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Goopy formulas that turn your face bright blue, peel-away products that require you pick at your skin to get the stuff off — face masks, in general, are not made with convenience, neatness, and ease in mind. Thankfully, sleeping (or overnight) masks take all these factors out of the equation: They’re applied to a clean face right before bed and left there to absorb and moisturize the hell out of your skin while you sleep. The best part? When you wake from your blissful slumber, most of them don’t require so much as a rinse.
But these masks aren’t just built to meet the lazy girl’s MO — they work at night, while the skin is naturally healing itself and is primed to optimally receive nutrients. “At night, your body goes into repair mode,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, a New York City-based dermatologist. “It also allows your skin to start to work its recovery patterns and undo damage that was done during the day.”
Krant says these super-hydrating masks work to reduce water loss (and dry skin) by plumping and softening the outer cells of the skin and locking in hydration, making them a perfect nightcap to follow dehydrating office-air days or booze-tinged nights. Here are a few formulas we reach for to breathe life into tired skin.