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Are Clay Masks good for Sensitive Skin?

by | Last updated Apr 21, 2020 | Published on Feb 19, 2020 | FAQ | 0 comments

The term sensitive skin is not so much of a medical term but a clinical term that can vary from person to person. Many contributing factors play a part in skin sensitivity.

Clay masks for sensitive skin may make a great addition to your beauty routine!

Below is a breakdown that will give you more specifics:

At a glance:

What is sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin, does not come in a single condition.  In fact it varies for everyone and can be in the form of stinging, tightness, visible redness, painful or uncomfortable feeling, itching, peeling, or flaking of the skin, bumps, hives or pustules.

What to avoid if you have sensitive skin?

Skin sensitivities can be especially sensitive to products that are buried in your skin care.  Some of these ingredients can cause reactions.  Benzoyl peroxide, hyaluronic acid, alcohol, harsh exfoliates, essential oils, retinoids, coconut oil, and salicylic acid.

Why do clay masks work for sensitive skin?

Relieving your skin of reaction causing ingredients is key.  That’s why clay is an excellent choice as a natural skin care ingredient.  If you are buying clay powder and mixing yourself, you can ensure no other nasty ingredients are a part of your skincare regime. Clay masks are wonderful for removing impurities, soaking up excess oils, boosting elasticity, easing irritating skin conditions, and reducing the appearance of pores.  Choose a Rhassoul or Kaolin clay for sensitive skin.

If you suffer from sensitive skin, this can often be a long road to figuring out what might be the underlying cause.  Just like if you are trying to find out what food causes an allergic reaction.

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What is sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin can mean many things for many people. Some people report feeling:

  • stinging
  • tightness
  • burning of their skin
  • or even visible redness

These reactions can happen as quickly within minutes of application of a product to your skin or may be delayed by hours afterwards.  Others with sensitive skin might not have any clearly visible signs, but find that their skin feels a little irritated or uncomfortable.

While skin sensitivity issues may come and go, the most common complaints of those with sensitive skin are:

  • dryness
  • bumps on the skin
  • hives, itching
  • peeling

No matter what kind of sensitivity it is, it’s definitely not fun to deal with! Usually those with delicate skin also have adverse reactions to skincare products and cosmetics.

What causes sensitive skin?

There are a number of contributing factors that may cause sensitive skin:

  • age
  • family genetics
  • race
  • environmental impacts
  • allergies are also a recognized contributor to skin sensitivity
  • sun and wind exposure.

Certain skin disorders such as eczema, rosacea and allergic contact dermatitis also bring skin sensitivity in addition to the common symptoms of the condition itself.

There are a number of recognized medical conditions that cause sensitive skin. Even some medications for non skin-related issues may cause skin sensitivity. Total bummer.

In a U.K. 2001 study of 3,300 self reporting participants, the study found almost 51.3% of women experienced sensitive skin and 38.2% of men.

Are Clay Masks good for Sensitive Skin? 2

There was a 23% of women reported having a reaction to a skincare product in the last year as well as 13.8% of men. 

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That’s a pretty substantial number of reactions to a product!  It’s important with so many nasty ingredients buried in the fine print of labels that we know what is in our skincare.

What type of ingredients to avoid with sensitive skin:

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There are a lot of skin-friendly products out there that are known for being gentle and natural, like clay! But for those of us who have delicate skin, there are a number of things to avoid using altogether.

If you have sensitive skin, you should use caution when using products containing:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Alcohol, common in astringents, try a witch hazel instead
  • Harsh exfoliants
  • Essential oils
  • Fragrances, often chemically created
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid

These things can be a bit too harsh for sensitive skin types, or cause an imbalance of natural bacteria that are good for the skin. If you are using some of these products you may find that your skin becomes dry, rough or slightly painful after being exposed to them.

In general, products that have only a few ingredients and little or no fragrance or additives are the best for sensitive skin. Clay masks for sensitive skin might just be what you’re missing in your beauty routine!

Which clay mask is best for sensitive skin?

One of the questions I get about clay is “Are clay masks good for sensitive skin?” There is no cut and dry answer to this question, but natural clays only have one ingredient so they are much less likely to cause any issues.

The people I know with sensitive skin are in love with clay masks! Because clay is all natural and from the earth, there are not usually bad reactions from it like there are with some other harsh chemical products.

Rhassoul Clay | Oil Absorbing Clay that also helps with ongoing Sebum Production

The best clays for sensitive skin hands down are Kaolin clay and Rhassoul clay because they do not have a strong expansion. Both types of clay can be found in our clay mask assortment pack. That means that they will work to remove impurities and excess oil, but are still gentle so should avoid potential reaction for sensitive skin types.

Kaolin Clay | Gentle Cleansing and Exfoliating White Clay

White Kaolin is one of my favorites because it is a very light and fine clay. It is a gentle exfoliant and does an excellent job of absorbing excess oils and remineralizing your skin. The mineral kaolinite is very common in cosmetic products and has many other uses as well.

Rhassoul is a clay with a more luxurious feel. Since it is high in silica and magnesium, it helps skin retain its elasticity. This calming clay is also known for helping moisturize the skin.

Here are some of my favorite recipes with these 2 clays that should also be gentle on your sensitive skin:

Bentonite and French should be avoided, at least at the beginning stage of introducing your skin to clay masks.

Treatments for Sensitive Skin:

The best thing anyone can do for sensitive skin is be gentle with it! The less products we put on our skin, the more chance it will have to breathe.

There is no direct research on clay masks for sensitive skin, unfortunately, so I can only use my personal experience here.

When trying new products, always test a small area of your skin before applying all over the face. Just under the chin or behind the ear is always a discrete spot. Leave the product on and check how the area looks after the recommended time. For clay it would be 5-10 minutes, start with even 3 minutes if you have super sensitive skin.

Related: How to use a dry clay mask

A big contributor to skin sensitivity are cosmetics, so take a close look at what ingredients are in yours. Ideally you want to stick to more natural products.

Why do clay masks work for sensitive skin?

Clay masks for sensitive skin are becoming very popular, and for good reason! So what clay is good for sensitive skin? Depending on which kind of clay you use, there are multiple benefits. Removing impurities, soaking up excess oils, boosting elasticity and easing irritating skin conditions are some of the most common.

No matter what kind of skin you have- I think we all need help in these areas!

Clay masks for sensitive skin also help draw out all the nasty gunk within our pores, including air pollutants, dirt and makeup. Acne prone skin will find relief from the gentle astringent properties in clay.

Deep cleansing the look of your skin and leaving it silky smooth skin is one of my favorite results of clay masks!

If this has opened up a whole bunch of questions for you about clay masks, visit our FAQ page.  I have 34 clay mask questions you might be asking yourself.

Do you have sensitive skin? Have you tried using clay masks? Let me know in the comments. I love reading all of the success stories and positive feedback about people’s experience with clay!

Disclaimer: Our content does not constitute a dermatologist or medical advice.


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