Most people are familiar with the nighttime ritual of using a facial moisturizer, and most people have even utilized the genius of a facial mask to help to keep their faces looking and feeling soft, smooth, plump, and healthy. But this newest trend may be a bit of a stretch for some: Overnight face masks.
Leave it to Asian skincare to come out with something designed to prolong our beauty and yet still be easy to use. This is one of the latest arrivals to cross the threshold, but is it really one of the greatest?
What Is an Overnight Sleeping Mask?
When I first heard the term overnight sleeping mask, I envisioned some sort of paper mache monster that was unwieldy and uncomfortable to try to sleep in. My next thought was a clay or charcoal mask that you slather on and then try your hardest not to roll over onto your side and get all over the pillow.
Then I came to my senses realizing that would just be ridiculous. In reality, an overnight sleeping mask or moisturizer is sort of a glorified, heavy-duty moisturizer designed to be applied at bedtime and left to soak all the goodness into your skin, doing its beauty thing all night long. They differ from regular clay masks, which are designed to be rinsed off, or sheet masks, which are supposed to be removed after a certain (fairly set) time period.
They’re designed to not only reinforce your skincare programme, but to really give a boost of added overnight deep hydration. While the term “mask” tends to invoke visions of thick, putty-like creams, these thick gels are actually non-comedogenic, so your skin will still be able to breathe.
Just to be clear here: we’re talking about a specific type of mask formulated to be applied at night and to be worn over a longer period of time. These are designed specifically for that purpose!
Why Use a Sleeping Mask?
While at first glance, sleeping masks are similar in idea to a nighttime moisturizer, the truth is, they’re not exactly the same. They’re frequently paired with strong antioxidants that can help to really revive and refresh your skin. They typically contain a higher concentration of active ingredients, so they tend to have better efficacy than night creams. They’re also frequently created using hyaluronic acid and remodeling agents like retinol.
Applied at the end of your nighttime skincare ritual, a mask can help to form a seal over your face, locking in everything that needs to penetrate. While that sounds like it’s pretty hard core, these sleeping masks tend not to be as rich as the heavier night creams, actually leaving less mess on your pillow.
You may not believe it, but things happen while you’re sleeping. Your skin makes good use of that time to replenish, repair, and rebuild. Using a sleeping mask is a great way to help your skin utilize that time and energy by providing it with complementary help.
Not all sleeping masks are created equally. They’re meant to seal in your serums and creams, but the ingredients in the masks, themselves, are beneficial, too. People with acne-prone skin can still benefit from the light moisturizers like hyaluronic acid, while those with dry skin should look towards a mask with ceramides and argan oil.
How Should You Use a Sleeping Mask
Don’t prepare to throw your favorite night cream away just yet! They still definitely have their place in your routine. The cream should still be your daily go-to for overnight hydration. A sleeping mask is a little more of a “special occasion” type of product, only to be used once or twice a week. Because of their potency, they’re too much punch to use every day. Except in the instance of overly dry skin, overuse of masks can actually cause them to lose efficacy. Instead, look to use a sleeping mask the night before a big day.
For most masks, apply all the components of your usual routine, including your serum, moisturizer, and facial oil before using a sleeping mask as long as they don’t contain any silicones. That’s because silicone products create a moisture barrier to lock in hydration, so they’d actually block the absorption of your sleeping mask.
Wash your face in the morning as usual and go about with the rest of your routine!
A Few Sleeping Masks To Pay Attention To
Allies of Skin Bright Future Sleeping Facial is great for really tired, fatigued skin with brightening glycolic acid and lactic acid, as well as moisture-building hyaluronic acid. It also has a gentle form of retinol to help increase cellular renewal, softening fine lines.
H2O+ Beauty Infinity+ Overnight Wrinkle Reducing Mask works with your skin’s natural rejuvenation process to improve texture, and increase elasticity with micro tripeptide and camellia japonica oil. Aloe vera, dimethicone, and red algae help to hydrate and protect your skin, leaving you to wake up with a healthy morning-after glow.
Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask was created to be an organic hydrating treatment. It goes on smooth with a soft, gel-like texture, that dries to a visible translucent film to lock in moisture. Inside, you’ll find luxurious ingredients like caviar lime, silver ear mushroom, kakadu plum, and natural hyaluronic acid.
A Word of Caution
While sleeping masks are meant to be layered with your typical routine, you may want to check with your dermatologist if you’re currently using prescription topicals. Not all masks that contain some active ingredients should be used in conjunction with some prescriptions.
You should also be sure to read the ingredients of all products you’re planning on using together so you don’t overdose on really strong actives like retinol or vitamin C, which can lead to irritation.
Just when you were starting to get a little bored with your regular nighttime routine, along comes something new to shake things up.