Working the Midnight Shift
At night, your skin has time to soak in moisturizing creams without that pesky sun getting in the way
You may have your morning skincare regimen down pat, but all that washing, rinsing and repeating will only go so far if you don't treat your complexion with the same TLC at bedtime.
“During the night, your skin is less stressed and less busy, so it has more resources available such as peptides, energy, amino acids, vitamins and enzymes to deal with repair, restoration and rebuilding,” says New York City dermatologist Neal Schultz, M.D. Just before getting your ZZZs, seize the opportunity for optimal face time with the right products and ingredients. Here's what you need to know.
Up the Antioxidants
Look for nighttime treatments made with antioxidants. “These help protect against damage from both naturally occurring free radicals inside your skin cells and those that come from the sun's direct ultraviolet rays,” says Schultz. “By putting antioxidants on your skin at night when there is no UV to destroy them, they have a chance to absorb into your cells where they need to be the next day to protect you.” An antioxidant-rich product like StriVectin Overnight Facial Resurfacing Serum contains exfoliating enzymes to help even out your complexion, smooth dry patches, reduce pores and brighten your skin.
Put Some Peptides in Your Step
Peptides are a chain of protein molecules that tell the deeper levels of your skin when the surface needs repairing. “Peptides rev up the cells that make collagen, so as collagen depletion starts to occur, your cells will already be producing more so it's there when you need it,” says Schultz.
Using a product that contains peptides, such as Exuviance Age Reverse Night Lift, every night will help build new collagen, prevent collagen breakdown and strengthen the structure of your skin so it's firmer, smoother and younger looking.
Address Acne with Overnight Fighters
While acne treatments can, and should, be used during the day as well as at night, effective pimple treatment ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids have no competition during the night from the absorption or application of sunscreen and makeup, so they can get to work uninterrupted, says Schultz. To help clear skin congestion and prevent future breakouts, try Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel, a treatment that helps reduce excess oil production and eliminate bacteria by using antiseptics like tea tree oil and rosemary. Salicylic acid sloughs away pore-clogging skin cells to keep your skin clear in the long run.
Quench Thirsty Skin
Nighttime is prime time to infuse heavy-duty moisture and hydration back into skin. Look for a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, a great humectant, which helps skin retain water so it stays plump and smooth, says Schultz. Repair, strengthen and improve skin elasticity and firmness while you sleep with a hyaluronic acid-infused moisturizer like Boscia Recharging Night Moisture. It also contains ingredients such as jojoba leaf, a powerful antioxidant that combats free-radical damage and premature aging, and willow herb, an anti-irritant that calms inflammation and reduces redness and irritation.