Best face masks for sensitive skin

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If you like getting a facial but are concerned about what a mysterious formula might do to your delicate skin, you’re in the right place. Many of today’s over-the-counter face masks are formulated for sensitive skin. 

Lauren LaPaglia, a licensed skincare expert, explains that oat-related ingredients, aloe, hyaluronic acid, chamomile, and calendula are all moisturizing and soothing. 

Dana Murray, a licensed esthetician at Babe + Beauty, advises avoiding products containing alcohol and added fragrance, whether synthetic or derived from natural sources, such as essential oils. Murray also recommends green tea, cucumber extract, allantoin, arnica, niacinamide, squalane, and cica (Centella Asiatica) to combat dryness, breakouts, eczema, rosacea, and general inflammation. 

The best face masks for sensitive skin are listed below. 

How We Test and Evaluate 

Our team of editors and contributors spent countless hours researching the best products in this category, evaluating their key characteristics, such as ingredients, shade range and design, customer feedback, and other reliable sources, to compile this list. Our team also incorporated their own testing experiences with products. Using these findings from our research and testing, we assigned a one-to-five-star rating (with five being the best and one being the worst) to the products on the list. 

1. Best Overall: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Sheet Face Mask

:Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing & Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Sheet Face Mask for Dry Skin with Hyaluronic Acid, Gentle & Non-Comedogenic, 1 Ounce (Pack of 12),SG_B076H45H68_US

$35.35
$33.24
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

Deeply moisturize your face with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Face Mask for dry skin. This innovative hydrogel mask instantly quenches dry skin, leaving it hydrated, smooth, and supple.  

Made from a unique 100% hydrogel material, there is nourishing serum in each face mask. The skin-nourishing formula contains purified hyaluronic acid. Once applied, the face mask contours to your skin and seals in its hydrating formula for optimal absorption to deliver clinically proven results.  

To use, apply the face mask after cleansing and before applying serum and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes to give your skin an extra boost of hydration. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask is gentle to skin and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores. The Hydro Boost Collection includes hydrating Hand Cream, Body Gel Cream, Facial Moisturizers and Cleansers for a full hydrating at-home skincare routine 

This is a good moisturizer for those with oily or acne-prone skin. If you have dry skin, this may not produce the desired results. It does not harm your face and does not leave you with a feeling of moisture. If you are a huge fan of Clinique’s moisture surge but are on a budget, then you should choose this product. 

About this item 
  • Brand: Neutrogena 
  • Skin Type: Dry 
  • Item Form: Sheet 
  • Product Benefits: Hydrating 
  • Scent: Unscented 
What We Like 
  • Light texture. 
  • Oil-free. Best suited for sensitive skin. 
  • Good base for makeup. 
  • Can be considered as dupe of Clinique. 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Expensive. 950 bucks for a regular drugstore moisturizer sounds too much. 
  • Not friendly for dry skin people. 
  • Scent might bother you. 
  • No SPF. You must layer this under your sunscreen if heading outside. 
  • It is not Paraben free. 

2. Best Budget: Aveeno Soothe Oat Face Mask with Pumpkin Seed Extract

Aveeno Oat Face Mask with Soothing Pumpkin Seed Extract and Feverfew Extract, to Rebalance and Hydrate Skin, Paraben Free, Phthalate-Free, 1.7 oz

$10.87
$7.40
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

Aveeno Oat Mask with Pumpkin Seed Extract and Feverfew Extract restores and calms the skin. From a brand recommended by dermatologists, this hydrating face mask is infused with pumpkin seed and feverfew extracts to nourish and hydrate even the driest skin.  

This hypoallergenic oat facial mask has a rich, velvety texture, is phthalate- and paraben-free, and has passed an allergy test. Simply apply the mask to clean, damp skin, avoid the eye area, leave it on for five to ten minutes, and then rinse.  

The mask can be used twice to three times per week to restore the skin’s equilibrium. This oat and pumpkin seed-infused formula is paraben-free, phthalate-free, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic, and gentle on your skin. 

About this item 
  • Brand: Aveeno 
  • Skin type: Dry 
  • Product benefits: Hydrating, Soothing, Nourishing 
  • Active ingredients: Pumpkin 
  • Use for: Face 
What We Like 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Non-comedogenic 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Contains fragrance 

3. Best Drugstore: Yes to Cucumbers Cooling Jelly Face Mask for Sensitive Skin

Yes To Cucumber Cooling Jelly Mask, Hydrating Bouncy Lightweight Gel Mask That Leaves Skin Feeling Cool, Soothed & Refreshed, With Cucumber Extract & Antioxidants Natural Vegan & Cruelty Free, 3 Fl Oz

$11.50
$10.59
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

This drugstore gem contains calming and soothing ingredients such as cucumber and aloe vera and redness-reducing and mildly exfoliating willow bark extract.  

Additionally, the Cooling Jelly Mask hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid and glycerin. 

This lightweight, buoyant gel mask hydrates the skin, leaving it feeling calm, soothed, and revived. Gel out with cucumbers to hydrate, soften, and assist in calming the skin—over 11 uses per tube, ideal as a sleeping mask or primer. A vegetable extract that helps to calm and soothe sensitive skin, the transparent green formula dries quickly and soothes the skin within 10 minutes. 

