This article is about masks you use as a part of your face care routine - peel-off, charcoal masks, not face masks intended to protect from COVID 19.
Have you ever tried sleeping with your peel-off face mask on… or are you afraid your skin won’t respond the way you’d like it? Well, now you don’t have to because I have! Rather than reading about other people’s experiences, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and see for myself.
What Happens When You Sleep With A Peel-Off Face Mask?
Sleeping with an exfoliating facial mask will strip your skin of its natural protective oils, dry it out, damage it and make it prone to acne. A hydrating facial mask will repair and hydrate your skin while you sleep.
I applied my charcoal peel-off face mask in the evening, waited a bit before it dried out completely and then went to bed. The next morning when I woke up, I took the mask off, washed my face and saw that sleeping all night with my face mask on had no negative effects on my skin whatsoever.
The only “problem” I noticed, is that my skin was a bit more oily when I woke up. I wrote an article on why my skin is oily when I wake up and, if you’ve got the same problem as me, I suggest reading the article.
Now, back to our sleeping mask.
What Happens If You Leave A Peel-Off Face Mask On Overnight?
Before we go on, I’d like to point out I used peel-off, a charcoal face mask for removing dead skin cells, debris and oils. Of course, I can’t try out all the masks that are out there, so I encourage you to do your own experiments! And if you do, I’d love to publish your results. You can email me with your before and after pics, or simply comment down below.
I have to say I was a bit nervous. I was afraid I'd wake up with some nasty breakout due to face mask clogging my pores through the night. I was very close to getting up and removing it before the time was up. But I stick to it, and I’m glad I did.
One thing that surprised me was that the mask held strong throughout the entire night. When I was rolling over, I could feel how tight it was and that it was peeling off my skin. But when I woke up the mask was mostly intact.
Another surprising fact was that my sheets were clean when I woke up. Since this was a charcoal face mask, I was expecting I’d wake up to black sheets and pieces of mask smeared all over the bed. This didn’t happen at all!
As for my skin, I haven’t noticed any problems, no red patches, no irritation, no dry patches as some authors indicated. The only thing I did noticed was increased sebum production.
After all said and done, the mask did its job – when I peeled it off, the debris and dead skin cells followed. But there were no benefits of leaving it on all night long, in other words, it did not remove more debris because it stayed on long.
And for this very reason, I wouldn’t repeat this little experiment; I only did it once to see what will happen, and for now on I’ll stick to the instructions on the label!
Here is my experiment timeline:
Is It Bad To Sleep With a Peel-Off Face Mask?
Most dermatologists would agree that leaving your charcoal face mask overnight was bad for your skin, particularly if it contains active ingredients such as salicylic or glycolic acid, or some artificial fragrances and other chemicals.
But let’s be realistic here, one night won’t make much of a difference anyway; you will only start to see adverse effects (I assume) on your skin if you make a habit of leaving your face mask every time you went to bed.
How Long Should A Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask Stay On?
Every product is different, so there is no one correct answer.
The particular mask I used was meant to be kept on for 10 to 15 minutes. So, I let it stay longer only for about 9 hours longer than I should 🙂
Your face mask is probably different, and you should remain within the guidelines indicated on the label; you won’t do your skin any extra good by leaving your mask on all night long.
Is Your Face Red After Using A Peel-Off Face Mask For Too Long?
This was my primary concern during this little experiment... well, this and waking up to a face filled with tiny, new blemishes and breakouts all over my face. I had to go to work the next day and was afraid people would give me all sorts of crazy looks.
Fortunately, sleeping with a face mask left no visible consequences. But, even if you notice a bit of redness on your face, know that it’s completely normal.
In fact, when using a clay face mask, for example, the pinkish/reddish face is guaranteed up to 1 hour after removing your mask. This occurs because the clay is stimulating the blood flow, helping the cells get more nutrients and flush toxins quicker.
Which Peel-Off, Charcoal Face Mask Should Your Choose?
I already wrote a 3500 word guide where I talked about the benefits of a face mask, how often you should apply it and how to choose the correct one based on your skin. You can read it here: Choosing The Best Facial Mask For Men.