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Overnight sleeping masks may just be the next skin care trend from Asia to watch for, but before you start thinking pink satin eye masks to keep out the light, sleeping masks are actually intense night creams or gels that are applied at bedtime, allowing the active ingredients to sink in and do their work while you sleep. Although there is little scientific proof that skin repair ramps up at night, some studies show that blood flow to the skin actually increases, which may help with the absorption of topically applied treatments.

Also known as sleeping packs, sleeping masks have been very popular in Korea and Japan for many years.  A leading brand even claims that one of its sleeping masks is sold every 30 seconds.   Meant to complement your regular evening skin care routine, sleeping masks are usually used only once or twice a week.  A very thin layer is applied over the entire face, sometimes with a paintbrush.  The mask is quickly absorbed into the skin where it works overnight to mainly rehydrate the skin.

Apart from providing serious moisture for dry skin, sleeping masks may also contain a combination of antioxidants, exfoliants, anti-aging ingredients to boost collagen production, vitamins to protect against UV damage and skin lighteners to treat hyperpigmentation.  These sleeping masks are rather like the night time versions of [Link Removed]  creams: multi-tasking super products that promise plenty of miracles.  It's certainly tempting to buy into the hope of waking up to great skin!

Only time will tell if sleeping masks will gain widespread popularity in North America like BB creams or if they will remain a niche treatment like [Link Removed] .  Will you be adding this to your regular routine?

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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