These $22 Firming Eye Masks Help Me Look Wide Awake—Even When I’m Running On 5 Hours of Sleep
No matter how much water I drink before bed or how many hours I sleep, I've had little success reducing the puffiness around my eyes in the morning. That is until I tried the Live Tinted Rays Copper Eye Masks ($22) a few weeks ago. And ever since then, I’ve been able to cheat my way into looking wide awake as soon as I hop out of bed at 6:30 a.m.
A lot of under-eye treatments have come and gone in my beauty cabinet, but these (which are 100 percent biodegradable, BTW) have earned a permanent stay because of their mix of naturally skin-firming and nourishing ingredients.
First up, there's bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative that's known to help improve skin elasticity and discoloration, minus the irritation. Like retinol, bakuchiol increases cellular turnover and allows for fresher-looking skin to appear at the surface by shedding layers of dead skin cells. As a result, it can help to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, especially under the eyes.
Next, there's banana extract. The fruitful active is packed with essential vitamins (namely B3, B5, B6, and C), which work together to keep skin bright, strong, and nourished. What's more, banana can help boost your skin's moisture levels thanks to one special nutrient. "The vitamin A in bananas helps to restore skin's moisture and treat dullness, dryness, and damaged skin," Karen Hammerman, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, previously told Well+Good.
Finally, there are copper peptides. These strings of amino acids work to "strengthen the skin itself by enhancing the production of collagen and elastin, which ultimately means that they can improve skin tone, texture, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," says board-board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. What's more, "they have been used for years in skincare and have the benefit of being non-irritating, so they can be applied even on sensitive skin types."
I decided to put these masks to the test over the last several weeks. And thankfully, their application is simple and smooth. Just place them under your eyes and wait up to 10 minutes. Each mask stays firmly in place and is covered in a hydrogel-like solution that feels super cool and a bit slime-y to the touch.
Once I took the masks off, the results were apparent almost immediately. The skin under my eyes felt slightly firmer and had a noticeable brightness to it, which is no coincidence. The copper peptides, banana extract, and other hydrators in the formula all made it possible.
"Moisturizing and hydrating the under-eye skin can help to reduce dark circles and eye bags as hydrated skin appears healthier and plumper," says Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. Specifically, using humectants such as glycerin (another active ingredient in the masks) can increase moisture and reduce the appearance of under-eye bags by plumping the skin, according to Garshick.
And while my glow-up was pretty subtle, it still was a huge improvement from the usual shadows I get under my eyes when I don't get my standard amount of beauty sleep. All in all, the masks are a quick pick-me-up that allow me to look refreshed within minutes (and their half-moon shape and bright orange color are fun additions). Each pack comes with six masks, which is enough for every day of the workweek... plus one self-care Sunday.
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