Overnight beauty treatments have been rising in popularity in recent years and the time-saving solutions are tempting. We asked several beauty pros to reveal why they're so beneficial and give us the inside scoop on some of their favorite products. All that's left for you to do is catch some zzz's and let these overnight masks turn you into a sleeping beauty!
Why should you use overnight beauty treatments?
While you're sleeping, your body has the chance to relax and recover from a busy day, and the same concept applies to your skin.
"While we are asleep, skin cells repair themselves from the stressors experienced during the previous day, including environmental exposures and physiologic stresses," Dr. Brendan Camp of New York's MDCS Dermatology tells Shop TODAY. "Using overnight masks maximizes the skin’s ability for rejuvenation so that it appears fresh and healthy the next day."
Skin cells replenish themselves while you're sleeping and overnight products tend to focus on restoration, as opposed to daytime products, which typically focus on protection. Hydration is particularly important for skin overnight.
"Skin tends to lose moisture and dry out at night due to heating and lower humidity. Overnight products and masks tend to be thicker than daytime ones, complementing your skin’s barrier function to help prevent skin water loss, allowing you to wake up with healthy skin in the morning," New York-based dermatologist Dr. Mark Strom says.
In other words, the term "beauty sleep" is real. So, to help you get the most out of yours, we rounded up the overnight face and hair masks the pros can't live without.
Overnight skin care masks
This Allure Best of Beauty award-winner is compatible with all skin types and works to improve uneven color, dullness and dryness. One reviewer said: "I am a licensed esthetician with sensitive skin, and this stuff is amazing! Drastically reduces my redness & even fades acne scars pretty quickly."
Instead of using harsh scrubs which can scratch and damage the skin, many dermatologists suggest using gentle chemical exfoliating treatments like this one to help the skin naturally exfoliate. This overnight mask has lactic acid which is helpful for softening and smoothing dry skin while also delivering hydration. Reviewers said it calmed angry skin and left their face feeling smooth and soft. Keep in mind that this may make your skin tingle a little at first, but that's normal!
If your skin is naturally parched in the winter months (thanks to all that dry forced air from your heater), this super-hydrating mask is for you. It'll quench that dehydrated skin thanks to avocado, and we like that it's free of animal derivatives. Some reviewers even said it works well under sunscreen as a moisturizer during the day when your skin is in need for some real TLC.
A mix of green tea extract and azelaic acid make this overnight mask very skin-calming for those with acne or irritated skin. It also helps to gently exfoliate the skin and improve the overall texture.
Want a mask that will soothe your skin? Look for formulas like this, without irritating ingredients like artificial color or fragrance, parabens and alcohol. Reviewers love this creamy mask for its super-hydrating properties that leave their skin feeling refreshed.
This light but effective overnight mask packs a punch in the moisture department with an impressive list of ingredients like niacinamide, sodium PCA, plant squalane, five forms of ceramides, omega fatty acids and powerful antioxidants. "I love to use this overnight mask once or twice a week to rehydrate my skin," says commerce writer Hannah Baker. Plus, it comes in a smaller size so you can try it out before you commit to buying the full size.
With a nearly perfect five-star average rating on Amazon from more than 1,400 reviewers, this ultra-hydrating mask is formulated to help soften and brighten the skin. Apply it after your moisturizer in the evening and prepare to wake up to glowy skin. Reviewers love it because it's not greasy and works well when layered with other products. One reviewer even said it was good for their sensitive skin.
We all want glowing skin, and this overnight mask gives your complexion a leg up with little-to-no effort on your part. Celebrity aesthetician and dermatological nurse Natalie Aguilar calls it one of the "most affordable yet efficacious beauty products" in her skin care routine, saying she loves how it hydrates and brightens skin with a potent mix of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
"This product has a beautiful lightweight texture that doesn't leave your skin overly sticky or stain your bedding. Over time, the appearance of dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles are reduced," she explains. "This product is great for all skin types that strive to achieve a dewy and supple finish."
Apply a generous coating of this sleeping mask after slathering on your moisturizer, and let the magic happen while you catch some zzz's. The paraben-free formula tackles signs of aging, dullness, uneven texture and large pores with the help of yuzu fruit, which is packed with vitamin C. It's no wonder that TikTok creator and skin care aficionado Young Yuh counts it among his go-to products.
"I recommend this to all of my friends, especially guy friends, who want a minimalistic skin care routine or for people who are lazy to do skin care in the first place," Yuh tells us.
Tired of waking up to tight, dry skin in the morning? When you're dealing with a dry streak, your typical night moisturizer might need a bit of backup to help restore hydration, and Camp says this moisturizing overnight mask is a great option to try. "It contains squalane, a lipid derived from sugar cane that mimics the skin’s natural oils to seal in moisture," he explains.
The vegan, fragrance-free mask strengthens skin's moisture barrier while you sleep and comes in a balm-to-oil texture that absorbs quickly into skin.
The skin on our lips is often neglected, but it needs a little TLC every now and then, too. Still, applying lip masks during the day can be a pain when you're regularly sipping on water or coffee all day long. And that's where sleeping masks come in handy.
Dermatologist Dr. Dhaval G. Bhanusali says this petrolatum-free mask is gentle on lips and has one super effective ingredient. "The sugarcane-based squalane in it is great to help with those dry winter chapped lips," he notes. The vegan, cruelty-free formula can also be used as a lip balm.
