What is a sleeping face mask?
With the ongoing skincare trends, most of us have come across various sleeping face masks in the market. But most of us scratch our heads, asking ourselves, “what is a sleeping face mask?”
So, in this article, we will discuss the uses of sleeping masks and their benefits to help you understand it better.
The most desirable daily routine includes the healthiest food items for optimal nutrition, a proper workout regimen, and a good night’s sleep. But how many of us actually follow this? Amidst the hustle-bustle of daily life, between constantly staring at your phone/tablet/laptop screens, moving around in harsh weather conditions, irregular sleep cycles and dealing with the constant stress of household work and professional commitments, your skin also ends up enduring your struggles. It tends to show up later in the form of pigmentation, acne, dark circles, and dry patches.
The usual morning routine for skincare involves a sequential cycle of cleansing, toning, and moisturising. However, doing just that might not be enough to protect your skin from the daily dose of a hustle-bound life. Hence, you also need a night-time routine that works when you are not working, making it the best and most effective way to take care of your skin. The simplest reason is, they do not take any of your extra time and work on your system when you are relaxing. It makes them more effective and helps them penetrate the skin better.
Night-time routines may include applying specific creams, gels or formulations to your skin before sleeping. You can also use a sleeping mask for skin care. The term ‘sleeping mask’ denotes these knights in shining armour that fight to save your skin, keeping it hydrated, moisturised and supple. There are many other uses of sleeping masks.
How does a sleeping face mask work?
Do sleep masks work? A one-hundred per cent! It is not just marketing gimmicks but scientific facts. During the daytime, the skin is involved in protecting us from the sun’s UV rays, dust and pollution. Night-time is when it gets a chance to rejuvenate.
Scientifically speaking, the moments wherein we are in deep sleep are the most crucial times for the skin’s metabolism and epidermal (skin cell) regeneration. The process of deep sleep, where the body is at maximum rest, induces skin cell growth, repair, division, and regeneration. Hence, any nutrient-rich substance packed onto the face or body with deep-conditioning effects will have its maximum efficacy during this part of the sleep cycle. This is exactly how a sleeping mask works for skin care- by capitalising on this opportunity to exert the best possible effects.
You might also be thinking that a sleeping face mask works the same way as a night cream. However, this is not the case. Night creams are moisturisers packed with active ingredients and skin-specific nutrients, albeit meant for daily use, slowly soaked into the skin.
The benefits of sleeping masks are a notch higher in skincare and protection than night creams. They are not meant for daily use (excess use of sleeping masks can also lead to unnecessary irritation and side effects owing to their composition). Also, sleeping or overnight masks are not like the sheet masks you use when you feel like pampering yourself with a bit of ‘extra’ for your skin. They are neither the thicker, peel-off or wash-off masks that have different purposes like oxidation, deep-cleaning, cleansing, etc. Instead, overnight masks are formulated as lightweight gels or liquid - creams that are absorbed best when you sleep. They target specific issues like ageing, dry skin or irritated skin, acne-prone skin, and pigmentation.
Night creams are meant for general moisturisation of the skin, but overnight sleeping masks are meant to address specific issues and treat them from the roots when the body is relaxed. In short, overnight masks are the warriors of your beauty sleep!
What are the benefits of sleeping face masks?
One of the primary benefits of sleeping masks is hydration. An overnight sleeping mask will keep your skin hydrated. Just ensure you wait for at least half an hour to let the mask absorb within your skin to avoid staining your pillows. Some masks target hydration and help the skin replenish water and moisture from the active ingredients. Some masks target collagen formation and fight signs of ageing.
Hydration is a key for restoring youthfulness when it comes to the face. As you age, there is a visible reduction in hydration due to slowing the metabolic processes, which further contributes to dry and wrinkled skin.
You should not worry if signs of ageing start to appear. After all, that’s what a sleeping face mask is for. You can use them in your late twenties to ensure your skin stays supple and hydrated. You can use sleeping masks enriched with hyaluronic acid, proteins and ceramides to fight the early signs of ageing.
Another way by which specific sleep masks work is by reducing oxidative stress. They target free-radical mechanisms to reduce oxidative stress and fight acne-causing bacteria. Others ensure your pores are open and can breathe through the night. Clogged pores are a major reason for bacterial infection and acne.
Other than these, some other uses of sleeping masks are enhancing micronutrients and controlling the oil balance for your skin, making them a holistic skin-care regimen.
