Derm DMs: What Happens If You Don’t Remove a Sleep Mask in the Morning?
Pat, don’t rub your skin-care products in; moisturizer before face oil; wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine; there are a lot of rules to follow in the world of skin care, but does anyone know what happens if you forget to remove an overnight mask in the morning? While it may seem like a silly inquiry, we consulted with board-certified dermatologist Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, M.D., to find out, what, if anything, could happen.
The Benefits of Overnight Masks and Masking While You Sleep
As we enter winter (AKA the worst season for many people’s skin), sleep masks should be your new best friend. “Sleep masks are designed to deeply moisturize your skin overnight,” says Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Sleep is an important part of your skin's repair and renewal process. Sleep masks may assist in helping the skin recover moisture.” Because your skin is in peak rejuvenation mode while you’re sleeping, overnight masks can help deliver visible results, come morning.
Not Every Mask Can Be Used Overnight
While they may look interchangeable at first glance, overnight masks and other regular masks are not the same. “What sets sleep masks apart from other hydrating masks is that they are lighter,” says Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Traditional masks [are not designed to be worn overnight and could] leave a messy residue on your sheets and pillows. Sleep masks on the other hand, are meant to provide a light permeable barrier to the skin. In general, many sleep masks are formulated with hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides. Some may also contain peptides [to help support overnight recovery of the skin’s appearance].” Not only do you risk ruining your pillowcase if you leave a regular mask on while you sleep, but you need to ensure that the mask doesn't have any ingredients that can’t be left on the skin long-term. Some masks contain ingredients, such as alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid, which need to be washed off after the recommended amount of time.
What Happens If You Don’t Wash Off an Overnight Mask in the Morning?
While overnight masks are designed to be left on for hours while you sleep, they should still be removed when you wake up. “Overnight masks should always be washed off in the morning,” says Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Leaving them on may increase the risk of unintended breakouts. If you are acne prone, make sure to read ingredients and check labels to make sure that your sleep mask is non-comedogenic.”
The Best Way to Remove an Overnight Mask
When you wake up, remove your sleep mask before applying your morning skin-care routine or makeup. “To remove a sleep mask, I recommend applying a warm towel to the skin first, and then using a gentle cleanser to rinse off the mask.”
For product recommendations, we love the Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask and the Lancôme Énergie de Vie Night Mask. One of Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip’s favorites is the HydroPeptide's HydroLock Sleep Mask.