laneige water sleeping mask

In the fast-paced world of Korean skincare, few products last more than one season. If you fall in love with a mask or serum, you’d better stock up. By the time you run out, you won’t be able to get your mitts on it anymore. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is the exception to the rule. This cult mask has lasted YEARS and is still going strong. It’s like the grandmother of Korean masks. What’s the secret behind its longevity? I’ve put it to the test to find out:

About The Brand: Laneige

Owned by giant beauty conglomerate Amore Pacific, South Korean brand Lainege was launched in 1994. Its name comes from the French word “la neige,” which means “the snow.” The entire philosophy of the brand is based on its Advanced Water Science technology and its emphasis on hydration. No wonder their Water Sleeping Mask is their flagship product. When skin has all the moisture it needs and then some, it naturally looks younger. However, the price to pay for that is a low emphasis on anti-aging (but that’s true for most Korean brands).

Key Ingredients In Laneige Water Sleeping Mask: What Makes It Work?


Take a look at your skincare products. Glycerin is in pretty much ALL of them. Why? It’s super hydrating. This humectant attracts water from the environment into your skin and binds it there to boost your skin’s hydration levels.

Hydration is the foundation of healthy skin. When your skin has all the moisture it needs, it’s naturally softer to the touch. It takes on a dewy hue. Even better, moisture plumps up fine lines and wrinkles, so they look smaller to the naked eye.

Glycerin is just one of the main hydrating ingredients in this mask, but it deserves to be highlighted because it’s one of those workhorses of skincare that’s usually neglected – but without it, your skin wouldn’t look so good.


Did you know Squalane is one of the three oil that doesn’t aggravate acne? It works even for people with fungal acne. Phew! So what does it do? Squalane is very similar to human sebum. Like sebum, it creates a protective barrier on the skin that slows down water loss, so all the extra moisture that glycerin and other humectants bring in actuality stays in the skin, moisturising it.

Plus, the protective barrier squalane creates on your skin keeps it safe from germs and bacteria that could cause irritations. One more thing: as Squalane is pretty much identical to human sebum, your skin immediately recognises it and allows it to sink in quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind.


Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate is a probiotic ingredient produced by the Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria. Most of the studies on it comes from the manufacturer, so take them with a pinch of salt. But here’s what we know so far. In-vitro (non real skin) studies show that this probiotic stimulates the production of collagen, the protein that makes skin firm. But, before you get too excited, we don’t know if this happens on real skin yet.

There’s only one in-vivo (on real people) study and it has its limitations. Only 5 people took part in it! A very small sample. Yet, the results show that 5% Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate reduced redness by 47%. In other words, this probiotic seems to have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Water: The main solvent of this mask, it helps other ingredients dissolve too.
  • Butylene Glycol: Another solvent that dissolve other ingredients. It also acts as a humectant, binding water to skin to increase its hydration levels.
  • Glycerin: A humectant that attracts and binds water from the environment into your skin to increase hydration level and make it softer and smoother.
  • Trehalose: A water-binding plant sugar that deeply hydrates skin.
  • Methyl Trimethicone: A volitive silicone that gives textures a silky feel. It evaporates quickly when applied to the skin.
  • 1, 2- Hexanediol: This multi-tasker hydrates skin, gives the formula a silky feel, dissolves other ingredients, and boosts the antimicrobial properties of preservatives.
  • Phenyl Trimethicone: A silicone that gives skincare products a silky texture and fills in fine lines and wrinkles, so they look smaller.
  • PCA Dimethicone: A silicone that creates a protective barrier on the skin that keeps moisture in, fills in fine lines and wrinkles so they look smaller, and gives the texture a smooth feeling.
  • Caprylyl Methicone: A volatile silicone that helps the formula spread easily onto the skin and gives it a silky feeling.
  • Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer: A film-forming agent that also thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Carbomer: A thickening agent that also prevents the oily and watery parts of a formula from separating.
  • Propanediol: A humectant that attracts and binds water to the skin for extra hydration. It’s also a solvent that dissolves other ingredients.
  • Tromethamine: It helps to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: It enhances the texture and feel of skincare products.
  • Glyceryl Stearate: It helps water and oil mix together, improving the texture and feel of the formula.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: It lubricates skin and makes it softer and smoother.
  • Disodium EDTA: It’s a chelating agent, i.e. an ingredient that binds to metal ions and trace elements in the water that may spoil the formula and neutralises them.
  • Raffinose: Made up of galactose, glucose, and fructose, it attracts and binds water to the skin to hydrate it.
  • Stearyl Behenate: It makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Malachite Extract: Extract of malachite, a copper-rich mineral. Copper is essential in many of the skin’s natural processes, but when found in malachite, it doesn’t really do much for skin.
  • Fragrance / Perfume: It makes the product smell good, but it can be irritating for sensitive skin.
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate: A plant-based emulsifier that holds oil and water together, so they don’t separate into a gooey mess.
  • Inulin Laurel Carbamate: It stabilize oil droplets or non-water soluble particles so that they do not clump together in the formula. 
  • Tranexemic Acid: It brightens skin. But there’s so little here, it won’t do anything for skin.
  • Tryptophan: A hydrating amino acid.
  • Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA: It strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and moisturises skin.
  • Beta-Glucan: A hydrator that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Limonene: The molecule that makes citrus fruits smell so good. It must be listed separately on the ingredient list because it’s a common allergen.
  • Acorus Gramineus Extract: It’s moisturising.
  • Linalool: A fragrant component of lavender and coriander. It’s listed separately because it’s a common allergen.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E with antioxidant properties. Here, it has preservative-like properties that help the formula last longer.

