At times your skin needs something a little bit extra. While travelling, pollution, caffeine, lack of sleep and such similar factors can do a lot of damage to your skin during an average day, if one had the option of getting back home and putting on something that relaxes and eases the damage, then unarguably that would be the best thing! 

In conversation with TC46, cruelty-free and vegan skincare brand Dot & Key give us a detailed understanding of sleep masks and how they help women hydrate their skin overnight while reducing fine lines and wrinkles too.

1. What exactly are overnight sleep masks?

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Sleep masks are lightweight gel-like masks containing different types of skincare actives targeting different skin concerns. They are meant to be applied at night and washed off in the morning. It is usually the last step of a night-time skincare routine. 

2. How are sleep masks different from night creams?

Sleep masks are stronger than moisturizers with more concentration of active ingredients. They are usually lighter in consistency and should be used only 3 times a week depending upon your skin type. They can fix an array of problems that desi women might face, starting from dullness to lack of proper hydration. Normal night creams are of light consistency but lack any of the active ingredients that make sleep masks work the way they do.

3. How does an overnight mask work on skin?

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Sleep masks help other products penetrate deeper into the skin and lock in the actives. Throughout the night these active ingredients get gradually released into your skin and give your skin the ultimate glow in the morning. The best part is, you don’t even have to do a thing! The more the time your skin has with these actives, the better they will be able to absorb the goodness. It also prevents dirt and dust from entering your pores at night. 

4. How can one be careful with this trend of using a sleep mask since it tends to stay on longer than other skincare products?

Sleep masks are meant to be washed off in the morning, with your usual cleanser. Cleansing properly will make sure no residue is left behind. Also, make sure you use a proper overnight mask based on your skin type and skin concerns. It’s best to start by using it twice a week and then increase the frequency to three times a week. Whenever you’re using any skincare product, be it an overnight mask or a simple facewash, don’t forget to check the constituents of the product. Always stay away from products that haven’t been dermatologically tested and contain nasty chemicals. 

5. What is the best process of using an overnight mask?

The main reason why overnight sleep masks are more popular than night creams is because they’re hassle-free. Use them as the last step to your night routine. At times, you can skip the moisturizer and directly apply the sleep mask. They essentially seal your serum with all the goodness. Apply it 20 minutes before going off to sleep or else you’ll end up leaving most of the product on your pillow rather than your skin.

A typical routine should look like: Cleanser > toner > serum > moisturizer > sleep mask. 

6. Is it true that one should look for sleep masks rich in AHA, peptides and ceramides?

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Sleep masks which are rich in peptides and ceramides will work all night to provide your skin with the essentials it needs to stay healthy and youthful. 

  • Ceramides strengthen your skin’s barrier and locks in hydration. This will result in smoother, firmer skin and will help in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  • AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acid holds a lot of benefits for a woman’s skin. They help in visibly brightening skin, reduces and prevents acne, promotes blood flow to the skin, helps in collagen production, increases product absorption and so much more. 
  • Peptides help in improving the skin’s appearance and maintain a smooth, healthy-looking surface. 

7. Apart from restoring moisture, do sleep masks help in reducing fine lines and wrinkles?

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Yes, sleep masks do help women struggling with ageing signs. These overnight masks mostly contain ceramides, peptides & retinol which promotes collagen production as mentioned above and thereby delay the onset of lines and wrinkles. 

8. How should a person with sensitive skin choose an overnight sleep mask?

Someone with sensitive skin should choose a light, hydrating sleep mask with milder actives such as hyaluronic acid. Sensitive skin tends to go hand-in-hand with dryness & dehydration, therefore HA will be your first-aid kit in this case. 

9. Should an overnight mask be used every day? And is it necessary to wash off the mask in the morning?

Sleep masks can be used 3 times a week (more if your skin can tolerate it). They act as an overnight barrier to keep dust particles from entering your pores at night. Washing them in the morning is necessary because otherwise, the collected dust particles keep sitting on your face. 

10. Are there any drawbacks or safety concerns when including a sleep mask in one’s skincare routine? 

Too much of anything can be harmful to us, including water. So using a sleep mask as a moisturizer and applying it too often may be detrimental to your skin since they are more concentrated than basic moisturizers. It is important to not overuse it.   

#SleepItOff!