Great skin doesn’t depend only on having the right genes. Your everyday habits have a major influence on what you see in the mirror. On nights when you’re so tired all you want to do is collapse on your bed, you may have told yourself that not washing your face isn’t going to kill you. We all have. Although it won’t kill you, if you do this regularly, you’re going to start seeing the effects.
Your bedtime beauty routine is very important. Your skin absorbs more nutrients from the products you use during the night, and there aren’t any environmental stressors such as sun damage or pollution to interfere with this process. This allows your skin time to breathe and regenerate.
Since there are so many opinions regarding skincare, we asked our experts to help us sort through all the noise and come up with a few basic tips anyone can follow.
We’ve all been told that going to sleep with our makeup on is bad for our skin. It’s true. Makeup contains oily substances that will mix with the oil your skin produces as well as any dirt that accumulates on your face from the air around you. If you leave it on during the night, it will clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Moreover, it will speed up the aging process since you’re increasing your exposure to free radicals.
Your eyes are particularly sensitive since makeup can clog the hair follicles on your eyelids which leads to inflammation and even infection or cysts.
For those nights when you’re particularly tired, at least keep a pack of makeup removing wipes that you can use before you doze off. Since the area around your eyes is the most sensitive, use gentle motions so you can avoid irritation. When you’re going through your usual makeup removal routine, use cotton pads instead of cotton balls, so you don’t leave fibres behind.
Cleanse Your Skin
Washing your face is another essential step in your skincare routine. Since the products you used to remove your makeup already got rid of most of the environmental pollutants that could clog your pores, opt for a natural cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural moisture.
Lavender goat milk soap has gained a lot of popularity for being gentle on sensitive skin and its lactic acid content that helps prevent breakouts. The lavender extract will not only help you sleep better, but it also has antifungal properties that reduce inflammation.
Although exfoliating has its benefits, don’t do it more than twice a week. It’s generally better to reduce the use of products that can damage the surface of your skin. Instead, just choose a cleanser suited for your skin type and use a cleansing brush to gently remove dead skin cells.
This unsung hero of skincare has a bit of a bad reputation because we tend to associate it with the stinging astringents from a few decades ago. The formulas we have nowadays have evolved, and you can think of them as an important step in preparing your skin to absorb the nutrients from your moisturizer.
Although the traditional application method is to use a cotton pad, it’s not necessary, and you waste a lot of product this way. You can simply pour a few drops on your palms and then press them on your face.
You can choose the toner according to the main active ingredients:
- Hyaluronic acid will boost hydration and help with fine lines.
- Green tea and rose water have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps calm irritation and redness.
- Vitamin E and C help mitigate the aging effect of free radicals.
- Alpha and beta hydroxy acids help with clogged pores, sun damage and uneven skin tone.
After so much cleansing, your skin will need moisturizing. The basic function of a moisturizer is to help prevent water loss, hydrate and soften your skin. As we age, our skin’s ability to retain moisture decreases which leads to that dull and dry aspect.
Although we all need a good moisturizer, the best one for you will depend on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you’ll want to choose a gel moisturizer. Its water-based formula is more lightweight and absorbs more quickly without clogging your pores.
For normal or combination skin you can opt for a classic moisturizer which is a bit heavier than a gel put still absorbs easily. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you’d benefit from a heavier, oil-based formula.
In case your skin is sensitive, you’ll want to look at balm options. They have a heavier texture, much like the products for dry skin, but also ingredients with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Use Stronger and Heavier Products at Night
Perhaps you’ve wondered why there’s so much emphasis on nighttime skincare routines and why night creams have a thicker texture than day creams. This is because your skin is more permeable at night, which means two things:
- It’s more receptive to the nutrients in skincare products
- It tends to lose more moisture as you sleep.
Thicker, heavier moisturizers help seal the moisture in and deliver nutrients that help your skin regenerate and repair. Evenings are also the perfect time to pamper your skin. If you have a bit of extra time, you can also apply a clay-based mask and take a relaxing bath while it draws out impurities from your skin. You can go a step further and apply an overnight hyaluronic acid mask to give your skin maximum hydration.
Turn Your Bedroom into the Perfect Sleeping Environment
The quality of your sleep will have a massive impact on the health of your skin since this is when we experience the highest cellular activity and collagen repair. If you sleep in a cluttered, noisy and bright room, it’s not likely that you will wake up feeling rested.
So sound-proof your windows and get some heavy curtains to shut out the light. You’ll also want to refrain from using your laptop or smartphone about two hours before bedtime because the blue light emitted by the screens reduces melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep. Melatonin is also one of the most powerful antioxidants our bodies produce.
Before going to sleep, tidy up the bedroom and spritz your linen with a mixture of lavender oil. Alternatively, you can use an essential oil diffuser. Lavender has been shown to interact with the central nervous system by increasing inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission, which has a calming, sedative effect.