We’ve all done it – skipped our nightly skincare regime so we can crawl into bed a few minutes earlier. Those nights when removing our make-up seems tantamount to climbing Everest in terms of the energy we’d need to exert. Whenever I’ve succumbed to my exhaustion – bypassed the bathroom and got straight into bed – I’ve consoled myself with this thought: What harm can one night do?
And then morning arrives.
My face seems to have sought its revenge overnight. A dry, dull, puffy reflection greets me in the mirror, not to mention the day-old make-up smeared all over my pillows. Basically, it takes me considerably more time to fix this damage the following day than the few precious minutes it saved the night before.
And there’s a reason for this.
Leaving your make-up on overnight is not just a sin in the eyes of the Beauty Gods, it also interrupts our skin’s natural cycle. Sleep is the body’s way of rejuvenating itself. During those (preferably!) eight hours of rest, we mentally and psychically begin to reboot. And our skin is no exception to this process. Overnight, our cells regenerate, and they find this hard to do under three layers of slap. So when temptation, and bed, calls, I remind myself of this. I slather on slumbering-goodness to help my skin do its thing.
And what’s more, at night, our skin can cope with heavier products – leading me nicely to my new wonder find: the sleep mask. Yes, cream-based masks which work their magic overnight.
I’ve long used my favourite day mask – Sisley’s Black Rose – as a night time substitute, but the arrival of formulas designed for when we sleep means I don’t need to double-up anymore. This is seriously smart, collagen-boosting skincare, to replenish, hydrate and plump as you snooze. Simply cleanse and tone as you normally would, applying your usual serum, and then smooth a thin layer of the mask onto your face, neck and décolletage. Let it absorb, and voila! A gourmet feast for your face before bed.
Here’s my guide the best sleep masks about – helping you get up and glow:
Skin Design London, Sleeping Beauty Face Cream (£90 for 50ml, available at skindesignlondon.com)
This ‘couture complexion’ company is the brainchild of ‘The Good Skin Designer’ Fatma Shaheen, who believes a bespoke blend of ingredients to the key to great skin. This sleep mask – suitable for all skin types – is a plant-based collagen treatment containing ingredients such as jojoba oil, acai berry and rosehip. This cocktail of essential oils, antioxidants and vitamins helps you wake up to more hydrated, supple and younger-looking skin. What’s more, it’s a luxuriously light formula with a gorgeous scent, too.
Cloud 9 Skin Solutions, Good Night Deep Nourishing Sleep Mask (£38 for 50ml, available at could9skin.com)
Cloud 9 take a scientific approach to finding solutions for a number of skincare complaints. This sleep mask should be applied every evening, and is packed full of avocado oil and vitamins A, B12 and E to hydrate and smooth out fine lines. It has a rich consistency, but glides on and is easily absorbed. My skin feels smooth and hydrated when I wake.
Charlotte Tilbury, Overnight Bronze and Glow Mask (£38 for 50ml, available at charlottetilbury.com)
All hail the Queen Bee of Beauty! Charlotte Tilbury has created a two-in-one sleep mask which not only nourishes and hydrates overnight but also leaves you beautifully bronzed. Blackcurrant seed oil and oat kernel extract condition the skin and natural tan pigments ensure a streak-free coverage. Apply over a few nights, or until you reach your desired shade, and be sure to wash your hands after use.