If you want to step up your daily skincare routine, use a sleeping mask! Sleeping masks are the latest beauty trend (in the Western hemisphere, anyway) you need to start incorporating into your current routine and here’s why:
First of all, what are sleeping masks?
Not to be confused with eye-masks to use at bedtime to block out light, sleeping masks (otherwise known as sleeping packs) are highly concentrated creams designed to keep your face hydrated overnight so you can wake up with radiant, moisturized skin. Although they’re very concentrated, don’t be fooled into thinking they are thick or heavy creams like the ones used for nighttime. Sleeping masks usually have a thin, gel-like consistency but can also come in all sorts of forms depending on the product. Although sleeping masks originated in China, most of them are made by Korean skincare brands that have helped popularize the product. They’re basically the rest of the goop left at the bottom of your typical sheet face mask packet that you forget about or apply carelessly all over your neck, but ten times more hydrating.
How can they help my skin?
It’s a pretty simple concept. When you sleep, you’re probably getting dehydrated since you can’t drink water and any moisturizer you’ve placed is probably fully absorbed or gone by the time you wake up. With the help of sleeping masks, you can keep your skin hydrated all night and be assured to wake up with soft and glowing skin in the morning. Sure, there are night creams that you may already use to do the same trick, but sleeping masks are a lot more concentrated and potent than night creams. A lot of sleeping masks contain ingredients that help calm and attract moisture to your skin. For example, hyaluronic acid, honey, collagen, Vitamin E, and even snail mucin (yes, from actual snails!) are just a few popular hydrating ingredients found in many Korean sleeping masks/sleeping packs out there.
How can I use them with the rest of my skincare routine?
Depending on your unique skin type and concerns, the frequency of using sleeping masks can vary. If you have very dry skin to the point of flaking or cracking, you can probably use sleeping masks every night. However, because most sleeping masks are so concentrated, a little goes a long way. Most of the popular sleeping masks out there are recommended only once or twice a week for you to use if you have normal to combination skin– less frequently if you have oily skin. Simply spread a thin layer before bed and let it absorb into your skin.
Depending on your sleeping mask’s instructions, you can either use the sleeping mask as a replacement for your usual night cream (since it’s just that concentrated) or place a thin layer over your night cream for double the hydration. When you wake up, your skin is hydrated enough to take on the day. For the sake of cleanliness, however, you would want to cleanse your face again in the morning and follow your usual daytime skincare routine as normal.
Which sleeping masks do you recommend?
If you’re just starting out with sleeping masks, you would probably want to try the most popular, highly rated sleeping mask, right? Well, it’s a great thing that Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask exists! This sleeping mask is an Allure Best of Beauty award winner, rightfully so. With over two-thousand reviews on Sephora alone to give it a 4.3 out of 5-star rating (which is quite hard to come by), Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask is a product everyone should try out at least once to see what all the hype is about. It’s ultra-hydrating and safe for sensitive skin, which is enough to mention already, except for the fact that it’s pretty inexpensive for something even being sold at Sephora!
The Water Sleeping Mask is sold for $25 in a 70mL (2.5 fl. oz.) tub that lasts quite a while. The product is also great for any kind of skin, including oily or acne-prone. Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask also comes in a lavender scent, which is perfect for use before bed since lavender is known for its calming and relaxing properties. It’s pretty much the same product, just with an added fragrance. Reviews claim that the fragrance isn’t strong or overpowering at all, but if you’re sensitive to fragrance in general, it’s safer to just stick to the original Water Sleeping Mask. If you’re ready to try this product, be prepared to wake up with more hydrated and plumper skin!
If you’re looking for an alternative to Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask, Klairs’ Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask is the way to go. It contains Vitamin E, which is a popular ingredient in skincare since it’s an “antioxidant known to slow down cell aging.” It’s also great for skin repair, for example from sun damage or scars, creating a stronger skin barrier from any pollutants. Not as well known about Vitamin E is its anti-inflammatory properties, which, according to this Allure article “What Vitamin E Actually Does For Your Skin, “can be soothing and help calm the skin,” making Vitamin E an excellent ingredient to have if you also have any redness or irritation.
Unlike other sleeping masks, Klairs’ Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask also advertises that it’s light enough product that can be used as a daytime moisturizer. If you want a more radiant glow and smoother texture to your skin, this product should be at the top of your list of sleeping masks to try out!
Last but certainly not least, a sleeping mask you should definitely check out is MISSHA’s Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask (whew–what a name!). If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, this sleeping mask is your best bet for hydration and soothing that is safe for your skin type. It’s recommended to be used twice a week in place of your regular night cream as the last step in your nightly skin routine.
What’s interesting about the Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask is that it has two special ingredients: snail mucin extract and Centella Asiatica. Snail mucin extract helps plump up your skin and give it a radiant glow, giving you that coveted naturally dewy look. Centella Asiatica is another great ingredient to have in skincare for its soothing effect. It’s an herb traditionally used in Asian medicine due to its ability to soothe inflammation, which is why this sleeping mask is great for those with sensitive skin prone to irritation or redness.