I am not a morning person. I actually thought I was, until I met my husband, who is an actual morning person — someone who wakes up before the alarm and doesn't immediately bury his face under the pillow and steal every last second of shut-eye before it goes off. When he's not home, I hit snooze so many times that I'm not sure why I bothered to set an alarm in the first place.
Because of my aversion to waking up, I tend to resemble Oscar the Grouch at 7 a.m., but Laneige Water Sleeping Mask helps. It's a delicious, bouncy gel that liquefies on contact, delivering plumping moisture to your face. I love the texture, which is like a thicker version of my favorite summer moisturizer, the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream. It has all the hydrating goodness you crave without that greasy dipped-in-French-fry-oil feeling.
Laneige packs each blue jar with Hydro Ionized Mineral Water, a technology called Moisture Wrap that ensures the masks is performing at maximum capacity the entire time you're asleep, and "Calming Sleepscent" — a soothing blend of orange flower, rose, and sandalwood.
In the morning after using it, my skin looks so dewy that you might mistake me for someone who hops out of bed at sunrise greeted by a team of singing birds to help me get dressed. Still on the fence? It won the Allure Best of Beauty in 2017.
Pros: Hydrating, lightweight, gentle enough for sensitive skin, leaves skin plump and dewy in the mornings
Cons: Doesn't have exfoliating or anti-aging ingredients
Before watermelon became a trending skin-care ingredient, it was the star of the K-beauty hit Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Overnight Sleeping Mask. There's a lot to love about this mask, which is packed with watermelon extract, smells like candy, and comes in an alluring shade of Instagram pink.
Watermelon Glow is rich in hyaluronic acid, brightening peony root, and exfoliating AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids, specifically). That last bit is what drew me to Watermelon Glow in the first place because I have a hard time with chemical exfoliants. They often irritate my face, even if they're meant for sensitive skin.
This mask certainly is gentle enough for me to use without courting inflammation. Hydrating and soothing ingredients balance out the AHAs, giving my skin all the nourishment it needs to ward off irritation and redness. Once a week or so is probably enough exfoliation for someone with sensitive skin like mine, but if you have a heartier dermis, you can probably use this more often.
While not as hydrating as most night creams, it keeps my skin happy on warm nights. In the winter, you might want to pair it with something heavier. On really hot evenings, you can pop Watermelon Glow into the fridge for a cooling effect when you apply. I haven't tried this yet, but it's moving to the top of my to-do list as temperatures climb.
Watermelon Glow has more than 1,000 Sephora reviews, and The Cut's Kathleen Hou is a big fan. She writes, "I applied the bouncy, millennial-pink gel liberally all over my face, tried to take a nap during my eight-hour flight to Europe, and, despite a fitful sleep, woke up with skin that felt soft and smooth, and even looked decent in the bad overhead lighting of the customs hall."
Pros: Gentle exfoliating formula, contains AHAs, smells like watermelon
Snail extract may sound gross to the uninitiated, but it's a powerhouse ingredient that is not nearly as disgusting to apply as it sounds. Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask is a great snail starter product for the timid among you because it feels like a moisturizer (i.e. not slimy at all).
It has a unique formulation containing the aforementioned snail extract, baobab tree extract, and deep seawater that hydrates, evens out skin tone, and smooths out texture. I found that it applied smoothly and felt more like a traditional moisturizer than other picks, so it's a great choice if you don't like the wet feeling other overnight masks leave on your skin before drying down.
Super Aqua helped diminish the redness on my cheeks, but the best part was how smooth my face was in the morning. I'm talking cashmere sweater or velvet couch smooth. I basically turned into a Patrick Bateman-style weirdo who couldn't stop stroking her own forehead, even after I washed my face.
The mask has also been featured by Refinery 29 and Allure. Allure says, "what sets this treatment apart from the other in our list is the fact that this one is part sleep mask, part essence. And maybe that this goo contains 15-percent snail slime extract."
Pros: Soothing and moisturizing mask that evens skin tone and helps with texture issues, doesn't take as much time to dry as other masks
Cons: Not for people who want to avoid snail extract
Iconic spa brand Bliss is everywhere once again, thanks to an exciting relaunch, complete with adorable packaging, cool new formulas, and drugstore prices. I was most excited to try the brand's What A Melon De-Stressing Overnight Mask because, well, it smells like watermelon candy. I'm only human, and I have a sweet tooth, okay?
I wound up loving this mask for a lot of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with its effect on my olfactory system (though it does help).
According to the brand, the mask "creates a nutrient-rich veil to bring tired, stressed-out skin back to life" and "[r]emoves dead cells and toxins." These kinds of products sometimes aggravate my skin, but this one did just the opposite. I have a small patch of rosacea on my jaw that flares up if I apply too many active ingredients at once, and Bliss What A Melon calmed it down after just one use.
Thanks to the inclusion of Timiron Halo, the brand's trademarked "radiant strobing powder," the product also helps boost radiance without leaving visible sparkles on your face — or bedding.
What A Melon is a little less hydrating than the Laneige or Missha masks, so I use it on top of a cream, but it worked like a charm as far as brightening and "de-stressing" my skin, thanks to ingredients like watermelon extract, rice bean extract, and sodium hyaluronate. You also can't beat the price — $12.99 at Target!
The mask has a perfect 5-star rating at Target and a 4.4 rating at Influenster.
Pros: Affordable, brightens and revives skin overnight, smells delicious
Cons: Not as hydrating as some of the other options on this list
We've all that those times when our faces freak out. Whether it's after a day spent in the sun or an ill-conceived experiment with a new chemical exfoliant, sometimes your skin gets red and inflamed, and you just want to rub something soothing and gentle on it. Meet your new best friend for these moments — the Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask.
This stuff looks like aloe and it feels just as nice on the skin. It has a slight cooling sensation, but not the kind of that lingers long enough to sting my rosacea-prone cheeks. It soothed and hydrated my skin with manuka honey and yogurt powder, ceramides, fatty acids, and peptides.
I found this mask stayed tacky longer than other masks, so I was worried about getting it on my pillows, but there was no residue when I woke up so it must have dried down. You also only need a tiny bit to cover your whole face, which is great news, because one jar costs $52.
I'm far from the only fan of this product — Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask has a 4.7 rating on Sephora, based on 940 reviews. Many of the reviewers noted that they found it gentle enough to use as a nightly moisturizer, and I agree.
Pros: Soothing, helps with redness, hydrating, gentle enough for sensitive skin
It's good for your skin to remove makeup every night, but it can be a pain without the right makeup remover.
We've done our research and tested the best makeup removers on the market to come up our top recommendations. Whether you're a devout double cleanser or prefer removing makeup on the fly, there's something on this list for everyone.
When it comes to body-care products, scrubs are oftentimes overlooked in favor of lotions and body wash. But the exfoliating treatments should be included in your skin-care routines if you want to silky smooth skin. While you can also scrub away dull, dry skin by using loofahs or dry brushes, nothing will leave your skin feeling squeaky-clean quite like a good body scrub.
Whether you're new to the exfoliation game or a seasoned skin-care pro, Glossier's Solution is the exfoliator you should be reaching for. Its powerful mix of acids dissolves dead skin cells and improves your complexion, giving your face a gorgeous glow.