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Nope, not that kind of sleeping mask.

Image: Shutterstock

My final post on winter skin hydration is here and I have a fun little treat to share with the class. This week I tried a sleep pack, or sleep mask, to aid my dry winter skin's recovery. A sleep mask works the same way sheet masks work—they prevent products from evaporating and push them into your skin so they really get the job done. Instead of sleeping with a sheet mask on, you an apply a thin layer of another product called a sleep mask over your hydrating serums and moisturizer for double duty.

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Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, $24 at Target

This isn't common practice in the West. I actually first heard about it in Korean beauty circles. A popular brand in Korea that's also available in the U.S. is Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (available at Target and Amazon). It is made with ionized mineral water to give your skin an extra dose of hydration and also forms a breathable layer that traps moisture and pushes it into your skin. It is to be used in place of a night cream, layered on after your toner and serum of choice. I tried it a couple of nights per week, as recommended, and I was really happy with the results. 

To start, it's not goopy or sticky or messy. It's more of a gel than a cream and the texture is lovely. I smoothed on a thin layer over my face and neck, left it overnight and rinsed it off in the morning. By morning, I had bright, plump happy skin! I looked well rested and it showed on my face. 

I did a little more digging into the sleep mask phenomenon and it turns out Vaseline can also do the trick for a fraction of the price. Just like with the above sleep mask, you smooth a thin layer on your skin before bed and rinse off in the morning. I didn't like the stickiness of Vaseline, but luckily it didn't come off on my pillow, hair or clothes. By morning, it had worked just as well as the Laneige mask. An added bonus is that it's cheap, available everywhere and extremely versatile. Who doesn't have some Vaseline hiding at home?  

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