I Tried This $12 Luxury Swap As An Overnight Mask — Here's What Happened

Photo by @extreme-photographer

One of the best makeup tricks I've ever learned was from the artist who did my wedding day makeup: She used Elizabeth Arden's eight-hour "cream" as makeup primer. This one product made my skin look undeniably dewy and fresher than it had in a long time. I write "cream" with quotations because it's not a cream at all, despite its name. The product has a thick, slippery, jelly-like consistency that's meant to be used as a "skin protectant." Who knew that slathering on a coating of this amber-colored gel would prime my face for a full day of makeup wearing? I expected a melty disaster (it was peak summer, after all), but everything stayed in place—I was impressed

I had to find a natural alternative to this well-loved classic, but I kept coming up empty. I tried Waxelene, a petroleum-free product that's as waxy as its name implies, and it's a wonderful balm, but it was difficult to remove. Straight coconut oil was too emollient, not to mention it can be comedogenic. Of the all-purpose products and salves natural beauty has to offer, Weleda's Skin Food was the closest match. This all-natural staple has earned cult status among skin care lovers of all kinds—green beauty enthusiasts, moisture seekers, and sensitive types included.

Like Arden's eight-hour cream, Skin Food claims to soothe dry skin on the body's rough patches—knees, elbows, hands, lips, and feet—with a cocktail of skin-saving ingredients. Viola tricolor, calendula, and chamomile extracts work together with sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, and a little bit of beeswax to form a hard-to-achieve mix of stiff and emollient. Some

Photo: Lindsay Kellner

Instead of using it as a quick facial fix, though, I decided to double down on the skin hydration benefits and try it as an overnight sleeping mask. Yes it's still summer and typically extra hydration is frowned upon, but my skin has been parched. (I blame it on the AC and not drinking enough water.) FYI: A sleeping mask is K-beauty's spin on a night cream and is essentially a thick layer of treatment serum or moisturizer. While Skin Food isn't officially a sleeping mask, you can use it as one. The goop itself is yellow-beige in color and opaque at first but becomes transparent on contact with the skin. The amounts shown here are far too much for the face—a pea size is plenty.

I slathered it on and worried for a moment about my pores. Would they clog? With a cream this thick, I wasn't sure but was willing to deviate from my nightly gentle acid routine to find out. My face was indeed shiny and slippery for the rest of the evening. I changed out my pillowcase to one I didn't care about staining and hit the hay. The next morning was an early one—I woke up at 6 a.m. and completely forgot about the experiment until I looked in the mirror. My face looked smoother and the lines on my forehead and mouth were still there, but they were softer. I'm happy to report one use did not clog my pores! The biggest difference of all was in how my skin felt. It quite literally drank up the Skin Food and looked even-toned enough to forgo makeup entirely.

That all said, I don't recommend this treatment unless you're feeling particularly dry. It likely won't make too much of a difference unless your skin is parched, but using it on cuticles, elbows, knees, and feet is fine year-round!

Would you try a sheet mask on your butt? Here's what happened when mbg-ers gave it a whirl.

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