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A viewer has a question for The Doctors about sheet masks. She says she falls asleep with them on and then wakes up with red and dry sky. “Can leaving a mask on my face too long do more harm than good?”
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra says “Absolutely, yes.” She explains that face masks have high concentrations of ingredients and are designed for short contact, somewhere between 5 – 20 minutes.
Face masks that have high concentrations of ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid, retinoid, alcohol or fragrances, if left on overnight, can be terribly irritating and dehydrating. Dr. Batra says they may actually draw the moisture right back out of the skin!
If someone does leave the mask on for too long, Dr. Batra suggests some ways to calm the irritation. She says to use a cool compress, an anti-inflammatory scent-free dye-free moisturizer, hydrating agents like witch hazel, or even a little antihistamine if you are really red. Dr. Ordon adds that aloe works too. “Especially from the fridge,” chimes in Dr. Batra.