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Korean Sleeping Masks Explained

February 05, 2021 Charlotte Cho
Lioele waterdrop sleeping mask

Something New: Sleeping Masks

UPDATE 29 July 2018: It's been a while since I sang the praises of sleeping masks, a.k.a. sleeping packs, and it's the perfect time for a refresher. As temps drop and skin dries out, it's more important than ever to keep your skin hydrated. Below, look for a few of the latest sleeping packs to protect your skin as you sleep... 

Wait, wait. Okay, I know what you're thinking: Another step to add to my skincare routine? As the name promises, sleeping masks (also known as sleeping packs) are a great way to intensely hydrate your skin as you snooze the night away. But, best yet, sleeping masks are only used once or twice a week, in place of your usual night cream.

As I've learned in skin school, dehydrated skin (which occurs when your skin lacks water, not oil) means you not only need to drink more water but also hydrate your skin topically with ingredients that help your skin retain water and moisture.

Because sleeping masks are a fairly new concept in non-Asian countries, many people may picture waking up with a face-print of goo on their pillow. The reality is sleeping masks are not messy at all! All you need is a nickel sized amount to massage into your face, which will absorb quickly upon application. The revitalizing effects are extremely addicting, with your skin feeling softer and looking brighter and refreshed.

laneige water sleeping mask

A classic Laneige product: It's intense hydration in a jar!

One of my favorite Korean sleeping masks is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (80ml for $23, now available exclusively at Target). It contains chestnut and apricot extracts—which visibly brighten and heal dull skin—along with aromas like orange flower and sandalwood which are known for their relaxing, rejuvenating effects. I've been using this one for years and it's easy to see why this is one of Laneige's most popular products. 



The Coveted Lioele Sleeping Pack


The Lioele Waterdrop V-Line Sleeping Pack is a solid find for me ($16 for 120mL). I love the tube packaging, which is more hygienic than an open faced tub. The Lioele sleeping pack also contains botanical ingredients such as yarrow (healing properties), common purslane (anti-inflammatory and acne fighting properties), and sorghum bicolor stalk juice (firming properties). 


Best Korean sleeping mask creams compared

Before Application: The Lioele V-line Sleeping Pack (top) vs. the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (bottom)

Both formulas start out with the same lightweight gel texture that applies smoothly without a greasy finish. 

Korean sleep mask reviews

After Application: The Lioele V-line Sleeping Pack (top) vs. the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (bottom)

With the Lioele Sleeping Pack, you can literally see water droplets magically forming as you massage it onto your skin. After I got past the initial "wow" factor of it being such an innovative formula, I was happy about the hydration my skin received, and it didn't leave behind a sticky residue. 

The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask didn't form water droplets like the Lioele product. Instead, the product applied on very wet from the start. Unlike the Lioele, I didn't have to massage it into my skin and it stayed slightly sticky throughout the night.

Both the Lioele Sleeping Pack and Laneige Sleeping Mask made my skin incredibly soft and smooth. It definitely left me with brighter skin than usual—especially around the eye area. Success!

K beauty sleeping packs

And now for some of the latest curations for sleeping packs!

Tony Moly Magic Food Banana Sleeping Pack: Looks like a banana and smells like one too. This one is very emollient and thick (not to mention fun!), good for dry skin.

Goodal Anti-Wrinkle Sleep Cream Pack: Our best-selling sleeping pack. It's ultra-moisturizing, great for all skin types but especially those with fine lines, wrinkles, or dry skin. The brand Goodal is known for its focus on fermented ingredients.

Tony Moly Aquaporin Water Bomb Sleeping Pack: This one is ultra-soothing. It applies with a gel-like consistency with droplets that remind me of the Lioele. It's not as emollient as the Magic Food Banana or Goodal sleeping packs, suitable for people with oily or combination skin.

Sleeping masks are never mandatory, but a great compliment to your skincare routine, especially for those that are dry skin types. I'm personally excited to have both of these sleeping masks in my skincare collection and I'm itching to test more. 

Have you ever tried a sleeping pack? If so, share your recommendations below in the comment section!

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About Charlotte

Soko Glam co-founder and chief curator. Licensed esthetician sharing the love of all things K-beauty.

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