The Sulwhasoo I recently discovered.
Photo: Rio Viera-Newton
It wasn’t long into my first brush with Korean beauty that I became infatuated with sleeping packs (also known as sleeping masks). They have a funny name, but they’re basically overnight masks that you apply as the final step in your evening skincare routine (after moisturizer), which give you an extra boost of moisture and treatment. They’re a bit heavy for nightly use, but they’re great to use about once a week (much like a regular face mask), before a special occasion, or when your skin is going through a rough patch and could use some extra care.
I know what you’re thinking: “Really? Another step to my skincare routine?” But it’s quick to throw on, and I’m always thrilled with how plump and bright my skin looks after I’ve used one. Here’s a secret: sometimes when I come home super late and can’t be bothered to do my whole routine, I’ll wash my face and slap on a sleeping pack and call it a night — and to be honest, I’m usually really happy with how my skin looks when I wake up. Below, a few of my all-time favorite sleeping masks for all different kinds of skin issues, so you can wake up looking well-rested and hydrated this winter.
Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask
This mask actually doesn’t contain any honey, but it does include propolis, a residue that honeybees use to fill and seal the crevices of their honeycombs. That might sound odd, but there’s tons of K-beauty brands that claim propolis as a holy grail ingredient in their products. And here’s why: research suggests that propolis is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, which means it’s the perfect ingredient for regenerating skin, softening, and smoothing. That’s the case with this wonder of a sleeping pack from Cosrx — when I use it, I wake up with skin that’s noticeably more glowing, brighter, and softer. When I’m trying to bring my skin back from the brink after a series of gnarly breakouts, this mask, which I put on after I throw on my moisturizer, is a true lifesaver at combatting the damage I’ve done, while also hydrating and plumping my skin. It’s the boost I need, especially during my time of the month.
Huxley Good Night Sleep Mask
In my opinion, Huxley’s Sahara Sleeping Mask is a fall essential. When it comes to shifting seasons, soothing and hydrating your skin is a must. This sleep mask does exactly that, because it includes prickly pear cactus extract, an ingredient full of antioxidants that are beneficial to your skin, as well as hyaluronic acid for hydrating, and centella asiatica for soothing. This isn’t the mask I reach for when I’m combatting active breakouts (see above) but this has never, ever made me break out, and its soothing benefits have helped me get rid of some gross scabby situations before. While the results are deeply moisturizing, the texture actually feels quite gel-like, so if a thick, creamy sleeping mask sounds like a nightmare to you, this one is your match. This will sink into your skin quite quickly.
Grown Alchemist Hydra-Repair Sleep Masque
Who doesn’t want to get a little boost of hydration that also happens to have some anti-aging benefits? This vegan, organic, lightweight mask is formulated with oligopeptides to re-texturize and buff out any fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking super plump and radiant. It also uses hyaluronic acid for moisturizing and snail extract for skin renewal. This is perfect for those who are less concerned with acne, and more concerned with rewinding the clock.
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask
When I had the pleasure of interviewing Jude Chao, she told me that it was criminal I hadn’t tried this mask. It’s certainly not cheap, but after one use I understood the hype. It totally wakes your skin up — not only does it appear softer and nourished, it just makes your skin look super bright and alive. I love a lot of the Sulwhasoo products, but this one was a real game changer for me. With an ingredient list that features scutellaria root, walnut extract, and angelica acutiloba, it gives your skin extra nourishment, and nurtures it while you sleep.
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