The effects of a busy, modern lifestyle are increasingly taking a visible toll on our skin.
Long workdays and pollution exposure, paired with not-so healthy diets, have a huge impact on our complexion, leaving it dehydrated, dull and prone to premature damage.
But with many of us committing to a dedicated skincare routine, is there actually any more we can do to get better, clearer skin and a more radiant complexion?
The answer is simple: just sleep on it.
Sleep is the time that our bodies repair and recover but it's also the time that most beauty products are most effective since they penetrate more effectively when you're at rest. It's not called beauty sleep for no reason.
If you want to boost your beauty sleep and improve your skin, a sleep mask might be the answer.
Yes, a mask while you sleep!
But won't it make my pillow dirty? Far from it, modern masks go beyond the traditional clay formula, with most overnight masks taking form in an easily absorbed gel or cream.
What are the benefits of using a sleep mask?
Overnight sleep masks work differently to normal masks due to the prolonged, deep treatment they provide for skin. Being left undisturbed for a longer amount of time means that the product has time to absorb and take effect. This treats the skin on a deeper level with better results.
They're also more gentle on your skin in the long run. Some sleep masks have the same ingredients as powerful resurfacing creams but with a lower concentration and they use the time to remove dead skin cells gently over time, as opposed to a quick blast.
How do I use sleep masks?
Always apply the overnight mask on clean, washed skin. If not cleansed properly, pores will not allow the mask to penetrate deep inside the skin.
Cover your entire face and neck with the mask in a generous layer and massage gently into skin to aid absorption.
Make sure you apply the mask at least 15-20 minutes before you sleep otherwise else you could end up smearing most of it on your pillow and wasting vital product.
ELLE Team Edit:
ESPA Overnight Hydration Therapy £35
With relaxing essentials oils and restoring seaweed extract, this rich rehydrating mask revives skin overnight. Just massage into skin until the formula turns white and retire to bed after 5 minutes.
Filorga Sleep and Peel Resurfacing Night Cream £54
With six varieties of hydroxy acids, this cream gently gets rid of the dead skin cells that dull your complexion. Containing NCTF, Filorga's exclusive anti-ageing complex, it works to improve the production of collagen.
The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask £25
Suitable for all skin types, this refreshing overnight mask has an innovative bouncy gel cream that moulds like a second skin. It's cruelty-free too.
Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask £30
Best for dehydrated or dry skin, this hydrating formula provides deep moisture for dewy, glowing skin when you wake up.
Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Gel Mask £34.50
This lightweight formula using cutting-edge plant bio-technology to help fight the signs of ageing by strengthening and rebuilding the skin's natural barrier.