Sleep is a time of rest and recovery, a quiet moment in an otherwise hectic schedule, when your mind and body can finally dial things back and recuperate. The same is true for your skin.
Skin has a lot to contend with during waking hours. Harsh winds, pollution, un-checked oil production and general grime challenge its delicate equilibrium, resulting in redness, uneven texture, blocked pores and even premature aging (think early signs of lines and wrinkles). It’s for these very reasons that women spend time every morning readying their skin for what lies ahead: moisturizers and lotions preserve hydration, serums defend against harmful toxins and SPF protects skin against the damaging effects of UV. But a carefully considered morning skincare routine amounts to only half of what your skin really needs.
Your skin is hard at work while you’re sleeping. Once it switches into “night mode”, it kicks its repair processes into gear and begins to purge your skin of toxins [1&2]. This is why what you put on your sknujmklin while you’re sleeping is so important.
A great sleep mask can help to restore lost moisture, repair UV damage and the damage caused by toxins in the air, and leave the skin feeling fresh and plump - ensuring it remains healthy and looks glowing by the time your alarm sounds.
But with so many options available, it can be difficult to find the right product for your skin. So we’ve done the heavy lifting and narrowed it down to a choice of two very brilliant, very hard-working masks that your skin will love.
Best for minimizing pores and maximizing glow: WASO Beauty Sleeping Mask
The skin produces less sebum at night , which is why it can often look and feel parched come morning. This comforting gel mask contains Yuzu Seed Extract, a special Japanese extract that encourages your skin to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid—or HA as it is known—has remarkable moisturizing abilities, able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water [4,5&6].
This clever formula also boasts Peony Root Extract, which improves the appearance of clogged and enlarged pores, and even helps to prevent the formation of unwelcome roughness. Botanical Plankton Extract helps to make your skin look more vibrant, glowing and awake (even if you’re burning the candle at both ends).
How to mask:
It’s important to apply a mask—of any kind—to freshly cleansed skin. Dirt, oils and dead cells accumulate on the surface of skin throughout the day and should be banished before you apply your evening products.
Once your skin is comfortably clean, take an almond-sized amount of WASO Beauty Sleeping Mask and smooth it all over your face. Focus your efforts on your cheeks and nose, where skin tends to dehydrate and where enlarged pores are likely to be more prominent. Allow the mask to sink into your skin while you sleep; don’t be tempted to remove the excess, your skin will absorb it all.
Best for anti-aging, hydration and smoothing texture:SHISEIDO Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask
Retinol is widely regarded as the gold-standard of anti-aging. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, a potent antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient. It’s known to boost hydration  and speeds up skin’s-turnover, lessening uneven texture and patches of pigmentation and the appearance of lines and wrinkles .
SHISEIDO Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask is drenched in pure liquid retinol to target texture, pigmentation and lines. It also contains Hydroxyproline, an amino acid that is known to firm skin. You can leave it on the skin for around 15 minutes for a quick boost, or leave it on overnight to maximize its potential.
How to mask:
First, cleanse your skin and pat it dry with a soft towel. This mask comes in two pieces: a section for the upper part of your face to target laughter lines and crow's feet, and a section for the bottom half of your face to treat smile lines and the nasolabial fold. Smooth both pieces over your skin and head to bed. If there is any remaining serum left on your skin in the morning, don’t waste it, massage it into your skin.
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24509961
-  https://aestheticsjournal.com/feature/how-sleep-affects-the-skin
-  https://www.the-dermatologist.com/content/night-skin
-  https://www.dermalogica.co.uk/what-is-hyaluronic-acid%3F/what-is-hyaluronic-acid,en_GB,pg.html
-  https://www.skinceuticals.co.uk/hyaluronic-acid
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/