If you typically wash your mask off after 10 minutes, you’re likely missing out on some of the skin benefits.
While there are no official statistics gathered on the subject, we’re guessing the use of face masks has doubled (if not tripled) in the past couple of months.
Usually relegated to the back of the bathroom cupboard, we’ve been clutching at face masks like they’re a lifeline, putting them in pole position in many of our beauty routines as they offer us a little self-care solace in these weird and weary times.
Although if you slather on your favourite mask only to wash it off 20 minutes later, you’re missing out. Yes, it might sound like a wild idea, but you should actually be sleeping in it.
“Overnight masking allows the active ingredients to completely soak into the skin over a longer duration of time,” explains celebrity facialist and beauty expert, Jocelyn Petroni.
This is largely because most masks are essentially a supercharged moisturiser with a higher concentration of active ingredients, so it makes sense to sleep in a mask rather than a standard night moisturiser.
“At night our skin absorbs more than during the day, which is why night treatments are more active and results based, whereas day products are more protective. At night our skin repairs and regenerates and its absorption abilities increase, taking in more that it can during the day.”
If you’re not up to going through your whole skincare routine, sleeping in a mask also offers a lazy – yet still effective – solution. You see, masks are generally formulated with a concentrated amount of active ingredients, meaning there’s no need to apply a serum underneath (in fact, applying something underneath the mask may even create a barrier and prevent optimal product penetration).
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And while there are masks marketed as sleep specific, any mask you have at home will do.
“You can actually sleep in most masks and even multiple masks. Apply a clay mask on your t-zone or use as a spot treatment on breakouts and then apply a moisturising mask over the rest of the face,” advises Petroni.
Of course, there are some you should steer clear of, as not all formulas can be worn for long periods of time.
“Masks with fruit acids might have a specific time limit to be kept on the skin before they make the skin sensitised. Other active ingredients that have an exfoliating effect on the skin, or a high dose of vitamins may also do more harm than good.”
It’s also worth noting that many clay masks are notoriously messy, so if your linen sheets are a concern, your best bet is to go with a super hydrating gel (Peter Thomas Roth’s Cucumber Gel Mask is super hydrating) or cream (Ultraceuticals’ Ultra Energising Mask is a serious pick-me-up) to ensure it soaks straight in and you wake up glowing, instead of ending up with a large pile of laundry.
Words by Ashleigh Austen for WHIMN