Beauty Sleep, For Real: 6 Nighttime Masks That Work While You Snooze

Goopy formulas that turn your face bright blue, peel-away products that require you pick at your skin to get the stuff off — face masks, in general, are not made with convenience, neatness, and ease in mind. Thankfully, sleeping (or overnight) maskstake all these factors out of the equation: They’re applied to a clean face right before bed and left there to absorb and moisturize the hell out of your skin while you sleep. The best part? When you wake from your blissful slumber, most of them don’t require so much as a rinse. 

But these masks aren’t just built to meet the lazy girl’s MO — they work at night, while the skin is naturally healing itself and is primed to optimally receive nutrients. “At night, your body goes into repair mode,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, a New York City-based dermatologist. “It also allows your skin to start to work its recovery patterns and undo damage that was done during the day.” 

Krant says these super-hydrating masks work to reduce water loss (and dry skin) by plumping and softening the outer cells of the skin and locking in hydration, making them a perfect nightcap to follow dehydrating office-air days or booze-tinged nights. Here are a few formulas we reach for to breathe life into tired skin.

1

Dr. Krant cites inflammation as a second symptom (next to water loss) of dehydrated skin. This gel formula — from the Korean-based company that helped bring the sleeping mask concept stateside — contains not only the majorly moisturizing hyaluronic acid, but anti-inflammatory ingredients like pueraria root to tackle dull skin. 

Dr. Jart+ Premium Firming Sleeping Mask, $48, available at Sephora.

2

This oil-free, gel-cream mask absorbs quickly (and without so much as a hint of greasiness) while aloe, seaweed, and algae extracts work to calm and soothe irritated skin. 

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, $32, available at Nordstrom.

3

Yogurt has long been used as a DIY skin soother. This brand new treatment harnesses the cool, calming effects of the thick, vitamin-packed Greek stuff with a vegetarian cream that’s made from 95% natural ingredients. 

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial, $45, available at Sephora.

4

Antioxidants don’t just protect our skin from free radicals caused by daytime pollutants — they can help reverse our skin’s cell damage at night, according to Krant. This oil-free, gel formula contains a cocktail of antioxidants (by way of vitamins A, C, and E), plus wakame, sea lettuce, and fennel extracts to do battle with the free radicals in our skin. 

H2O+ Night Oasis Overnight Moisture Lock, $44, available at H2O+.

5

Along with swapping bamboo sap for water, this liquid-gel is designed to hydrate by simulating hyaluronic acid production in the skin. It also boasts minerals like copper and zinc, which have been shown to work topically to brighten the skin, Dr. Krant notes. 

Amorepacific Moisture Bound Vitalizing Masque, $60, available at Sephora.

6

Packed with myriad fruit butters and oils to nourish the skin (including avocado, mango, apricot, and olive), this cream mask smells good enough to eat. Though it’s thick in texture, the non-sticky formula absorbs quickly so you can hit the sack right after applying. 

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, $23, available at Origins stores and Origins.

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