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


It has a lightweight, silky texture that glides on like a dream. It looks a bit shiny at first, but it soon dries down to a matte finish. The best part? It doesn’t clog pores.


This mask has a calm and soothing scent that reminds me of chamomile. It’s pleasant and makes application more enjoyable. The catch? If you have sensitive skin, fragrance in skincare products may irritate your skin, so stay away. At least this scent evaporates pretty quickly from your skin.

How To Use It

It’s a sleeping mask, so it’s the LAST step in your evening skincare routine. You apply it AFTER moisturiser and leave it on all night. Easy peasy.

But you don’t have to use it as a sleeping mask. If you have oily skin, for example, you can use it as your moisturiser. Or you can use it in the morning, if you could do with the extra hydration during the day.

That’s the beauty of hydrating products. You can use them whenever your skin needs the extra perk-me-up.


This mask comes in a blue jar. If you’re a regular here, you know I don’t like jars. For starters, they’re unhygienic. When you dip your fingers in, your risk bacterial contamination. Laneige has fixed this problem by adding a small spatula. My other issue with jar packaging is that it allows it light and air that spoils antioxidants. But there are none here, so this isn’t a concern.

laneige water sleeping mask review

Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion

Just after application, my skin instantly feels softer and smoother. A sure sign this mask packs a very hydrating punch. I go to sleep and let it work its magic on the skin. When I wake up in the morning, my whole face looks plumper and healthy.

I don’t use this mask every night. But if I have an important event the next day – a photoshoot for IG, a friend’s wedding or a networking lunch – I am sure to slather it on. It makes me look radiant and awake. That’s not much else to say about a hydrating mask. When done right – and this is done right – it just gives you that “my-face-but-better” look.

How does Laneige Water Sleeping Mask Compare To Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask?

There are two main differences between Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask. First off, the Cica version is more moisturising. It has a higher concentration of Squalane + a big dollop of Shea Butter to create a protective barrier on the skin that deeply moisturises it and protects it from environmental stressors at the same time.

Plus, the Cica version contains centella asiatica (Cica), a popular ingredient in Korean skincare products due to its skin-soothing properties. Centella asiatica calms down inflammation and reduces redness, making it a wonderful active for sensitive and very dry skin. Plus, it’s fragrance-free. If you have sensitive skin, Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask is the best option hands down.

What I Like About Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

  • Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture.
  • Hydrating, makes skin softer and glowy.
  • Plumping, makes fine lines and wrinkles look smaller.
  • Suitable for all skin types (unless you’re allergic to the fragrance).

What I DON’T Like About Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

  • Contains fragrance that may irritate sensitive skin.
  • Jar packaging.

Who Should Use This?

This sleeping mask is suitable for all skin types. It hydrates oily and acne-prone skin without causing or aggravating breakouts. It gives dry and dehydrated skin the extra moisture they need. It’s a great hydrator for combination skin, too. I’m just hesitant to recommend it to sensitive skin because of the fragrance – it may irritate your skin.

Does Laneige Water Sleeping Mask Live Up To Its Claims?

An overnight, hydrating gel mask that quickly absorbs while you sleep to deeply hydrate skin. True.
After 4 weeks:
– Increase in the look of brightness: +1.45%*
– Strengthens skin’s moisture barrier : +15.2%**
– Increase skin glow : +33.67%**
– Increase in hydration : +25.01%**
– Increase in clarity: +11.5%**

*Based on a 4-week clinical study on 34 Asian women ages 20-39. ¹  
**Based on a 4-week clinical study on 29 Asian women ages 20-35.²

I’m sure these results are accurate, but how were they determined? Did Laneige measure them scientifically or did they simply ask women if they thought their skin had improved and how? Without knowing their criteria, these results mean nothing.

Is Laneige Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Laneige isn’t cruelty-free. It’s owned by Amore Pacific, which still does animal testing.

Price & Availability

$24.00/£43.27 at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Stylevana, and Yes Style

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If your skin is already well-hydrated, you don’t need this. But if you could use the extra hydration, you’ll fall in love with this mask.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask ($38.00): A hydrating sleeping mask loaded to the brim with antioxidants and soothing agents to moisturise skin, calm down irritations, and prevent premature aging. Available at Sephora, Stylevana and Ulta.
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask with 10.5% Squalane ($45.00): A simple, no-frills hydrating mask with Squalane to deeply moisturise skin. Available at Boots, Kiehl’s, Sephora, SpaceNK, and Ulta.


Water / Aqua / Eau, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Trehalose, Methyl Trimethicone, 1, 2- Hexanediol, Squlane, Phenyl Trimethicone, PCA Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, Carbomer, Propanediol, Tromethamine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Raffinose, Stearyl Behenate, Malachite Extract, Fragrance / Perfume, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Inulin Laurel Carbamate, Tranexemic Acid, Tryptophan, Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA, Beta-Glucan, Limonene, Acorus Gramineus Extract, Linalool, Tocopherol.