Overnight Face Mask Vs Night Cream: What’s the Difference and Which One to Use?

Overnight Face Mask Vs Night Cream: What’s the Difference and Which One to Use?

There’s no denying the fact we are spoilt for choice when it comes to skincare products. This usually results in you finding a routine that suits you and your skin type. Things can get a little tricky when it comes to figuring out what exactly is the difference between products that sound basically the same. No need to panic, we are going to get to the bottom of this and find out what are overnight face masks and night cream, what is the difference between them and which one is best to use?

What is an overnight mask?

Overnight masks are formulated around the same idea as regular face masks, the main difference being you wear them overnight, as you probably guessed. Packed full of active ingredients that will help transform your skin and address any concerns you may have such as, ageing, dullness and combating breakouts. You will also find that overnight masks come in a lightweight or gel like formulation making them quite compatible to almost all skin types. Also known to go by the name of sleeping masks, overnight masks are highly effective at treating the skin whilst you catch up on some shut eye. This also allows the potent blend of skin ingredients to absorb into the skin, penetrating the lower layers without having to battle against the environmental aggressors our skin comes into contact on a daily basis, such as free radicals, pollution and UV damage.

Many skincare experts believe that overnight masks containing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, retinol or niacinamide have the most optimal time to work on the skin whilst we sleep. This is due to the fact that when we sleep our skin is able to reset and repair any damage caused from the day giving the product more potential to be most effective allowing you to really notice a difference by the morning.

Can I use an overnight mask every night?

This is really dependant on which active ingredients are in the overnight mask, for example, exposure to a chemical exfoliant on a regular basis can lead to the skin becoming UV sensitive meaning it can become irritated and red. When using overnight masks it should be considered more of a treatment product rather than an essential step in your evening skincare routine. This will stop the overuse of a sleep mask that can lead to skin reactions and tightness.

What is a night cream?

The formulas of night creams are typically thicker and creamy compared to overnight face masks and are able to soak into the skin throughout the night. These creams are not as potent as overnight masks allowing you to use them as part of your everyday skincare routine. Overnight masks regularly contain ingredients that are not recommended to be used during the day, such as retinol, making them fully effective at penetrating into the skin leaving you with noticeable difference in the overall look and feel of your complexion.

What is the best time to apply a night cream?

It is tricky to estimate the perfect time to apply your night cream, especially as so many of us hit the hay in various hours throughout the night. It is recommended to apply your night cream just before you go to bed which should ideally be around 10-11pm. Here is an example of a good evening skincare routine that will benefit your night cream and allow it to work more effectively;

  1. Remove all traces of makeup with makeup remover or micellar water
  2. Cleanse the skin with an none foaming cleanser to remove any remaining traces of product and debris
  3. Swipe an acid toner-soaked cotton disc around your face, avoiding the eye area, removing any build-up of dead skin cells
  4. Apply your serum of choice by patting it into the skin
  5. Finally apply your night cream, your skin should feel tacky to touch as you head off to bed

Do I really need a night cream and overnight mask?

There is not really any need to use both in your routine, however it is a great idea to keep a couple of products on rotation to keep your skin looking and feeling its healthiest. If you are finding you have a number of concerns such as dullness, uneven skin tone and signs of ageing, such as fine line and wrinkles then using a night cream regularly will help target any of these concerns and help diminish any sing of them over a time of 6-8 weeks. When using an overnight mask, you can pick and choose when you apply them making them a more potent treatment product. Ideal for applying when you feel as though your skin is in need of something, such as an extra boost of hydration and brightening.

Should I use an overnight mask or night cream?

This really comes down to your own personal preferences, if you are noticing some signs of ageing or other concerns to the skin that can be helped with a daily night cream than this would be the best fit for you. Remembering to take into consideration which skin type you have, for example, oily skin would not appreciate a thick, heavy cream that can result in congested pores and flare-up in spots and blackheads.

Whichever product you will decide to use you’ll see a difference in the appearance of wrinkles, tighter skin and a complexion that looks vibrant with greater clarity.

Is there really a difference between day and night cream?

As you will know by now there is indeed a number of differences between an overnight face mask and night cream, the main concerning how often you are able to use them, here is a quick recap on the differences and how to use each product;

Benefits of overnight face mask

  • Formula is highly potent with active ingredients
  • Consistency is usually gel or light-weight cream
  • Can help with concerns such as dehydration, breakouts and skin ageing
  • Formula is too powerful to use every night and should be used as an occasional skin treatment
  • Best applied before you head to sleep to allow plenty of time for the product to penetrate the skin

Benefits of night cream

  • Formula isn’t as strong as a face mask so can be used every night
  • Usually has a thicker and creamy texture
  • Highly nourishing to the skin
  • Treats signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles
  • Best applied as the final step in your evening routine before bed

Today’s post would have hopefully by now answered a number of your questions about an overnight face mask and night cream, both products are highly effective at treating the skin and diminishing any signs of age, uneven skin tone and lose of firmness. With formulations packed with active ingredients that pack a punch and work tirelessly whilst you get some well-earned beauty sleep. Don’t forget you can check our dedicated blog post about the full skin benefits of using an overnight face mask.


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