These have seemingly come out of nowhere as a beauty category but are actually an introduction via Korea. Are they different to night creams? W-e-l-l… We’ve experimented with using regular night creams as ‘sleeping masks’ by slathering on a thicker layer – which certainly benefits dry complexions – but what these creams/masks also offer is a jolt of specifically face-waking ingredients – in line with what a regular mask delivers, but working their magic as we slumber. What we would say with sleeping masks is: if you have dry skin, more is more.
GOLD AWARD SkinSense Overnight Leave-On Mask
Abi Cleeve – who founded SkinSense – is a highly experienced industry insider who’s parlayed her years in beauty (notably building the phenomenally successful Ultrasun brand) into her own high-tech skincare range. This is a real hero in the collection: a lush leave-on mask to transform dull, lacklustre skin when smoothed on after cleansing at night – 10 minutes before rinsing, for a quick fix, or leave it to sink in and get to work while you slumber. It features brightening lactic acid, plumping hyaluronic acid, hydrolysed proteins and copper peptides, to improve skin elasticity, firmness and hyperpigmentation. Use once or twice a week, Abi & Co. recommend.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'Lighter than my usual night cream so I was concerned it wouldn't moisturise enough. But it left my skin dewy, super- soft, bright and moisturised by the morning. I used it every other night for a week and then a month of twice a week; skin was really soft and looked so much brighter. I am really impressed’ • ‘Fantastic for stopping any breakouts. If I’m getting a spot I use the mask and in the morning I have clear skin! Very happy’ • ‘This light gel-like mask absorbed completely overnight, leaving skin moisturised and smooth, dewy and smoother-toned. My eyes felt soothed and de-puffed. After using it for a week, my skin looked even, plumped and rested. The tube lasts for ages’ • ‘It promises a clearer brighter complexion and achieved this. My skin looked healthier, especially around the eye area. It also felt a bit firmer’ • ‘I will definitely seek this product out and buy it again. My skin loved it. I saw a difference the first time I used it; my face looked more relaxed and younger, the fine lines around my eyes were reduced and the tone of my skin looked better - more refined, less red and blotchy. I will look at other creams by this brand, as I am so impressed by this’ • ‘After using this for a week, my skin was plumper and smoother. My wrinkles looked less obvious and I looked more awake. My skin felt very soft. It does live up to its claims: my skin was more robust and firmer, and it looked a lot brighter’ • ‘My skin looked amazing after first use, it took all redness out and left my skin tone very even. I thought my skin looked more luminous and dewy and seemed smoother and more toned. My skin was definitely more hydrated the next day and stayed that way even the day after. It’s definitely addictive as the results are so nice. It really does exactly what it says on the box – leaves my skin looking even, smooth, dewy, hydrated and plumper. Love it!’
£34 for 100ml - click to buy
SILVER AWARD Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask
It’s Silver two years in a row for Aromatherapy Associates, who’ve put on another stonking performance in these awards. Rose and frankincense oils ensure the pleasure factor of using this is way up there, while the lavish formula offers rice bran and millet seed oils (to protect against environmental damage), along with strawberry seed extract, which is rich in moisture-boosting fatty acids. Use two or three times a week for a line-smoothing, ‘overnight facial’ effect when applied generously from the flip-top tube. Here’s what our testers experienced…
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'I love this product and will definitely be buying to use once or twice a week to keep my skin well moisturised and to help with my enlarged pores. My skin feels soft and nourished and had a glow every time I used it. My pores appeared smaller right from the first use. I also noticed that the sides of my nose (which are on occasions a little oily) appeared smoother. The product smells so natural that I really feel I am detoxing my skin from some of the harsh chemical based products I have used in the past. I felt really pampered in the mornings, as if I’d had a facial’ • ‘This combined a facial and eight hours sleep in one tube! It smoothed and plumped out lines and balanced skin, left my skin hydrated, bright and dewy. It does everything. I used it on sunburn and it healed and repaired that within hours. I have already bought more’ • ‘It promised to smooth and firm the skin's appearance. I definitely felt it did this. It also promised to help plump up the skin's appearance. Again, I felt it did this. My skin looks a lot smoother and even. It also promised to help protect against environmental damage. This is difficult to gauge but I definitely think that by helping to shrink my pores that this is possible’ • ‘My skin really glowed the next day. I removed any residue with my usual toner. My skin felt more hydrated and plumper as the day went on. After a week of using, there was a noticeable difference in fine lines and wrinkles’ • ‘When I first applied the product it seemed warming on my skin, then went colder to give a tightening sensation but not unpleasant and nor drying. It took a couple of applications to get use to the sensation but well worth it. Would recommend using a hair band or clips to push all the hair back – first time it was in my hair especially my fringe area. Good to apply a thin layer when travelling by aircraft or anywhere with air conditioning. No one can tell if you have the mask on as it goes clear on your skin and would give it a boost. My skin looks fabulous, healthy and rosy.’
£62 for 100ml - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask
The Moisture Surge range (principally moisturisers in varying textures) is a bestseller within Clinique’s hypoallergenic, fragrance-free line-up. Testers certainly loved this pale pink tube of almost gel-cream-textured mask, which they deemed to be highly skin-quenching and plumping without clogging pores or feeling heavy. Use as often as needed to wake up looking radiant.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'I LOVE IT! MY new favourite! A must have for my skin moving forward. I am not sure how I managed my skin care routine without it. It is probably lighter than my usual night cream hence why I was not expecting much difference in terms of the result. But it was absorbed by my dry skin very quickly and in the morning my skin definitely felt hydrated and moisturised, looked brighter and felt dewy. My foundation looked very good on top. I was impressed after the first use. I have not been particularly keen on Clinique products before trying this products but I plan to get the face and eye cream in the same range as well’ • ‘After the first use, my skin was plumped, hydrated and supple. After a week of use, it looked lovely. There was a cumulative effect; it plumped my skin further, deeply hydrated it, and left it supple and glowing. I am repurchasing for sure. I haven’t used Clinique for years as I thought of it as a young skin brand but I have now changed my mind’ • ‘This is a great product that sinks in quickly and left my skin hydrated and moisturised from the first use. After a week my skin looked smooth and blemish free. I will buy more and recommend it to others’ • ‘My skin looks and feels hydrated and all the dry patches have disappeared. It is smoother after using this product. A really great product that I would buy and use again’ • ‘A good staple product I would keep in my cupboard for times when my skin needed extra moisture such as in the wintertime and after sun exposure. It nourished really well with no horrible sticky greasy residue that some other masks have. I really like the feel of it. My skin was definitely hydrated, smoother, more supple and nicely moisturised by the morning.’
£31 for 100ml - click to buy