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When it comes to achieving a radiant complexion, high-quality shut-eye is a critical piece of the puzzle, supporting the skin barrier and minimizing signs of aging.¹ "During sleep, the body rebalances its hydration," explains New York-based dermatologist Hadley King, MD. "And during deep sleep, growth hormone levels increase, allowing damaged cells to become repaired."
With the right products, you can boost these benefits and wake up with a dewy, dreamy glow. Enter: Overnight face masks. "An overnight mask is made to hydrate and penetrate the ingredients into your skin more," says Taylor Worden, celebrity esthetician and the founder of Taylor Worden Skin. "It also seals moisture into your skin."
You have to sleep every night, so why not curate a skincare routine that works while you doze? Unlike sheet masks and minutes-long, rinse-off formulas, overnight treatments go on like a thick moisturizer and are meant to stay on your face until morning. We rounded up the crème de la crème of sleep masks, including expert recommendations and a few from our medicine cabinets.
Hands down, these are the best overnight face masks.
Best Overall: Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask
Who else recommends it? Marie Claire also picked the Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask.
What do buyers say? 800+ Sephora reviewers rated it 4.6 stars or above.
Slipping into the number one slot is none other than Laneige's Cica Sleeping Mask, which Worden says is "amazing for redness and helps calm the skin." Celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, MD, is also a fan of this Korean beauty brand for overnight masks, and it's easy to see why. "Keeping the skin sealed with an overnight mask locks in hydration overnight."
As its name suggests, this nighttime treatment contains cica³ (short for centella asiatica), a superstar ingredient that calms inflammation while healing scratches, blemishes, and texture. The gentle yet effective formula calls on squalane and shea butter² to moisturize and nourish, plus fermented yeast extract⁴ to make each ingredient even more beneficial.
Active Ingredients: Fermented yeast, shea butter, squalane, centella asiatica | Benefits: Soothing, strengthening, hydrating | Size: 2 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Budget: CosRx Propolis Honey Overnight Mask
Propolis can cause allergic reaction
On a budget? Korean beauty favorite CosRx offers a plethora of affordable, effective formulas, and this ultra-lightweight overnight mask is no exception. The key ingredient is propolis,⁵ a bee byproduct with impressive soothing and healing properties.
Just a heads up—a small percentage of people may have an allergic reaction to propolis, so you might want to test a little on your arm first before slathering it on your face.⁶
Active Ingredients: Propolis, honey, royal jelly | Benefits: Healing, hydrating, soothing | Size: 2 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Drugstore: Olay Luminous Overnight Gel Mask
Supports skin barrier
This mega-moisturizer by Olay pulls out all the stops to plump and protect the skin. Antioxidant vitamin E⁷ calms your complexion and supports the skin barrier, while humectant hyaluronic acid⁸ works to deliver much-needed hydration.
Taylor Worden mentions, "Overnight masks work at a deeper level to hydrate and prevent all the free radicals and dirt from touching your skin."
Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide | Benefits: Hydrating, plumping, protective | Size: 4.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Splurge: Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask
Open to splurging on your beauty sleep? This top-shelf tincture contains hyaluronic acid, peptides, and black tea extract, the latter of which is a source of firming caffeine. "Caffeine constricts blood vessels and can therefore reduce the amount of fluid accumulating," explains Dr. King.
Active Ingredients: Black tea, hyaluronic acid, peptides | Benefits: Firming, hydrating, smoothing | Size: 3.3 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Exfoliating: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
Don't let the pretty-in-pink packaging fool you. This award-winning sleeping mask from Glow Recipe contains powerful AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids)⁹ to exfoliate—albeit gently—and leave a smoother, plumper, radiating complexion in its wake.
Kristina Kitsos notes, "Active ingredients penetrate deeper when applied in an overnight face mask … When left on the skin for a longer period of time, as in while you are sleeping, you're maximizing the effectiveness of each ingredient."
Active Ingredients: Lactic acid, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid | Benefits: Exfoliating, plumping, hydrating | Size: 2.7 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
What Our Testers Say
"This stuff works! Whether overnight or just for 10 minutes, it 100% plumps and brightens the skin." — Emily Algar, Product Tester
Best Peel: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Texture Renewal Peel
Minimizes fine lines
If you're partial to peels, you'll love the Overnight Texture Renewal mask from Dr. Dennis Gross. Containing retinol, bakuchiol, and ferulic acid, it tackles fine lines, uneven texture, and other signs of photoaging while you catch your Zs.
Active Ingredients: Retinol, ferulic acid, bakuchiol | Benefits: Smoothing, retexturizing, firming, hydrating | Size: 16 treatments | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Sensitive Skin: REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm
Calms reactive skin
Reactive skin? Your best bet is REN Evercalm, an overnight repair mask that soothes, moisturizes, and protects the skin barrier. In a clinical trial, upwards of 90% of people noticed a boost in hydration and a calmer complexion.
Active Ingredients: Zinc oxide, passion fruit extract, arnica, algae | Benefits: Soothing, depuffing, nourishing | Size: 1.02 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Neogen A-Clear Soothing Overnight Mask
Clears, heals, and prevents
For the acne-prone set, we recommend Neogen A-Clear. This effective overnight mask calls on a medley of ingredients shown to help clear, heal, and prevent blemishes, including tea tree oil,¹¹ salicylic acid,¹⁰ and cica.³
Active Ingredients: Tea tree oil, salicylic acid, licorice root, centella asiatica | Benefits: Soothing, exfoliating | Size: 3.38 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best for Dry Skin: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask
Parched skin? Go with Origins Drink Up, an incredibly moisturizing overnight treatment containing tried-and-true humectants like hyaluronic acid and avocado butter to keep your complexion supple and plump for up to 72 hours.
