In our busy day-to-day lives, it's sometimes difficult to find time to properly hydrate and pamper our skin. Faces in particular start to show the signs of stress and dehydration quickly, making us look older and more tired than we might feel. But between day-time work, family and personal obligations, it can be hard to give skin the TLC that it needs to thrive.
This is when optimizing your nighttime skincare regimen can help you look and feel younger and more rested. You already sleep (or should sleep) one-third of your life — why not use it to your advantage? Your skin naturally repairs itself during your sleep so this can be a great way to optimize your skincare routine with minimal effort.
Step 1: Cleanse Your Face
Cleansing your skin is essential before you start to do anything else for your nighttime routine. First you need to use a gentle makeup remover to take off any cosmetics you use. However, even if you don't wear make-up you should still cleanse your skin. Throughout the day, our skin is exposed to pollutants and dust in the air. These can lead to blemishes and general dullness. Use a cleaner suitable for your skin type. Personally I love Tula's Purifying Face Cleanser as it both removes makeup and deep cleans.
If you have problem skin, or feel like you aren't getting your skin fully clean, you might consider a facial brush that helps penetrate your skin at a deeper level than your fingers alone can do. I love Foreo's Luna 2 Brush for days when I want a deeper clean.
Step 2: Apply Night Cream and Serum
Moisturizing your skin right after you wash it is the best and most direct way to start your night time skin routine. Whether you live in a dry climate, spend time outside in the wind, or just log long hours in the office with A/C or heating, your skin is constantly losing moisture which needs to be replenished. The good news is night is the ideal time to layer on moisture without worrying about whether it looks greasy or will make your make-up run. Go for a luxurious night cream which suits your skin type. One of my favorites for anti-aging is Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream. To take your skin’s hydration to the next level, try layering a serum under your night cream — serums are thinner than creams and can penetrate your skin even more deeply. There's a lot of wonderful serums on the market and I love to experiment but one that's got a permanent spot on my shelf is Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex.
Step 3: Try Night Masks
Generally I think of masks as something to be used during the day. However new night masks such as Laneige’s Renewal Water Sleeping Mask are available and offer an excellent way to give your skin the nourishment and hydration. This also gives you the opportunity to really fine tune your night routine for what your skin needs that day — from hydrating to acne control to anti-aging. Alternatively, you can use a sheet mask such as TonyMoly’s sleep inducing Hydrating Lavender Mask Sheet directly before bed and then let the solution sit on your face through the night.
Step 4: Hydrate Your Hands and Feet
It is also important to remember to give your hands and feet a little extra love during your night time routine. I use bliss Aloe Leaf + Peppermint Foot Patrol — like all bliss products products, it smells absolutely amazing and has quality ingredients that will leave even the roughest feet smooth and soft. For hands, I love AHAVA's Mineral Hand Cream which has a light scent and absorbs very quickly. Applying a thick layer of cream right before bed and then a pair of clean socks over your feet and hands will help the lotion absorb into the skin and you'll wake up to smoother, happier feet and hands. For an extra boost, try soaking in a warm bath first so your pores are open and will absorb even more moisture.
Step 5: Crank Up the Humidifier and Break Out the Essential Oils
Humidifiers are one of the best investments you can make if you want healthy, hydrated skin. Many modern humidifier can measure the moisture in the air and ensure that humidity remains constant throughout the night. In addition to improving your skin, also help your sinuses, throat and lungs as you aren't breathing dry air all night. There's even been studies that humid air makes it more difficult for viruses to travel, keeping you healthier. If you have children (or mischievous pets), cool mist is recommended as it reduces any chance of scalding. For cold mist, I love MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier which is relatively quiet and has a beautiful design. There are also diffusing humidifiers such as VicTsing’s Humidifier and Diffuser which give you the added benefits of essential oils during your sleep.
Always remember, that while you indulge in all your beauty treatments, it is still essential to get a good night’s sleep. A minimum of seven hours of sleep is essential to maintain healthy skin, and gives your body the time it needs to recharge and put on its best face forward! In addition, drink plenty of water and eat nutritious, healthy food and you will be on your way to having flawless skin.