As you get ready for bed, you probably have a routine that helps you transition from a busy day to the hours of rest ahead of you. Your skin needs to be prepared so it can do its best restorative work while you sleep. Nighttime is a great time to apply products to your skin, as their absorption won’t be hindered by makeup, environmental pollutants or the wear and tear form your day. Here are some key elements of nighttime skin care that you can add to your routine to help your skin wake up ready to face the day.
The most important thing you can do for your skin before you go to bed is to make sure it is clean. The cleansing step not only removes your makeup, but also washes away the dirt, free-radicals and excess oil that have accumulated throughout the day. You can either use a water-based cleanser or an oil-based one. Many find that an oil-based cleanser works the best for makeup removal, especially those stubborn products like eyeliner and waterproof mascara. If you’d rather not use an oil-based cleanser over your entire face, you can just use an oil-based eye makeup remover (or any other type of eye makeup remover), and then cleanse the rest of your face with a water-based cleanser. When you’re removing your eye makeup, do so gently. The skin around your eye is delicate, and tugging at it repeatedly can damage your skin, leading to more fine lines or sagging skin around your eyes. Also, don’t use hot water during the cleansing step -- this can dry out your skin. Use lukewarm water and gently pat it dry after cleansing.
Another product to add to your nighttime routine is the application of toner. Toner both balances the pH of your skin and hydrates your skin. Hydrating your skin is important, especially if you have oilier skin. When your skin is dehydrated, it will produce more oil to compensate for your skin’s lack of moisture. When applying toner, dab it on with your hands, continuing to pat your skin until your skin has absorbed the toner. You can find toners that have a variety of additional, beneficial ingredients, such as ginseng, antioxidants, green tea, Vitamin A, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and herbal extracts.
A couple of times a week, you should consider applying a facial mask. There are many types of masks to choose from depending on what you want your mask to accomplish. Many have exfoliating properties, which will help get rid of dead skin cells, unclog pores, and leave your face feeling smooth and refreshed. You can also apply clay masks, hydrogel masks, sheet masks, or overnight masks. These masks can hydrate, clean, soothe and brighten your skin, not to mention that they are a great way to relax before hitting the sheets.
If you have dry or flakey skin, applying oil to your skin is helpful for restoring your skin’s moisture. Like with toner, the oil will help your body from producing excess oil in an attempt to balance your skin’s hydration.
Many dermatologists recommend retinoids for the many ways they add to your skin’s health. Retinoids stimulate cell turnover, which prompts new, healthier skin to grow quicker. They also reduce the breakdown of collagen, a protein in your body that contributes to your skin’s elasticity. Retinoids help lighten dark spots on your skin and minimize wrinkles by thickening the skin. You can use over the counter retinoids or get a prescription for a stronger dose.
Serums are a great way to customize your nighttime beauty routine. They contain high concentrations of special ingredients that target specific skin concerns. Serums are absorbed into your skin as opposed to sitting on the top of them. So, they can be a more potent way to treat your skin issues, such as wrinkles, brown spots, acne breakouts, dull or discolored skin, dark circles under the eyes, dehydration, and loss of elasticity. While serums can be pricey, they last a long time -- just a few drops patted onto your face or neck will do the job. Some even find that serums do the same work as pricier treatments like dermal fillers and botox injections.
Eyes are often the place where the day’s stress settles. Dark circles, puffiness, redness, fine lines and droopy skin make you look tired, older, and unhappy. Eye creams target these problems, boasting hydrating, firming and brightening properties. They are a favorite eye wrinkle treatment. Dab a bit of eye cream on the delicate skin around your eyes before you put on your moisturizer.
Make moisturizing the last ritual of your nighttime beauty treatment. The type of moisturizer you use will depend on the type of skin you have -- lightweight moisturizers tend to be better for normal to oily skin and heavier creams for dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, stick to a moisturizer that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. You may also get moisturizing treatment from your toner or serum, making a lighter moisturizer a better choice for finishing off your routine. Look for moisturizers that have beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants, and Vitamins C and A. You can even find a moisturizer that has retinoids.
Get in touch with Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area. Vanguard’s board-certified dermatologist can guide you to the best skin care habits for your skin, as well as offer a variety of medical and cosmetic dermatology services.