Western culture has recently embraced a popular Korean skincare secret: overnight face masks. Studies show that sleep is the most important time for cell reparation, and nightly regimens help skin restore, repair, and rejuvenate from daily damage.
Here’s a closer look at this relaxing skincare regimen and how you can add it to your nighttime beauty routine.
If, like most people, you’re picturing a clay or peel-off mask that would make a mess of your pillow, not to worry! Overnight face masks are more like supercharged nighttime moisturizers with some added benefits. When applied, they are quickly absorbed into the skin, sealing the benefits in without leaving any sticky residue behind.
Cleansers, exfoliators, serums, oils, creams or other nighttime products are applied before the overnight mask, which is then left on all night and rinsed off before your morning skincare routine. Almost as easy as falling asleep!
The primary benefits of overnight face masks are moisturization and anti-aging. Most contain hyaluronic acid, a naturally-produced compound in the skin that holds moisture, keeping skin firm and plump. Hyaluronic acid levels decrease with age, which is where overnight face masks come in. Research shows that hyaluronic acid hydrates skin, decreases wrinkle depth, and improves elasticity. This extra hydration leaves skin looking smooth, even, and supple.
Many overnight face masks also contain vitamins A and C, both of which have significant skincare benefits. Vitamin A has long been used as a treatment for aging skin, while vitamin C produces collagen and helps to brighten and even skin tone.
As with daytime masks and other skincare products, overnight face mask benefits vary based on the skin types they are formulated for.
For dry skin, look for ultra-hydrating formulas that draw moisture deep into the skin. The best overnight face masks for dry skin will include added moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid or argan oil.
These masks can be used every night of the week for healthy, hydrated skin.
Those with oily skin shouldn’t avoid overnight face masks just because they mainly target dehydration. Remember, oil is produced in abundance when the skin is dehydrated, so a mild moisturizing substance like hyaluronic acid is perfect for oily skin.
These masks should be used in place of—not in addition to—your moisturizer. The best overnight face mask for oily skin will not include any additional oils or moisturizing agents. For best results, use should be limited to 2-3 days per week.
For acne-prone skin, look for masks that contain hyaluronic acid, a gentle agent that most skin types can tolerate. The best overnight face masks for acne will also contain Vitamin A, which has been shown to effectively treat acne.
Use overnight masks according to how your skin responds; you may find that using a mask 2-4 days per week works best.
The best beauty routines are effortless, and overnight face masks make it easy to maximize results in your sleep (literally!). Using an overnight face mask for glowing skin takes seconds and works while you snooze — it’s basically your favorite night cream, but better!