Karen Fernandez, lead aesthetician at SkinSpirit, likes to use this popular hydrator to create her own overnight lip mask. "A thick coat applied to lips at night results in soft hydrated lips in the morning. It can fix chapped lips too!" she tells us.
The versatile beauty staple is free of preservatives and fragrances, and can also be used as a skin ointment for dry, cracked hands and feet.
Camp appreciates that this lip mask can be used in the day or overnight. The creamy formula is full of nourishing ingredients that repair the stressed out skin on lips and lend your pucker a plump appearance.
"It contains shea butter and hyaluronic acid for maximum lip hydration," he says. The mask also includes berry wax, which conditions and protects the lips' moisture barrier.
Retinol is an ingredient you should only use overnight when you won't be exposed to the sun, so it's an ideal addition to your bedtime beauty routine. Aguilar recommends this natural retinol alternative and cited its plant-based anti-aging benefits as a major plus.
"The stimulation from bakuchiol helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and the plant squalene helps replenish moisture in the skin and offer antioxidant protection," she reveals. "It absorbs quickly and leaves a nice moisturized barrier ready to renew while we sleep."
This splurge-worthy skin care find is one that AAPI skin-care expert and TikTok creator Ava Lee swears by. "This mask is packed with powerful Korean herbs and antioxidants to deliver everything you need overnight. The brand is known for using the highest quality of ginseng in their skin care products and this mask contains panax ginger root extract, which has been proven to stimulate collagen production," she gushes.
Perfect for multiple skin types, this hydrating mask is free of parabens, phthalates and sulfates, and addresses dryness, uneven texture and dullness. "I love the way it locks in moisture overnight and it's a go-to after coming back home a little too late on a Saturday night," Lee says.
Overnight hair masks
This hair mask works to not only repair damaged hair, but also helps to protect hair from future damage from things like pollution, heat damage from styling tools and more. Reviewers said this was a game-changing mask and they woke up with smoother hair and could even start to see some repair to split ends after a few weeks of use! Plus, you don't need to wash it out when you wake up in the morning.
With over 8,000 verified reviews and a rating near five stars, this hair mask is known for being super effective and loved by lots. This helps with frizz, repairing split ends, and strengthening, and also comes with a detangling brush you can use to help distribute the mask evenly throughout your hair. Some reviewers even said they noticed hair growth since starting to use it regularly.
Hairstylist and PhanHaus founder Linh Phan tells us that overnight treatments are ideal for color-treated strands. "They'll greatly improve the health of your hair," she explains. The mane maven recommends this powerful formula that boasts the ability to keep locks manageable and shiny through five shampoos.
"It enhances shine and vibrancy and lasts up to a week!" she says. "It has an amino acid blend and is also paraben- and sulfate-free." The multitasker also has some pretty powerful cuticle-sealing technology that helps smooth cuticles and reduce pigment loss.
Hairstylist Stephanie Brown calls this her "favorite product ever" and explains why it has earned such a spot of honor in her beauty routine. "It helps strengthen hair and adds lots of moisture. This is light enough for people with fine hair, but strong enough for people with coarse hair. It is amazing for damaged hair," she says.
She recommends leaving the product — which is full of nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil — in after shampooing and rinsing it out in the morning to give your mane a nice overnight treatment.
This is another strand superstar in Phan's routine and it's a triple threat that promotes hair growth, strengthens locks and improves shine. The hydrating mask coats hair from root to tip with ingredients like sage, baobab and castor oil.
"Whichever treatment you use, I recommend using a satin or silk scarf to wrap your hair in to further insulate it and protect your pillow. By doing an overnight hair routine, you can ensure that your hair remains healthy so you can keep rocking the colors you love," she says.
"Overnight hair masks are great for a nighttime routine because not only does it provide enough time for the product to penetrate the cuticle, but it also protects your hair while you sleep from any breakage due to tossing and turning," celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Korab tells us.
She suggests trying this color-safe treatment mask formulated with hydrating avocado and coconut oils. "This boosts shine in the hair while intensely moisturizing and giving it plenty of nutrients," she adds.
Friction with your pillow overnight can cause hair damage, but this serum aims to put a stop to that. "It replaces moisture and nutrients that have been stripped from the hair by penetrating the hair’s cuticle and also protects the hair overnight by hydrating the hair and preventing breakage," Korab says.
The 2020 Elle international Beauty Awards Winner softens and detangles hair with the help of vitamins, and you can leave it in all night long and into the next day.
Meet the experts
- Dr. Brendan Camp, MD, is a double board-certified dermatologist currently practicing at MDCS Dermatology in New York.
- Dr. Mark Strom, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
- Natalie Aguilar is a celebrity aesthetician and dermatological nurse. She is also the founder of N4 Skincare.
- Young Yuh is a TikTok content creator that focuses on skin care.
- Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. He is currently practicing at Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery.
- Karen Fernandez is the aesthetics department manager at SkinSpirit.
- Ava Lee is a TikTok content creator that focuses on beauty and skin care.
- Linh Phan is a hairstylist and the founder of PhanHaus salons in Arizona.
- Stephanie Brown is a master hair colorist at IGK Salons in New York City.
- Jennifer Korab is a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa in New Jersey.