Have you ever been told you look tired or asked if you didn’t sleep well the night before? Usually, the restless night of sleep, late night out, or early morning wake-up call is written all over our face. You see, when we sleep, our skin goes into repair and renewal mode.
By cutting those hours of rest, we are essentially shortening the time our body gets to re-balance itself. Overnight masks that are left on while you sleep have the ability to encourage and support this essential renewal process.
Whether you suffer from breakouts, dry hands, or everything in between, these simple, all-natural overnight beauty masks will help you make the most of your beauty sleep.
(Warning: These masks can get a little messy. If you want to avoid staining your favorite set of sheets, have an old pillowcase or a towel—preferably a dark one—handy to use on these nights.)
1. Acne-Fighting Overnight Mask
Did you know that potato juice is an effective anti-inflammatory ingredient [source]? It also contains high amounts of vitamins A, B, and C, which can help treat a range of skin issues from blemishes to pigmentation to scars. Meanwhile, green tea is a wellness superstar containing high amounts of antioxidants and catechins, which are antibacterial and powerful acne fighters.
One of green tea’s most potent antioxidants, EGCG, helps repair DNA damage caused by UV exposure [source], preventing skin cancer [source] and fighting aging at the same time [source]. Green tea is also oil regulating and can reduce the amount of sebum produced [source]. Vitamin B in green tea helps maintain collagen levels, also contributing to its anti-aging benefits.
- 1 tablespoon raw potato juice
- 1 tablespoon green tea
Take a clean, washed potato, and juice it to extract 1 tablespoon of potato juice. Steep 2 bags of green tea in hot water for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Once cool, remove 1 tablespoon of green tea from the cup and mix it with the potato juice.
Dip a cotton pad in the solution and apply to a clean face, taking your time to make sure it covers any clogged areas or blemishes. In the morning, use your usual facial cleanser and follow with your daily skincare routine.
2. Oil-Balancing Oat Milk Sleep Mask
Because they’re chock full of things like phenols, saponins, and beta-glucans, oats are said to help soothe inflammation while also cleansing and hydrating the skin [source]. We don’t recommend leaving oats on your face all night (that can get ugly, fast), but you can reap many of the same benefits from oat milk, without the mess.
Simply combine organic oat milk with soothing essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile, and slather it on at the tail end of your evening skincare routine.
- 2 tablespoons organic oat milk
- 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops chamomile essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and apply to your face using a cotton ball. Let it dry a bit before you hit the hay, and rinse with cool water in the morning.
This mask is best for oily skin. If you have dry skin, skip it entirely or apply it only to your T-zone.
3. Overnight Shea Butter Hand Mask
There’s no reason this buttery heel balm can’t be used for chapped hands too! Heck, you can even slather some on your face and hair if you’re in need of a little extra TLC.
- 2 oz (roughly 4 Tbsp) shea butter
- 2 oz jojoba oil
- 2 oz coconut oil
- 2 oz beeswax pellets
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Combine everything except the lavender oil in a pan over low heat and melt completely. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before adding the lavender essential oil. Pour the mixture into a small jar or tin and allow to cool for several hours.
To use, apply a thick layer of lavender and shea butter balm to hands, nails, and feet, and then put on a pair of socks and cotton gloves. Crawl into bed and let the oils work on repairing your dry hands and feet.
If my feet are in need of some serious love, I’ll carefully wrap them in saran wrap and pop on some socks. The saran wrap ensures that the moisture penetrates into your skin (not your socks), while the socks keep the saran wrap in place.
4. Overnight Honey Mask
While this mask can be a little sticky, if you’re looking for a boost of hydration, search no further.
Honey is soothing, retains moisture, and is full of antioxidants. It balances bacteria growing on the surface of the skin, brightens skin, and helps to speed up the healing process while reducing inflammation [source].
Vitamin E is also high in antioxidants, calms the skin, and both prevents and reduces sun damage [source]. The avocado in this recipe is rich and hydrating, alleviating any dry patches and softening the skin.
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Apply a thin layer to your face and neck with fingertips or a facial brush. This would be a good time to use a darker pillowcase. In the morning, rinse the mask off thoroughly with warm water and a washcloth. Then follow with your usual morning routine of moisturizer and sunscreen.
5. Coconut Dream Dry Hair Mask
For those of us with dry hair, this almond milk and coconut oil mask is the perfect recipe for an overnight hair treatment. Repeat weekly for soft, shiny hair all winter long.
- 3–4 tablespoons almond milk
- 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil
Depending on the length of your hair, you might need to adjust the amounts. Mix these ingredients together in a bowl and apply to the scalp and ends of your hair. You can wear a shower cap or cover your pillow with a towel for sleeping. In the morning, rinse with a mild shampoo; no need for conditioner.
If you can, braid your hair after putting the mask on and before using a shower cap. This ensures that your hair (and scalp!) can make the most of this mask while you’re sleeping, so all you have to do in the morning is wash and enjoy your super silky, healthy hair.
How to Use Overnight Masks
The ins and outs of overnight masks can be tricky (When should I apply it? Can I use it every night? What happens if it gets everywhere?) We hear you! To make sure you get the most out of your mask, here are few answers to your frequently asked questions:
Can I use an overnight mask every day?
I recommend using them 1–2 times a week at most.
Think of overnight masks as intensive TLC for problem areas—they soothe, protect, and nourish when you’re feeling run down and need a boost. While these masks use only 100% natural ingredients, you shouldn’t use them every night because your skin, hair, and nails still need to breathe. Plus, over-applying masks can cause you to develop a sensitivity to the ingredients if used too often.
Do you moisturize before using an overnight mask?
Yes. Whether you’re applying a face mask or hair mask, do your usual PM routine like you normally would. Then, simply tack your mask on at the end.
Do you have to wash the mask off?
If it’s a light, moisturizing mask, a thorough washing isn’t necessary. Simply splashing cool water on your face or rinsing your hair should do the trick. If, however, the mask feels thick or flaky, washing with a cleanser may help your skin feel squeaky clean.
When should I apply an overnight mask?
Apply it as the final step in your nightly skincare routine—ideally, right before bed.
Do I need to worry about getting mask all over my sheets?
Aside from the green tea, none of the ingredients in our masks should stain your sheets. They may, however, leave a greasy residue that’s tough (but not impossible) to clean. I recommend using an old pillowcase or laying a clean towel under your head to keep the mask from getting on your sheets.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.