients to keep an eye on (for both positive and negative effects) and tips to make the most out of your masking experience.

Why Masking Benefits Sensitive Skin Types

Masking is an excellent way to target and treat specific skin concerns, like the side effects of sensitive skin (think: dryness, inflammation and redness), as they “deliver higher concentrations of active ingredients to balance the skin,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Because these at-home treatments focus on more specific ailments (and are chock- full of ingredients that promote skin health), they can be some of the most impactful products you use. That is especially true if you have sensitive skin, as masks can help to soothe, comfort and—as a result—promote a more radiant-looking complexion.

Tips for Using Masks on Sensitive Skin

Though ingredients are an important factor when selecting a face mask to use on sensitive skin, the application should also be considered. When it comes to masking on sensitive skin, you want to first ensure that the skin is clean. “Use a gentle cleanser before the mask, [as] you want to make sure any dirt, oil and makeup is off your face,” says Dr. Jaliman. For this, she suggests using a gentle cleanser to create a clean canvas. And following your at-home facial, “You should follow with a good moisturizer,” she adds.

In addition to prepping the skin for masking (and hydrating after the fact), there are some other important factors to consider. The removal process can require extra attention, as certain techniques might cause the skin to feel irritated. When removing your face mask, don’t rub or scrub the skin. Instead, soak a washcloth in warm water and place it over your skin, then gently wipe away the formula. When your skin is clear of the mask, pat gently to dry and follow up with your moisturizing products.

Ingredients to Avoid

It’s always important to stay away from ingredients that don’t serve your skin type. If your sensitivity is caused by dryness, Dr. Jaliman says to keep away from masks (and other products) formulated with salicylic acid. That should especially be considered if the product doesn’t contain hydrating ingredients as “it could dry your skin out even more,” explains Jaliman.

In addition to salicylic acid, “Exfoliating beads might inflame the skin,” notes Dr. Jaliman. Because of their texture, the abrasion could rub the skin the wrong way (pun intended) and cause further irritation to occur. Dr. Jaliman also warns against masks with added scents and fragrances. “These might irritate your skin if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin,” she warns.

Best Face Masks (and Ingredients) for Sensitive Skin

Now that you’re armored with tips and tricks for masking on sensitive skin, let’s talk about the products you should try. Here at Dermstore, we love a good face mask—especially ones that are gentle enough for sensitive skin. Take a look at some of our favorite masks (and ingredients) below.

  1. 1. Hyaluronic Acid
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    1. Hyaluronic Acid

    Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of those ingredients that can benefit all skin types. However, sensitive skin, in particular, can see some major ups from using the ingredient. Dr. Jaliman notes that it “helps in keeping skin hydrated” and as a result can soothe and comfort the skin (especially if your sensitivity is related to dry skin).
    Try: SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque
    What’s better than a weekly treatment that soothes the skin? One that can stay on overnight! The SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque is made with hyaluronic acid and herbal extracts to deliver a cooling, nourishing sensation to the skin. And with regular use, it can help diminish redness, irritation and promote a smoother complexion.

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  2. 2. Marigold
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    2. Marigold

    When your skin is feeling irritated, one of the best things you can do is to reach for a face mask with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Speaking of which, marigold is one of them as it is “high in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Dr. Jaliman.
    Try: Eminence Organic Skin Care Clear Skin Probiotic Masque
    This mask is loaded with some of the best ingredients for sensitive skin, including marigold, cucumber, yogurt, shea butter and stonecrop. The cooling, soothing and nourishing effects of these ingredients, combined with the deep cleansing properties of kaolin clay make it a wonderful mask for drawing out impurities on sensitive skin types.

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  3. 3. Cucumber
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    3. Cucumber

    Cucumber is an ultra-cooling ingredient that can benefit sensitive skin immensely. “Cucumber contains antioxidants and also promotes hydration due to its high water content,” says Dr. Jaliman. Some of those antioxidants include both vitamins A and C, which can also help brighten and protect against aging aggressors.
    Try: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask
    A cooling gel feels amazing on sensitive skin and the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask has a similar effect—except with more impactful ingredients like cucumber, aloe vera and bilberry extract. Upon application, the skin not only feels soothed but well-nourished and more elastic, too.

