sleeping masksSource: Kotin/Shutterstock

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned to appreciate over the last few years, it’s that K-Beauty has all of the answers for glowing, radiant skin. So naturally, we’re willing to try any K-Beauty ritual, from the 7-skin method aka toning seven times (yes, we did that) to snail masks (yup, we did this too – these snail products are bomb btw). But the most recent K-Beauty trend that’s making it big in the beauty biz (or should we say, finally becoming mainstream in the West) are overnight sleeping masks, and we’re SO here for it.

What could be better than applying a mask fifteen minutes before you sleep and waking up with super hydrated, unbelievably soft skin? It’s that easy. And if you’re thinking these sound suspiciously like a night cream, well that’s because they’re similar, but definitely not the same.

 via Giphy

Night creams are your more basic cream; they’re often richer than a normal moisturizer because your skin needs more hydration at night, and often contain ingredients like retinol, which should also be used in the pm. Sleeping masks, on the other hand, are typically more intensely hydrating and contain more active anti-aging ingredients.

Here’s everything you need to know about overnight sleeping masks, aka the ticket to I woke up like this skin.

What are sleeping masks?

Overnight sleeping masks are like a supercharged night cream – they provide serious hydration while you sleep, and often contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, essential oils, ceramides, and herbal extracts that help protect and penetrate the skin overnight. Just apply a generous layer fifteen minutes before you sleep – and no, they do not smear all over your pillow.

sleeping masksSource: Dr. Jart+, Laneige, Glow Recipe

How do sleeping masks work?

When you’re in a deep sleep, your skin repairs and replenishes as your skin’s metabolism improves, so your skin cells reproduce more rapidly and repair more efficiently. By wearing an overnight mask, you’ll enhance this regeneration process, as it’ll act as a protective barrier against dirt or bacteria. The mask will also help keep your skin hydrated as it’ll prevent moisture loss while simultaneously hydrating skin with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid. During the winter months is an especially good time to think about using a sleeping mask, as the colder outdoor temperatures combined with increased heating makes skin drier and more likely to lose moisture overnight.

How to apply sleeping masks

Before you begin applying your nighttime mask, make sure you double cleanse and tone. You can also apply a serum to maximize hydration. You can do as many steps as you like, but the sleeping mask should always be your last layer. Apply a dime-sized amount of product to each cheek and gently massage into the skin to encourage absorption. Don’t forget your neck or décolletage as your skin around the neck area is very delicate so it shows signs of aging the earliest. Hit snooze and wake up with seriously soft skin. We recommend doing a sleeping mask 2-3 times a week, but during the winter months, you can do it more often if your skin tolerates it well.

What type of sleeping mask works for you?

A lot of sleeping masks typically have a gel-like consistency, and these are particularly good if you have oily or acne-prone skin, as they’re less likely to clog pores and leave you with a greasy feeling. If you have dry skin, then a cream like consistency will offer extra hydration and protection.

Our fave sleeping masks:

  • Glow Recipe: Glow recipe is our go-to K-Beauty brand and we’re obsessed with their overnight masks. The Watermelon Glow Sleeping mask, $45, is a cult classic; the gel-like formula is perfect for all skin types and uses gentle AHAs to soften the skin while you sleep. Their newest mask, the Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, $45, has a creamy consistency and it perfect for dry to normal skin types.
  • Laneige Water Sleeping mask, $25: This gel mask is packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients like apricot and primrose extract that’ll help brighten and refresh tired skin – it also smells ahhhmazing!
  • Dr. Jart Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask, $35: This super hydrating overnight mask features a unique blend of aqua minerals to give a surge of moisture to the skin.

Let us know if you’ve tried sleeping masks in the comments below, and which are your faves.