Apply a generous amount to clean skin. Relax and leave the mask on for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water to reveal hydrated, soothed, calm skin. Or apply a light layer, massage onto skin and let it sink in. Pro Tip: Place in the refrigerator for an ultra-cool treatment. 

About this item 
  • Brand: Yes To 
  • Skin Type: Sensitive 
  • Item Form: Gel 
  • Product Benefits: Hydrating, Softening, Soothing 
  • Scent: Cucumber 
What We Like 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Natural formula 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Contains fragrance 

4. Best Hydrating: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

SUMMER FRIDAYS | Jet Lag Mask

$58.37
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

Life is returning to normal, which means we are returning to traveling, working, and other activities; however, with a busy lifestyle comes fatigue, which often manifests as dryness or dullness on the skin. Whether traveling across the globe or working long hours at the office, it’s essential to have products that keep your skin hydrated and glowing. 

Here’s where the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask comes into play. Reformulation of the product has arrived just in time to give your skin the perfect glow for summer adventures and beyond. The brand has eliminated potentially irritating ingredients, such as fragrance and essential oils while retaining the mask’s signature hydration. Vitamin B5, chamomile, and comfrey have been added to the product to soothe and soften the skin. 

If you could use a little more radiance, this mask could be the solution. I tested the updated formula to observe the product’s effectiveness, and the outcomes exceeded my expectations. 

Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag Mask is the best option if you want hydration. The well-liked formula contains hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter, and ceramides to provide much-needed hydration, niacinamide, and vitamin C to boost the skin’s radiance. 

What We Like 
  • Fragrance-free 
  • Lightweight 
  • Eco-friendly packaging 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Expensive 

5. Best Cooling: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask

Peter Thomas Roth | Cucumber Gel Mask | Extreme De-Tox Hydrator, Cooling and Hydrating Facial Mask, Helps Soothe the Look of Dry and Irritated Skin

$55.00
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

When your inflamed skin needs a cooling sensation, apply this gel mask. It provides sensitive complexions with soothing cucumber, calming chamomile, redness-reducing aloe, healing allantoin, and softening papaya extract. 

About this item
  • Brand: Peter Thomas Roth 
  • Skin Type: Dry 
  • Item Form: Gel 
  • Product Benefits: Helps soothe, hydrate and de-tox the look of skin. 
  • Scent: Cucumber 
What We Like 
  • Gentle 
  • Lightweight 
  • Great for after-sun care 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Expensive 
  • Contains dyes 

6. Best Reparative: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask – Hydrating Mask to Help Calm and Soothe Skin – 2 oz.

$24.00
$17.64
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

If your skin suffers from winter dryness, eczema, a painful sunburn, or windburn, you can rely on First Aid Beauty to help it recover. This oatmeal-infused mask moisturizes, soothes, nourishes, repairs, and protects the skin barrier simultaneously. 

About this item 
  • Brand: First Aid Beauty 
  • Skin Type: Sensitive 
  • Item Form: Cream 
  • Product Benefits: Hydrating, Soothing 
  • Scent: Oatmeal 
What We Like 
  • Non-comedogenic 
  • Hygienic container 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Contains alcohol 

7. Best Overnight: CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask, 60ml / 2.02 fl.oz | Rice Extract 68% and Niacinamide 2% | Korean Skin Care, Animal Testing Free, Paraben Free

$23.00
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

If you want something that works while you sleep, the Overnight Spa Mask from CosRx is your best bet. With a combination of rice extract, niacinamide, and allantoin, the fragrance-free formula soothes, hydrates, and boosts radiance. 

About this item
  • Brand: COSRX 
  • Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal 
  • Item Form: Cream 
  • Product Benefits: Brightening, Hydrating, Moisturizing 
  • Scent: No Artificial Fragrance 
What We Like 
  • Leave-on formula 
  • Hygienic container 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Thin consistency 

8. Best Combo: Majestic Pure Dead Sea Mud Mask for Face and Body

Majestic Pure Dead Sea Mud Mask for Face and Body – Natural Skin Care for Women and Men – Best Facial Cleansing Clay for Blackhead, Whitehead, Acne and Pores – 8.8 fl. Oz

$14.98
$13.99
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

Majestic Pure’s Dead Sea Mud Mask is a unique formula made with authentic Dead Sea Mud, universally known for its high-quality salts and minerals that contribute to radiant, healthy-looking skin. Excellent for facial skin care support, deep pore cleansing and for a revitalizing look. Works well on oily and sensitive skin. Makes a fabulous facial mask for reducing the appearances of pores, toning skin and removing impurities. 