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, avocado butter, glacier water | Benefits: Moisturizing, plumping | Size: 2.5 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best for Mature Skin: Acure Radically Rejuvenating Bakuchiol Overnight Treatment
Reduces fine lines
Relatively small amount
For mature skin, we're loving Acure's Radically Rejuvenating Overnight Treatment. Containing 2% bakuchiol,¹² addresses fine lines, uneven skin tone, and other effects of photoaging while nourishing the skin with squalane and argan oil.
Active Ingredients: Bakuchiol, squalane, argan oil | Benefits: Smoothing, moisturizing | Size: 1.7 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Uneven Texture: Cocokind Resurfacing Sleep Mask
Relatively small amount
Cocokind's Resurfacing Sleep Mask takes a plant-based approach to smoother skin. Thanks to bakuchiol¹² and cucumber water,¹³ it gently retexturizes while calming stressed complexions.
Active Ingredients: Bakuchiol, cucumber water, squalane | Benefits: Resurfacing, smoothing, toning | Size: 1.7 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Hydrating: PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Overnight Face Mask
Calms reactive skin
Helps skin retain moisture
"This mask provides intense hydration and makes my skin glow in the morning," says skincare authority and expert cosmetic injector Kristina Kitsos. "I love that it has super-hydrators, like hyaluronic acid and beta-glucan, along with powerful extracts to calm the skin. It's the perfect reset for stressed-out skin."
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, panthenol | Benefits: Hydrating, soothing, plumping | Size: 1.8 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Brightening: Saturday Skin Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask
Relatively small amount
If it's a dewy, radiant complexion you're after, you can't go wrong with Saturday Skin. This brilliant sleep mask contains yuzu, a potent source of go-to radiance-booster vitamin C, plus retinol and niacinamide to deliver your best skin yet.¹⁴
Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, retinol, niacinamide, vitamin E | Benefits: Boosting radiance, hydrating, smoothing | Size: 1.69 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
The best option overall is Laneige's Cica Sleeping Mask (view at Sephora). This dermatologist-approved treatment is gentle on sensitive skin, offering a calmer complexion, a heaping dose of moisture, and has healing effects to boot. For something a bit more wallet-friendly, we suggest the Propolis Honey Overnight Mask from CosRx (view at Walmart), a lightweight treatment that heals while it soothes—extra points for the hygienic container.
What to Look for in Overnight Face Masks
Overnight, as your skin repairs itself, is the best time to pack in moisture. That’s why board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick says to look for overnight masks that are chock full of hydrating ingredients. “Look for key ingredients like humectants, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin, to help draw moisture in,” she says. “This will help to leave the skin looking and feeling softer, smoother, and refreshed.”
Dr. Garshick also recommends using products with non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog your pores, especially if you’re prone to breakouts or have very oily skin. “Unlike some face masks that are only in contact with the skin for a short period, overnight masks have prolonged contact with the skin, making it especially important that it won’t clog the pores,” she says.
While this isn’t a must, Dr. Garshick is a fan of exfoliating overnight masks and recommends them if you’re looking to boost your skin’s overall glow. “Exfoliating masks help to eliminate dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and more radiant complexion,” she says. “However, it’s important not to overdo it, as that can lead to irritation.” That said, these are best used occasionally, whether it’s once a week or a few times per week, rather than nightly. Be sure to read the product directions thoroughly and patch test first.
What are the benefits of overnight face masks?
"I think moisturizing the skin overnight is the most obvious benefit because our skin can dry out while we sleep, particularly if the air is dry," says Dr. King. Depending on the ingredients, she adds, treatments can stimulate collagen and promote elasticity.
Additionally, as Dr. King explains, deep sleep helps damaged cells repair themselves. "Without the deeper phases of sleep, this does not occur, [which] results in more noticeable signs of aging," she tells Byrdie. "Overnight beauty products can take advantage of these factors to make a difference in the moisture balance of the skin and repair damaged tissues."
How often should you use overnight face masks?
The suggested frequency of use varies among different formulas, but generally speaking, once or twice a week should yield the intended benefits. You might be able to use gentler formulas more often, whereas exfoliating masks and those containing retinol should be used more sparingly to avoid irritation and a damaged skin barrier.
"Just be sure you're using a mask that is meant for overnight use," notes Dr. Frank. "Using a mask for longer than the recommended time frame can lead to dehydration and irritation."
Why Trust Byrdie?
Theresa Holland is a skincare enthusiast and commerce writer specializing in beauty, self-care, and lifestyle. For this article, she interviewed two dermatologists, a celebrity esthetician, and an expert cosmetic injector for product recommendations and insight into various formulas. Before making her final selections, she combed through ingredients lists and considered the intended skin type and container of dozens of overnight masks. From the above, Theresa has personally tried Origins, Acure, CosRx, Dr. Dennis Gross, and Glow Recipe.
Meet the Expert
Marisa K. Garshick, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist practicing at MDCS Dermatology in New York; she is also an assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell—New York Presbyterian Medical Center.
Hadley King, MD, New York-based dermatologist.
Taylor Worden, celebrity esthetician and the founder of Taylor Worden Skin.
Kristina Kitsos, skincare authority and expert cosmetic injector.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any overnight face masks from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
20 Overnight Face Masks That Work Magic While You Sleep. Marie Claire. https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/g33957616/best-overnight-masks/