The Skincare Benefits Of Wearing An Eye Mask To Bed

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There's a reason bedtime is also known as beauty sleep, and it's a good one. When you sleep, your body recharges, restores, and replenishes resources you lost during the day. From improving your concentration to boosting your immune system, the benefits of sleep are not limited to your internal organs but also to your skin. During sleep, your skin undergoes cell regeneration and turnover, making new skin cells and lifting off dead skin cells (per Short Hills Dermatology Consultants). In fact, this is also why you should take your makeup off before bedtime to help with the turnover process.


As vital as sleep is, several factors can make your sleep less than satisfactory. One of them is light or the presence of it. According to The Sleep Doctor, lights from household LED bulbs and electronic devices, especially blue light, can suppress melatonin secretion, a hormone necessary for managing your sleep-wake cycle. Since more light equals less melatonin, and less melatonin equals less sleep, you need to minimize the light around you while you sleep. Luckily, an eye mask comes in handy to counter this. By blocking light and inducing sleep, an eye mask is a convenient and affordable way to improve your sleep, at least when compared to blackout curtains. And as it turns out, your eye mask not only improves your sleep, but it can actually enhance your skin. Here's how.


Reduces friction between your skin and the bedding

Okay, so quick exercise: with clean hands, gently pinch the skin on your cheek. Notice how thick it is? Now, gently pinch the skin in the undereye area. Notice how thin it is in comparison to the skin on your cheek? The skin on your eye contour is about ten times thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, and it gets even more delicate as you age (per Mediniche). And as Dermstore explains, friction can induce inflammation around the area and cause it to get thinner. Some of this friction occurs between your eye area and the bedding as you toss and turn in your sleep. This is why an eye mask is important, as it keeps the skin around your eyes friction-safe, even when you roll around the bed as you sleep.


Of course, it's also important to note that the material your eye mask is made from counts massively towards frictionless sleep. While cotton is breathable and lightweight, it also absorbs moisture from your skin (via Radice). So if you spent your bedtime routine applying your favorite hydrating essences and serums and then donned a cotton eye mask, you best believe only a little will be on your skin by morning. In addition, eye masks made of synthetic fibers aren't much better, as they generate friction too. Instead, opt for silk eye masks, as they keep your skin moisturized and are great for sensitive skin, too.

Reduces puffiness around the eye area

When you do not get enough beauty sleep, one of the most apparent signs is puffiness around your eyes. Puffiness, or as some call them, eye bags, can be caused by many factors, but a common one is the lack of sleep (per All About Vision). Due to fatigue or a lack of sleep, fluid can accumulate around your eye tissue, causing swelling and puffiness. Here's where you need eye masks, precisely the weighted kind.


As sleep physician, Dr. Stephanie Stahl, explains, a weighted eye mask is heavier than a standard one due to the weighted material it's filled with, such as microbeads or sand (via Saatva). It adds slight comforting pressure to your eye area to make sleep easier. Plus, they help reduce puffiness in the area, according to Corala Blanket. The increased pressure from your weighted eye mask helps reduce puffiness by improving blood circulation to the area. Increased blood circulation encourages healing and less inflammation, making the area less puffy. For excellent recommendations, we're fans of the Saatva Weighted Silk Eye Mask, made of mulberry silk and retails for $75.

Encourages skin healing

So far, we've learned that eye masks help reduce friction and puffiness around the eye. But here's one more thing: they help your skin heal, especially when you experience a cortisol imbalance. Rest and sleep are fundamental to our organs functioning right, not just because they aid regeneration or concentration, but because they help balance our hormones. Yes, hormones. It turns out melatonin isn't the only sleep-related hormone on the block; cortisol is too. While melatonin enables sleep, cortisol, the stress hormone, helps wake you up (per Everlywell). 


When you don't get enough rest, a cortisol imbalance can affect your skin. In fact, Walk-In Dermatology says high cortisol levels can lead to skin inflammation, compromising or weakening your moisture barrier. A weakened skin barrier also means greater skin sensitivity and proneness to acne. Therefore, by wearing an eye mask to bed, you can fall asleep faster and have a better night's sleep, which leads to much lower stress levels. So please don't sleep on them, pun wholly intended.