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The Best Sleeping Facial Masks for Brighter, Smoother Skin

Take your beauty sleep to the next level with these overnight sleeping facial masks for a brighter and smoother complexion in the morning.

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woman applying face mask on face in bathroomImage Credit: Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm/Getty Images

What are sleeping facial masks?

To capture a true night of beauty rest, some people swear by overnight sleeping facial masks. These masks are essentially ramped-up moisturizers packed with active ingredients that target dullness, fine lines, dark spots, and more, says Shereene Idriss, a cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Dermatology in New York City.

Instead of washing the mask off, you slather it on before bed and let the ingredients sink in while you sleep. This allows the ingredients to penetrate your pores and lock in moisture. Your skin also repairs itself while you sleep, says Miami-based dermatologist, researcher, and author Leslie Baumann, CEO of Skin Type Solutions. A sleeping facial mask can help boost this process, leading to clear, healthy skin.

(Related: The Best Thing to Do for Your Skin in Lockdown)

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Spa Woman applying Facial green clay Mask. Beauty Treatments. Close-up portrait of beautiful girl applying facial mask.Image Credit: Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock

Tips for using a sleeping facial mask

Applying a sleeping facial mask is as simple as slathering it on and going to bed. But these steps can maximize your results.

Check the label for the recommended usage

You can usually apply hydrating masks daily. Certain masks—such as those with retinols—are meant to be applied once or twice a week.

Prep your face

Always remove any makeup and wash your face first, says Dr. Idriss. Skip any moisturizers, and apply the overnight mask as the last step before bed.

Read up on the ingredients

Learn about the active ingredients in your mask, and check that you’re not repeating other products in your nighttime routine. For example, you don’t want to slather one exfoliating ingredient on top of another. This may wind up irritating your skin.

Try it for a few weeks

Some people say they wake up with brighter, smoother skin the next morning. But don’t toss out that mask if you don’t see an instant change. Dr. Idriss says that it can take six to eight weeks before seeing the full results.

Ready to wake up to brighter, smoother skin? These overnight sleeping facial masks contain the right ingredients to transform your complexion for every budget.

(Related: The Top Beauty Trends to Come Out of Pandemic Life)

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laneige water sleeping maskVia

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask


Thanks to a lightweight gel texture, this Laneige mask is instantly soothing. Its ingredient list includes apricot and evening primrose, which help heal the everyday damage done to your skin. Mineral-rich ionized water traps in moisture. Reviewers claim that this product helps you wake up with a softer, more even complexion.

(Related: What Is Facial Cupping? I Tried It at Home)

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Korres Apothecary Wild Rose Night-Brightening Sleeping Facial


Wild rose, a main ingredient in this product from Korres, is rich in moisturizing fatty acids. Another one is vitamin C, an antioxidant that can infuse life back into dull skin, adds Dr. Idriss. A 2017 study in the journal Nutrients suggests that the vitamin may also rev up your formation of collagen, the protein that gives skin its youthful look.

Bonus: The organic ingredients are ethically sourced from Greek family farms.

(Related: 12 Popular French Beauty Products You Can Find at Canadian Drug Stores)

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2-Hydro Boost Hydrating Overnight Mask copyvia

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Overnight Gel Mask


Want to give sleeping facial masks a try, but don’t want to commit to a pricey product? This single-use mask from Neutrogena is the answer. Kaolin clay, seaweed extract, and vitamin B3 detoxify and refresh your complexion, while hyaluronic acid locks in moisture. Fans say they wake up with dewy, younger-looking skin.

(Related: Should I Refrigerate My Skin Care Products?)

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3-Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask copyvia

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask


This cult favorite from Glow Recipe gets its pink hue from watermelon, which is packed with amino acids that fight damage-causing free radicals. It also contains alpha-hydroxy acids—AHAs. AHAs not only help get rid of dull surface skin cells but have also been proven to help strengthen skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, says Dr. Idriss. Other ingredients include moisturizing hyaluronic acid.

(Related: The Truth About Petrolatum: Does it Belong in Your Skin Care Products?)

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Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask


Battling a dull, dry, or blemished complexion? This Summer Fridays mask is a salve for stressed-out skin. It’s made with horse chestnut extract, which helps exfoliate skin and reduce inflammation, according to a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. It’s combined with vitamin C and a type of vitamin B3 called niacinamide. This ingredient gives cells the energy to help repair themselves; over time, it can lighten dark spots for a brighter, more even skin tone.

(Related: 11 Amazing Benefits of Turmeric That May Just Change Your Beauty Routine)

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COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask


Most of us think of rice as a dish on the dinner table. But rice bran contains antioxidant compounds that, when applied topically, can protect and hydrate skin, suggests a study in the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. This COSRX mask is 68 percent rice extract for a softer, smoother complexion. It also contains niacinamide and glycerin, which help moisturize overnight.

(Related: 12 Popular French Beauty Products You Can Find at Canadian Drug Stores)

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Image Skincare Ageless Total Overnight Retinol Masque


Retinol is a star ingredient to promote collagen production, says Dr. Idriss. This Image Skincare mask uses encapsulated retinol to lessen wrinkles and fine lines. Other notable ingredients include marine collagen to hydrate the skin and antioxidant-rich grapeseed extract. You can apply this mask a few times a week; if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, use it once or twice a week.

(Related: 10 Cult-Classic Beauty Products We Swear By)

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Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask


The South American maqui berry is one of the most antioxidant-packed fruits in the world. This Superberry mask mixes it with vitamin C and a combination of hydrating ingredients, including glycerin, squalene, and hyaluronic acid. Reviewers of this product say that it helps soothe dry, flaky skin.

Next: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Skin Smooth All Winter Long