Sleeping pack, sleeping mask, overnight mask, whatever you know these products as you may have a few questions. Sleeping packs are a product made popular by the 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine where the pack can be used 1-2 times per week at night instead of a or on top of a moisturizer. Typically, sleeping packs are meant to add hydration to the skin or introduce a highly concentrated hydrating or repairing ingredient.
What does concentration mean?
In the sciences, concentration refers to the ratio of a certain substituent relative to the total volume. In the context of skincare, concentration is the amount of an ingredient relative to the entire formula. You’ve most likely seen this practice in beauty before – 2.5% salicylic acid, 1% retinol, 3.5% oxybenzone. Concentration percentages are traditionally only shown for active ingredients – this is so the consumer will know how much of that ingredient they are getting during use. If you’re looking for a strong retinol product you’ll most likely purchase the one that has 2% retinol over 1% right?
Understanding concentration circles back to knowing how to read an ingredient list. Active ingredients are listed separately or it will be clarified exactly which are active and which are inactive. The remaining ingredients are listed in descending order of concentration down to the 1% crowd. When an ingredient is less than 1% concentration of the formula it can be listed in any order. Typically the less than 1% crowd includes fragrance, colorants, and plant extracts/essences.
Are sleeping masks legit or just marketing?
The biggest difference between a sleeping pack and a regular nighttime moisturizer is the concentration of ingredients and type of ingredients used. Traditional nighttime moisturizers are full of humectants, emollients, and occlusives. A sleeping pack will contain hydrating ingredient plus a featured ingredient. For example, my Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask features a high concentration of snail mucin extract which has a ton of crazy good benefits and some research to back it up. I use my sleeping pack after any intense skin treatments like LED, microdermabrasion, microneedling, etc. The pack helps add another layer of protection, hydrating and repair while I’m sleeping – on top of the hydration that my moisturizer already provides.
So sleeping packs are a bit of a marketing craze but personally, I love them. I do not think using a sleeping pack is necessary for everyone’s skin. Think of sleeping packs as the sprinkles on top of an already iced cake – fun and pleasing to have but the cake would have been just fine without the extra sugar.