Your Sleep Mask Might Be Damaging Your Lashes — Here's How
Getting your beauty sleep is a real thing that everyone should prioritize. As you sleep, your skin undergoes a rejuvenation process where it sheds the dead skin cells and produces healthy, new ones. Studies also show that when you get sufficient and restful sleep, it can offer anti-aging benefits.
According to Eric Nofzinger, MD, a psychiatrist and sleep medicine expert, the key to restful sleep is a quiet and dark environment. "Light is one of the most potent signals to our brain to remain awake," says Dr. Nofzinger. "So keeping light out is essential in signaling to the brain that it's time to sleep."
One solution to keep out the light that many people use is sleep masks. There's no denying that a sleep mask can be beneficial, as research shows that it can help the brain recognize it's time to shut off. That said, if you're someone who experiences weak eyelashes, your sleep mask may be the hidden culprit. So how can you ensure getting a goodnight's rest without sacrificing your lashes? We tapped industry experts to find out. Keep reading to see exactly how a sleep mask disrupts your lashes and how to protect them overnight.
Can a sleep mask harm your eyelashes?
While the effects of wearing a sleep mask might outweigh the negative impacts on your lashes, it's important to note that, yes, it is possible for a sleep mask to harm your natural lashes and extensions. According to Clementina Richardson, a celebrity lash expert and founder of Envious Lashes, a sleep mask can cause eyelash extensions to lean and lose their shape from being pressed against your eyes all night.
Fiona Stewart, the founder of Slip, a brand known for its coveted silk sleep products, agrees and adds that sleep masks can also cause lash extensions to clump and get tangled. In addition to lash extensions, if you aren't using a gentle fabric or are incorrectly wearing a sleep mask, the pressure of a mask can cause natural eyelashes to weaken over time.
How can you take care of your eyelashes at night?
The risks sleep masks pose for your lashes is the pressure of them sitting on your eyes overnight. Richardson says you can avoid this by ensuring the mask isn't too tight on your face. "Look for sleep masks that are adjustable or designed for lash extension wearers, there are many affordable options nowadays to choose from," she says. The Slip Lovely Lashes Contour Sleep Mask ($55; slip.com) is specifically designed to protect delicate lashes because of its shape that sits away from the eyelids.
Additionally, Richardson recommends investing in eyelash extensions and taking care of your lashes throughout the day to protect them. "If applied correctly by a licensed and certified professional stylist, all your lash services should stay intact while wearing an eye sleep mask," she says. "Make sure to be gentle with your extensions, avoid rubbing your eyes, and use a conditioning lash serum."
So, do you need to give up your sleep masks to ensure beautiful lashes? Probably not, but it's worth implementing these tips to support the look and feel of healthy, strong eyelashes.