This was probably one of the first products you added to your wishlist (or shopping cart) when you first stepped into the realm of K-beauty. And if you haven’t entered this realm yet, you will most likely stumble upon this product all the time once you have. This Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is perhaps one of the most raved about K-beauty products of all time. It’s a mainstay on every K-beauty store’s list of best sellers and a holy grail to numerous K-beauty bloggers. Laneige even claims one of these is sold every 12 seconds! I have always wondered whether it was really worth the hype. And finally, last month, I got to experience it firsthand, so I don’t have to wonder anymore!
There’s already a lot of information available online about this sleeping mask, like its history, clinical test results and even sales record, so I’m just going to leave those off and go right into my experience and some usage tips, okay?
I’m going to start off with the positive. The best thing I love about this sleeping mask is that it is so lightweight, it lets my skin breathe. I’ve tried a few other sleeping masks before and one thing they shared in common was that I could feel them weighing my skin down, as though my skin was having difficulty breathing. Well, sleeping masks are expected to be occlusive because they’re supposed to prevent water from evaporating from your skin. They provide a barrier that will seal all the moisture in at the end of your skincare routine at night. The only problem is when a product is too occlusive, people with oily skin (like me!) tend to feel uncomfortable using it and we even break out sometimes. But good thing this Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is not too occlusive. It has this so-called Moisture Wrap™ Technology, which, according to the package insert, covers the skin with a beta-glucan mineral network, which is like a breathable moisturizing layer that’s full of water, so it helps the skin absorb moisture well, while still allowing it to breathe. This is definitely a deal maker for those with oily skin.
“Your skin will not remember what you did last night!” goes Laneige’s tag line for this sleeping mask. And I must say this product really delivers on this promise. It did make my skin look recharged and well-rested in the morning… even if I’ve had less than eight hours of sleep. Laneige attributes this revitalizing effect to its Sleep-Tox™ Technology that supposedly purifies the skin to make it “clear and glowing in the morning”. It did make my skin look and feel refreshed in the morning. My face felt so soft as I washed the mask off. But as for the “clear and glowing” part, I didn’t really notice anything notable in that area. I’ve read on the package insert that the apricot extract in the product is supposed to give that brightening effect, but there wasn’t much brightening happening there. Perhaps just a bit of a glow because of the purifying effects, but there wasn’t a significant improvement in skin tone, at least in my experience. I know Song Hye Kyo’s skin in the commercial looked really glowing and glass-smooth when she used this sleeping mask, but you are aware that that’s mainly due to her genes and not just because she used this sleeping mask, right? 😛
I’d like to point out, however, that when I started using my Missha First Treatment Essence, I noticed that on those nights when I used my Laneige sleeping mask as the last step of my skincare routine, the brightening effect of the treatment essence seemed to have been boosted because my skin looked brighter the following morning. I noticed the same effect whenever I used a brightening sheet mask prior to using this sleeping mask. My skin looked brighter than when I would only use the treatment essence alone or the brightening sheet mask alone. Apparently brightening products and this sleeping mask make a nice combo. This brings me to my next point, which I think, is very important.
From the product description and ingredients list, I understood that the main functions of this mask are to revitalize and sooth tired skin, and at the same time help the skin retain moisture overnight. And just like other sleeping masks, it should maximize the effect of the products you’ve applied earlier: essence, serum, ampoule, etc. However, it did not claim to offer brightening, whitening or intensely-hydrating effects on its own. Most sleeping masks are not meant to be used on their own anyway. If you have dry skin, don’t expect that this mask alone would sufficiently hydrate your skin. Instead, use a good hydrating serum or moisturizer, and then seal that moisture in overnight with this sleeping mask. That’s how it works 🙂 But don’t overdo it. The recommended use of this mask is only once or twice a week.
It’s non-sticky. At first, I could not believe the reviews saying this was a non-sticky sleeping mask, because the first few times I’ve tried it, I was sure there was some tackiness to it even though it was not annoyingly sticky. But it turns out I was applying it wrong. I would slap huge amounts of the product onto my face and then spread it all over. That was wrong. Don’t do that. Apparently, the secret to preventing the stickiness with this mask is through layering. Apply a thin layer at 30-second to one-minute intervals. I normally would apply two to three thin layers, and I found that this was enough for my oily skin. It eventually gets absorbed by the skin, but don’t expect it to be matte dry right away. In my experience, the stickiness completely goes away in about an hour.
It’s mildly fragranced. This sleeping mask also prides itself in its Sleepscent™ Technology that’s supposed to help you relax as you sleep. Okay, I appreciate that it’s very mildly scented and that the scent doesn’t linger, but I did not find the smell to be aromatic, as Laneige claimed. For me, the scent comes on artificial, almost like plastic. But then again, I’m one of the few who don’t mind scents in their skincare products, and the scent of this mask eventually goes away, anyway.
All in all, I like this sleeping mask. It does mostly what it claims to do. It did not break me out. The price is reasonable. When it runs out and I feel like buying a new sleeping mask, this will definitely be the one I’ll repurchase. In other words, this is now my go-to sleeping mask. However, I feel like sleeping masks, in general, simply do not get me excited or overjoyed with their results the way great toners, essences, sheet masks, and moisturizers do. So far, no sleeping mask has made me do cartwheels yet. Yup, not even the legendary Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. Still, I like to keep it within reach for when I feel like adding a little extra to my night time skincare routine. You know there are times when you just want to have a full-blown skin-pampering session at home and you want to use as many products as you can. Ha, ha! This is for times like that. But personally, I feel that it’s something that I CAN live without. I mean, it’s great, but for me it just did not live up to the hype.