About this item 
  • Brand: MAJESTIC PURE  
  • Skin Type: All  
  • Item Form: Clay  
  • Product Benefits: Cleansing  
  • Scent: Aloe Vera 
What We Like 
  • Cruelty-free product that makes it suitable for vegans 
  • Equipped with natural dead sea mud that offers a healthy glow to the skin 
  • Features an exfoliating formula that helps to clear out skin impurities 
What We Don’t Like 
  • May cause dryness 

9. ClarityRx Cold Compress Soothing Cucumber Mask

ClarityRx Cold Compress Soothing Cucumber Mask, Plant Based Cooling Facial Treatment for All Skin Types, Paraben Free, Natural Skin Care (1.7 oz)

$36.00
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

Cold Compress™ Soothing Cucumber Mask is a hydrating, calming and cooling gel mask that brings relief to sensitive, stressed or irritated skin. Plant based extracts of cucumber, chamomile and aloe blend together to soothe and hydrate. This gentle gel mask cools on contact and provides comfort for inflamed red or rosacea-prone skin. 

About this item
  • Brand: ClarityRx 
  • Skin Type: All 
  • Item Form: Gel 
  • Product Benefits: Soothing ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties help protect skin from irritation and free radicals. Soothing ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties help protect skin from irritation and free radicals. See more 
  • Scent: Cucumber 
What We Like 
  • Soothes skin and calms irritation and rashes 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Not for purists 

10. Clay Mask by Cetaphil Pro

Clay Mask by Cetaphil Pro, Dermacontrol Purifying Clay Face Mask with Bentonite Clay for Blackheads and Pores, Designed for Oily, Sensitive Skin, 3 oz

$15.99
$12.19
Amazon.com
as of September 16, 2022 9:27 am

New, luxuriously creamy Cetaphil Pro derma control purifying clay mask purifies and deep cleans pores to leave your oily and sensitive skin feeling ultra-clean and refreshed. With two types of clay and fruit and vegetable extracts, the unique formula does not dry, ensuring skin is not left tight or dried out.  

The bentonite clay absorbs oil and pore-clogging impurities, minimizing the appearance of pores, while Amazonian kaolin clay gently exfoliates to lift away dead skin cells and help improve skin tone and texture.  

Apple Fruit Extract Helps maintain skin hydration, and cucumber seed extract is rich in Oleic Acid to help brighten skin tone. Designed with sensitive skin in mind, Cetaphil purifying clay mask is fragrance free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it will not irritate skin or clog pores.  

To minimize excess oil and shine, use with Cetaphil Pro dermacontrol oil removing foam wash and Cetaphil Pro dermacontrol oil absorbing moisturizer SPF 30 for a gentle skin care routine. Ideal for use on Oily or Combination skin. 

About this item 
  • Brand: Cetaphil 
  • Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Dead skin, Sensitive 
  • Item Form: Clay 
  • Product Benefits: Exfoliating 
  • Scent: Unscented 
What We Like 
  • Best SPF and moisturizer combination 
  • A very light, absorbent moisturizer immediately following will help keep it that way. 
  • It helps the skin tighten and freshen. 
  • Effective on sensitive skin 
What We Don’t Like 
  • It may sting eyes 

How to Select a Face Mask for Sensitive Skin 

Ingredients 

The ingredient list is the most critical factor for skincare for sensitive skin. Murray suggests that individuals with reactive or irritated complexions seek products containing colloidal oatmeal, calendula oil, Centella Asiatica, niacinamide, aloe vera, squalane, arnica, green tea leaf, cucumber extract, chamomile, allantoin, bisabolol, and marshmallow root. 

Application 

When shopping for face masks, you must consider their intended use. Some treatments are intended to be removed after a few minutes, while others can be left on for hours (or even overnight). Then there are sheet masks, which you apply to your face for up to thirty minutes before rinsing away. 

Container 

Another factor to consider is the container. Many face masks are packaged in small plastic or glass jars. Each time you dip your fingers into the product, sensitive skin is exposed to bacteria, which is a concern. If you suffer from eczema or have had bacterial skin infections in the past, you may want to find a face mask packaged in a tube or pump bottle. 

Best face masks for sensitive skin - FAQs

Because the most effective face masks for sensitive skin are soothing, cooling, and calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients are essential. In addition to reducing irritation, numerous formulations offer additional benefits, such as hydration. “If you can balance your skin’s hydration and redness, most undesirable side effects will diminish,” says LaPaglia. 

Some face masks provide gentle exfoliation as well. However, Murray tells Byrdie that for those sensitive to AHAs, “papaya enzymes or polishes with rice powder are a better option” (alpha-hydroxy acids). 

While many people are fine with using products with synthetic/natural fragrances and essential oils, they can be sensitizing. Additionally, she advises avoiding formulas containing simple alcohols. I would also avoid using harsh scrubs with large exfoliating granules. 

As with all skincare products, sensitive skin face masks will eventually expire. Depending on the formula, packaging, and preservatives used, the shelf life of most products is between 12 and 24 months after the date of manufacture. The PAO (period-after-opening) symbol is located on the container’s back. The number in the symbol indicates how long the product will last after being opened. 

Final Verdict

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Sheet Face Mask is the best face mask for sensitive skin by a wide margin. The formulation employs anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe, calm, moisturize, and heal stressed complexions. 

Go with Aveeno’s Oat Face Mask if you want something less expensive (view at Amazon). And if you’re looking for a formula that hydrates without irritating, the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask is your best bet. 

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