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  4. 4. Thermal Spring Water
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    4. Thermal Spring Water

    If you have sensitive skin, you might have heard of thermal spring water, as it is used in many facials sprays that soothe the complexion. But, did you know you can also find it in some of the best masks for sensitive skin types? The naturally occurring water is “pure and rich in minerals and helps to cool and soothe skin that is inflamed and irritated,” says Dr. Jaliman.
    Try: Avene Soothing Sheet Mask
    Moisture can instantly soothe and revitalize the skin and the Soothing Sheet Mask has a lot of it. Enhanced by the powers of thermal spring water, the fragrance-free sheet mask brings instant vitality to the complexion and leaves it looking and feeling more nourished and glowy.

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  5. 5. Blue Tansy Oil
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    5. Blue Tansy Oil

    If you experience psoriasis or other inflammatory conditions, Dr. Jaliman says blue tansy oil could help you with your skin care woes. “Blue tansy oil is derived from a native European plant and has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties,” she explains. “It’s a great ingredient for those with sensitive skin,” Jaliman adds.
    Try: Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Mask
    If your skin is feeling irritated, reach for the Blue Tansy Mask by Herbivore Botanicals. Rich in enzymes, white willow bark and—of course—blue tansy oil, the nourishing face mask was made specifically with irritated skin in mind. With the application, its cooling effects go after some of the inflammation and discomfort that comes with sensitive skin.

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  6. 6. Aloe Vera
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    6. Aloe Vera

    Using a product formulated with aloe vera can work wonders on sensitive skin types as it is “anti-inflammatory, so it gets rid of redness and soothes the skin,” says Dr. Jaliman. Thanks to its cooling and nourishing effect, it can also help ward off some of the main culprits of sensitive skin, like dryness. In addition, it’s an ultra-gentle ingredient, so it shouldn’t cause any further irritation.
    Try: Natura Bisse Stabilizing Cleansing Mask
    Rich in soothing ingredients—including aloe vera and willow bark extract—the cleanser and mask duo is not just safe for irritated skin, it works to comfort, nourish and protect sensitive skin from environmental aggressors, too.

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  7. 7. White Mushroom Extract
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    7. White Mushroom Extract

    Mushrooms are all the rage in the world of wellness right now. And as it turns out, they also boast major skin care benefits. White mushroom extract specifically is “known to reduce skin inflammation and help with puffiness,” notes Dr. Jaliman. On top of that, regular incorporation of the ingredient can also help keep wrinkles at bay.
    Try: REN Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask
    This mask brings comfort to your complexion in just 10 minutes. Chock-full of sensitive skin-benefiting ingredients like white mushroom extract, shea butter, vitamin E and jojoba oil, the Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask delivers a punch of hydration to keep skin feeling moisturized and soothed with every use.

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  8. 8. Pitera
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    8. Pitera

    According to Dr. Jaliman, “Pitera is composed of a natural ingredient that promotes the skin’s natural rejuvenation process.” Because of its rejuvenating properties, it can help soothe the skin and improve the look of inflammation and irritation.
    Try: SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
    Sensitive skin can benefit from a boost of vitamins, minerals and amino acids found in pitera and this face mask. With a focus on uneven skin tone—something sensitive skin types can sometimes fall victim to—and moisture, this face mask can help soothe and nourish the complexion upon application.

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Beauty Reporter

Jessie Quinn

Jessie Quinn is a writer and editor with work published in NYLON Magazine,,,, and more. She is a graduate of Academy of Art University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Journalism. Originally from Los Angeles, she currently resides in Brooklyn—her home for the last five years. In Jessie’s free time, you can find her creating content for her beauty blog, Hair Skin Kale, testing out DIY beauty recipes, exploring her neighborhood, or binge-watching episodes of Friends. Her background in fashion has taught her that beautiful skin never goes out of style. Follow her on Instagram.