How to use a sleeping face mask?
The first rule for overnight sleeping face mask skincare is proper usage. Sleeping face masks should only be used twice to thrice a week, and not more than that; they are especially beneficial during the winter months when there is an increased possibility of skin drying, and you tend to consume less water. However, this does not mean that you should only use these overnight face masks in winter. You can use it, albeit judiciously and cautiously, all year long.
Hand sanitisation is the most crucial point in sleeping face mask skincare. It is necessary that your hands be clean to avoid unwanted contamination. Using dirty or contaminated hands will eventually lead to that dirt sitting on your skin all night long and spoiling the very essence of using a face mask in the first place. Cleanse and tone your skin about an hour before bedtime to prep it up for the mask to sit in comfortably and do its thing while you sleep.
You can also apply a serum or an essence before you use a sleeping mask. Any other products like eye creams or lip masks should also be used before applying a sleeping mask for skin care.
Use 3-4 drops or a small dollop of the face mask (gel) on freshly cleaned face and apply it evenly in a circular motion, covering the cheeks, forehead and jaw lines until the skin feels smooth. You can also use a spoon or a spatula to prevent any chance of contamination.
Applying a sleeping mask should be the last step of your nighttime ritual. Now all you need to do is wait for the mask to absorb a little, and voila! Wake up in the morning to hydrated, refreshed and glowing skin.
Please keep in mind that an overnight mask is meant to stay on the skin, and do not wash it off before you sleep. You can use a face wash to gently cleanse your skin once you wake up and follow it up with a good sunscreen or a vitamin-enriched moisturiser to retain the benefits of your sleeping mask.
Our advice is you use an overnight face mask once midweek and the other over a lazy, relaxed weekend (remember, self-pamper Saturdays / Sundays?)
How to choose the best sleeping face mask?
Ideally, you should consult a dermatologist to know your skin type before selecting an overnight face mask. However, it is not such that you need to have any issue with your skin to be able to qualify for using an overnight face mask.
If you are facing acne issues, select a mask that fights clogged pores and is rich in antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress in the skin. We’d recommend you try the Pure Sense Vitamin C Sleeping Mask. This sleeping mask gives your skin overnight nourishment for illuminated and glowing skin as it contains vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. All of these ingredients help your skin feel hydrated while improving wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin C boosts collagen production in your skin that gives you plump and radiant skin.
You can also select a mask curated for hydration if ageing and hydration are your concerns. If you have extra-sensitive skin, visit a dermatologist and use a mask only and if only recommended.
You should remember that face masks are external agents to supplement the skin and its natural resources. Excess use of chemicals and perfumes in face products should be a complete no-no for healthy skin. Look out for more natural sources of vitamins, minerals and hydrants when you buy a sleeping mask for skin care.
Sleeping face masks are your skin warriors that help in rejuvenating your skin when you are relaxing. It is crucial to take care of the skin as healthy skin is always a prerequisite for a healthy mind and body.
You should also remember that no number of products can substitute the goodness of natural ingredients that you consume on a daily basis. Hence, the best advice would be to include fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of protein in your diet, along with adequate water. Be wise and choose health, always!
Frequently Asked Questions on ways to use sleeping mask
Can I use an overnight mask every day?No, however tempting it may sound, using overnight masks on a daily basis might just lead to irritation and cause other adverse effects on the skin. Excess of anything is bad. Moderation is always the key. Hence, stick to a twice or thrice weekly routine at maximum, if not advised otherwise by a specialist.
Which sleeping mask is the best?Choose a sleeping mask that suits your skin type. Multiple varieties are available in the market, but not everything will suit your skin. Hydration and collagen boost become increasingly important as you age. Acne can cause major issues if there is excess oxidative stress in your body. Choose a mask rich in antioxidants to fight acne. However, a mask made from nutrients sourced from natural ingredients and low in synthetic fragrances and other chemicals should be your prime choice. Find a few of them here.
Are overnight masks good for acne?Yes, some sleeping masks are designed specifically to fight acne. Such masks have antioxidants sourced from natural ingredients like berries and citrus fruits to fight free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. Look out for these masks. If you have excess acne issues, please consult a dermatologist before buying any drugstore product for acne. It may be very specific due to internal nutritional needs or deficiencies rather than external factors. Please do not self-medicate in such cases.