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Your skin enters a state of intensive repair and regeneration while you rest, which leaves it primed to benefit from active ingredients that help promote these functions. Also, transepidermal water loss occurs overnight, so moisture tends to get leeched out of your skin while you’re sleeping. “Overnight beauty products can take advantage of these factors to help promote the repair of damaged tissues and to improve the moisture balance of the skin,” dermatologist Dr. Hadley King tells Elite daily. So when shopping for the best Korean sleeping packs, you should look for formulas that will help fortify the skin barrier — via ceramides, lipids/oils, and even occlusive waxes or balms — to help keep all that goodness locked in. Other great ingredients to look for include peptides, squalene, and hyaluronic acid, which help “support the production of collagen and elastin [to] keep the skin firm, smooth, and taut,” says dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman, who explains that as we sleep, blood flows to our skin, helping to repair collagen and UV damage wrought over the course of the day.
That said, choosing the best sleeping pack for you will ultimately come down to your skin type and skin concerns. For brightening and hyper-pigmentation, consider a potent antioxidant like vitamin C. For heavy-duty hydration, reach for formulas containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or beta-glucan. If you have red, irritated, or even acneic skin, a soothing, anti-inflammatory mask can help you wake up restored. These are just a few of the options to consider; the K-Beauty world is your oyster, and your pillow awaits.
Here are the best Korean overnight masks worth trying right now.
1. Best Sleeping Pack for Brightening Dull Skin
This overnight sleeping pack incorporates rice extract — an amino acid-rich ingredient that Dr. King explains binds moisture, promotes skin cell turnover, and is both soothing and anti-inflammatory. The formula also includes niacinamide, which Dr. King says is effective for maintaining healthy skin barrier function and boosting the production of ceramides, while Dr. Hartman points out that it can help brighten skin and promote a more even-looking tone. Along with the humectant glycerin and sunflower seed oil, this mask can help you wake up to softer, brighter, more balanced skin — though note that this creamy formula can also be used as a rich day cream.
2. Best Sleeping Pack for Soothing Breakouts
If you’re wary of breakouts and clogged pores, you can rest assured (no pun intended) that Dermalogy by Neogen Lab A-Clear Soothing Overnight Mask will cause neither. For starters, it contains anti-inflammatory salicylic acid — a pore-purifying beta-hydroxy acid that Dr. Hartman recommends for breakout-prone skin — and tea tree oil, which is believed to be antibacterial. And thanks to the presence of centella asiatica (aka gotu kola or cica), which Dr. King says is hydrating and anti-inflammatory, you should also wake up to a calm complexion free of redness. Bonus points for its refreshing, gel-like consistency, which can feel especially soothing on inflamed skin when kept in the fridge.
3. The Best Sleeping Pack for Dry or Dehydrated Skin
If you’ve got skin as dry as the Sahara, there are two rockstar ingredients to note in Huxley Secret of Sahara Sleep Mask: Good Night, a hydration-packed formula: hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Dr. King calls hyaluronic acid an excellent humectant, which is hydrophilic, aka it attracts water molecules from the air and pulls them into your thirsty skin. Then comes the ceramide, an emollient, which patches up the skin barrier to keep that plumping moisture in place. This gel mask is mind-blowingly potent considering its light texture, and it’s not at all heavy or sticky.
4. The Best Antioxidant Sleeping Pack
To wake up with a major glow, grab Saturday Skin Tuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask, a vitamin C-packed sleeping pack by the popular brand. First of all, the presence of retinol allows the brightening antioxidant to penetrate deeper into the dermis while you sleep. But secondly, both retinol and vitamin C are known for helping to promote collagen production, as Hartman confirms. Thus with regular use, you can hope for skin with more radiance and “bounce.” That said, be sure to patch test this option as forms of vitamin C and retinol can be irritating for sensitive skin types. If you do give this one a try, remember to use SPF the next day (and everyday!), since retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
5. The Best Sleeping Pack For Your Eyes
Hartman adds that because the skin around our eyes is thinner and possesses fewer sebaceous glands than the rest of our faces, you should seek out actives that help hydrate and firm that delicate area. The Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask hydrates using avocado, promotes firmness (via boosted collagen production) thanks to the incorporation of retinol, and helps you wake up to rejuvenated, less-tired eyes thanks to the addition of coffeeberry. Basically, this formula comprises the eye-area trifecta.
6. The Best Sleeping Pack For Your Lips
Got dry lips? Then applying the Bubi Bubi Lip Mask before bed is a wonderful habit to pick up. This antioxidant-packed lip mask is made with a patented, barrier-preserving ingredient called XPERTMOIST that helps keep the other stars of this formula — like aloe vera, jojoba, and Adenosine (which Hartman confirms can help promote collagen production) — locked against your lips for hours.
Hadley King, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist.
Corey L. Hartman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist.
When Beauty Products Cause Sun Sensitivity. Skin Cancer Foundation. (2018, November 16). https://www.skincancer.org/blog/when-beauty-products-cause-sun-sensitivity/.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, November 14). Tea tree oil. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-tea-tree-oil/art-20364246.
7, R. L. F. (2020, February 6). A definitive ranking of the best collagen-stimulating skin-care ingredients money can buy. Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/how-to-stimulate-collagen-production-in-skin/.