These days, most of us have such extensive skincare routines that the thought of adding another in step fills us with dread. But one easy way to up your game, without having to do much at all, is to end your nightly regime with overnight masks. They’re easy to throw on, and get to work while you sleep, making them the perfect lazy person’s dream (no pun intended) product.
Plus, the night time is a brilliant time to introduce some hardworking ingredients to your complexion. ‘Over the course of a night, skin temperature rises, DNA repair is heightened, cell renewal and microcirculation increases, and skin becomes more permeable,’ explains Dimitra Davidson, President & COO of skincare brand Indeed Labs.
‘All of these changes are controlled by the circadian rhythm (also known as your 24-hour sleep/wake cycle),’ she continues. ‘By using an overnight mask that is specifically formulated with ingredients that have the unique ability to synchronise with your skin’s own circadian rhythm and thus work alongside these unique skin changes, your skin will benefit more than when using products that are not synchronised with these skin changes.’
Davidson recommends looking for products with peptides, to help reduce signs of ageing, and polyglumatic acid, which aids skin in moisture retention, but there are dozens on options on the shelves for every skin type and concern.
Here are 16 of our favourites, from high street to high-end.
The best overnight skincare products to invest in now
A chic-looking tub with endless great reviews, Drunk Elephant’s F-Balm is packed with nourishing treats like niacinamide, omega fatty acids and five forms of ceramides. It’s also free from ‘the suspicious 6’ (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLSs) – slather it on before bed for a plumper, nourished complexion when the sun rises.
For a really rich hydration hit, head to Clarins’s coconut water-infused pot of goodness, which claims to provide ‘8 hours’ sleep in a jar. It’s a pretty heavy hitter, so if you’re using it as a mask rather than a night cream, 1-3 times per week will be enough.
Inspired by the body’s natural circadian rhythm, this mask uses plant extracts and peptides to breathe new life into skin and help combat damage caused by environmental stressors, as well as decrease puffiness when you wake up the next day.
If you’re heading to the Beauty Pie pop-up next week, or about to place an online order for its bestsellers, don’t miss this ginseng mask. At just over £7, it’s one of the best value options we’ve found and really gets the job done.
Shiseido’s mask uses yuzu citrus to replenish and hydrate your skin, even if you haven’t had enough sleep to boost it naturally. It also supports the production of hyaluronic acid to help combat dryness.
These K-beauty inspired masks are designed to be used in tandem with the Foreo UFO device, to encourage maximum absorption of nutrients and actives. It’s said that the duo can deliver the results of an intensive treatment in just 90 seconds.
Elemis’s entire Peptide4 line is brilliant for a little nighttime recovery, but this plumping pillow facial is one of our favourites. ‘A Bio-Mimetic invisible veil helps prevent overnight water loss for a youthful-looking complexion, plumped with moisture,’ Elemis explains.
Clinique’s entire Moisture Surge range is a cult classic for a reason. This overnight mask not only gives an instant moisture hit upon application, it also improves skin’s ability to hold it, strengthening the moisture barrier for longer-lasting benefits.
You might already be sleeping on silk (all the supermodels do it), but with Sisley’s mask you can bring velvet into the mix too – metaphorically speaking, that is. This beautifully-textured product restores and repair skin each night using plant-based actives and shea butter.
The secret to Aurelia’s success lies in the inclusion of probiotics, which can be just as good for your skin as for your gut. As well as soothing dry, flaky or sensitive skin, this balm is infused with a lavender scent to help you drift off.
Sarah Chapman has worked on the skin of countless A-listers, and is rumoured to be the genius behind Meghan Markle’s flawless face. Her products are just as trusted as her in-person treatments – this serum/oil formula is non-greasy, and packed with anti-ageing vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and omega oils.
Yes, this Allies of Skin tube of wonder is an investment, but apply it before you head to the land of nod and you’ll wake up looking like you’ve had a professional facial – the cost of which can also stack into three figure territory.
It Cosmetics is best known and loved for its CC creams and mascaras, but don’t overlook its skincare offering. This new formula is suitable for all skin types and enhances the cell renewal process for softer, dewier results.
Dreamy in every sense of the word – Aesop’s new gel-cream night mask uses vitamins B, C, E and F to balance and brighten skin. It’s also great to pack in your hand luggage on a flight to prevent the dryness associated with high altitudes and recirculated air.
This budget buy is full of thirst-quenching ingredients and will leave your skin looking healthy and hydrated each morning – you won’t regret popping it into your basket on your next Boots trip.
And if your skin’s in a spot of bother?
Reach for indie brand Plenaire’s violet paste. Its combination of azeliac acid, beta hydroxy acids and zinc oxide will shrink and calm breakouts overnight.