Think that a sleeping mask for oily skin just doesn’t exist? Think again!
Sleeping packs are K-beauty’s secret extra step for achieving radiant, glowy skin as soon as you wake up. But often there’s a stigma surrounding sleeping packs which is that because of their super duper hydrating power, they’re also prone to leaving you (and your pillow) oily and greasy, and therefore should not be used on acne-prone skin.
The reality is that sleeping packs are not messy, do not leave super greasy residue, and oily and acne-prone skin can benefit from their use. Read on to find out why.
What is a sleeping pack?
Western beauty swears by night creams. Night creams are designed for maintaining healthy-looking skin even if you’re not getting enough sleep. They are made to hydrate, nourish, and soothe and are often thicker and feel more luxurious than daytime creams and moisturizers.
Sleeping packs (also called sleeping masks) carry the same nourishing and hydrating properties, but kicked up three notches because they also contain properties to repair damaged skin, build up the skin barrier, brighten, anti-age and seal in all the other steps of your routine.
Sleeping masks don’t always feel as luxurious as night creams because many are formulated primarily with water. Products like the Lioele Water Drop Sleeping Pack, which is a cult favorite K-beauty product for all skin types (and my personal favorite sleeping pack), slide on like a gel, rather than a cream and feel watery rather than thick on the skin to lock in all the other serums as well as moisture.
How to use a sleeping mask if you have oily skin:
Don’t use too much
With sleeping packs, less is definitely more. Sleeping packs often need a little bit of massaging and time to be absorbed into the skin. Using too much makes this process tedious and time consuming. There’s always a temptation with any hydrating product to use as much as possible to maximize hydrating power, but with sleeping packs, you need no more than a nickel sized amount to cover your entire face in an even layer of product that will lock in all moisture and serums for beautiful skin.
Some masks, like Goodal’s Anti Wrinkle Sleep Cream Pack, can be deceptive because they feel too thick for oily skin, which is why it’s important to not grab too much product and spread it across the skin in an even layer, for the most comfortable application and to make sure you get the most out of the product.
Let your other products absorb in first
One of the biggest concerns and complaints that come along with sleeping packs is that they don’t absorb into the skin fast enough, but often this isn’t a problem with the sleeping pack itself. Letting your other products absorb into the skin prior to applying your sleeping pack can increase the effectiveness of your routine overall by allowing the sleeping pack to actually do its job and lock in everything that you’ve already applied. Especially since many sleeping packs like the Erborian Bamboo Waterlock Mask have looser consistencies, they will absorb into the skin better and more easily if applied to skin that isn’t already slippery and drenched in product.
Wait a few minutes after you apply before going to bed
The biggest fear people tend to have with sleeping packs is that they can leave a sticky, jelly mess all over your pillow. It really isn’t likely for residue from a mask to fall off your face but just in case, it is better to wait a few minutes after you apply the mask before hitting the hay. This leaves optimal time for the mask to fully absorb into the skin and ensure that it won’t leave any weird residue in suboptimal places.
Use it less
Sleeping packs aren’t designed for everyday use. Certainly if you’re skin is particularly dry and needs some extra hydration, you can use it daily, but generally it’s not necessary or recommended, particularly because many sleeping packs are treatment masks rather than just hydration masks.
Wash them off in the morning
It’s tempting, I know, to just leave products on in the morning and think, “well, it’ll still be doing its job during the day, won’t it?” But according to the American Academy of Dermatologists, we really should be washing our faces twice daily (in the morning and night) and after sweating to prevent build-up of oil, bacteria, and other impurities.
This is especially important for those with oily skin because there is excess oil build up even in the nighttime which can clog pores causing breakouts. Masks like the Klairs Vitamin E Mask, which is multipurpose and can be worn during the day, should be washed off from the night and then reapplied with the morning routine.
What are the best sleeping packs for people with oily skin?
Overall Nourishment & Hydration
Believe it or not, it is still possible to have dry skin and be oily, which is why the sleeping pack is an important step in the routine especially during the chilly winter months. The RE:P Nutrinature Ultra All-Night Moisture & Relief Mask is a great option, especially if you’re trying to be more ethical with your purchases.
This vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly product glides comes with a pump that squirts the perfect amount of product. The mask glides on and absorbs into the skin easily, and doesn’t leave you feeling any kind of greasy residue after you apply or the morning after.
When you’re little, putting cucumber slices over your eyes seems like the ultimate luxury. Goodal ran with that slice of nostalgia and created the Cucumber Honey Pack. Infused with honey and cucumber, it’s ideal for plumping up dehydrated and overworked skin. The consistency is very watery, and seeps into the skin easily leaving behind a refreshing cooling sensation in its place, which is perfect for calming inflammation and swelling from acne.
Snail mucin is a staple in Korean skincare routines, and for good reason. This ingredient promotes cell regeneration and locks in moisture to increase collagen production and make skin more firm. The Super Aqua Cell Renew Sleeping Mask from Missha is a great product that’s made of 15% of snail slime extract. The product slides out of the bottle deceptively like a thick night cream but sinks into the skin like a gel. It is recommended for acne-prone skin.
Rice water is an ancient trick that Asian women have been using for centuries to keep their skin hydrated, plump, and bright. The Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask is formulated with 65% rice extract to lock in moisture, whilst also evening out skin tone with niacinamide and hydrating with sunflower seed oil. This product has the lightweight consistency of a daytime moisturizer, so it isn’t limited to use as a sleeping pack.
The Klairs Vitamin E Mask is another great option for brightening as vitamin E, especially paired with vitamin C, can do wonders for evening out skin tone, lifting acne scars, and allover brightening. It features vitamin C and niacinamide as some of its primary ingredients, which means that its great for absorbing harmful UV rays, fighting off signs of aging, and producing collagen to give you bouncier, more radiant skin.
Dry skin and oily skin aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have both! And so, even for our oily skinned friends, it’s super important to get in that extra kick of hydration in the winter months when the air can be harsh and drying on the skin. A sleeping mask is a great way to make sure your skin stays plump and hydrated, whilst also throwing some other added benefits in there too.