Start with a clean slate and then make use of your downtime. Boost your skin’s health by feeding it with moisturising, nourishing and soothing products when your skin is most receptive.
Bedtime skin care rituals are definitely important if you want healthy and glowing skin. Using your snooze time for skin replenishment has been around since the healing rituals of the ancient Shamans or historic figures such as Cleopatra, who was famous for tending to her skin with donkey milk, and sleeping with a mask of gold on her face. In Elizabethan times, night time masks of raw meat were the preferred wrinkle minimizer of the nobility, while Marie Antoinette incorporated raw eggs into her nightly skincare regimen. In the 1950s and 60s, women would head to bed with a hair full of curlers and a face hidden under a thick layer of cold cream.
Today, we don’t suggest sleeping with fillet on your face. But there are specific products developed for use overnight, allowing the dark of night and your complete relaxation to your advantage. You’re not going anywhere for eight hours, making it the perfect time for a lush layer of moisturising goodness on your face, hands and feet. Use your downtime to your advantage and provide relief and deep healing treatments to your skin.
Start by cleansing and removing all the built-up dirt and pollution of the day, as well as makeup and day products off your skin first. In fact, a double cleansing method could be to your advantage. Not all makeup, especially foundations and eye makeup, comes off completely with just one round of cleanser. To get your face really fresh and clean for its night time skin treatments, start with an oil based cleanser, and then use water and a gentle non-foaming based cleansing solution.
Keep your hands and feet soft
Hard heels, peeling skin on the feet and less than buttery soft hands are a common woe in the world we live in. From high heels and workout footwear, gardening to dish washing, multiple hand-washings a day, your hands and feet get a battering. Trying to apply softening treatments, which are often greasy and also need time and uninterrupted access to the skin to work their magic, means that such products are best part of your night time skin care regimen. Start by washing your hands and feet with warm water, and soaking for a few minutes if possible.
If hard and dry soles are a problem, look for products with glycolic acid – it is helpful in dealing with rough, thick soles. Clove oil, hemp seed and peppermint are other soothing and softening elements to look for when buying a foot or heel cream. Wearing socks overnight after loading on the cream offers additional moisturising benefit.
For getting your hands back to the softness of their youth, turn to a thick preparation, giving preference to lanolin enriched creams. Starting to notice age spots on your hands? Employ a lotion or cream with glycolic acid to fade them.
Take advantage of the dark to heal the skin on your face
You have probably heard about the anti-aging and collagen boosting capabilities of retinol. Retinol is known to fade age spots, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and stimulate blood vessels, making skin look brighter. But did you know that retinoids breaks down when exposed to light? So to ensure you aren’t negating the skin smoothing and healing properties of your retinol cream, you should apply it before bedtime, so that it can work it magic on your face.
Glycolic acid is another great collagen enhancing, age spot reducing, pore unclogging substance. So, in addition to retinol, also include a product with glycolic acid into your night time skin care regimen. Use by layering the glycolic acid product on top of your retinol one. You can use both retinol and glycolic acid at the same time for your face, but a word of caution for those who have sensitive skin, as glycolic acid is acidic as its name suggests, and may prove irritating and inflame sensitive skin.
Use a specifically formulated night cream
Even those whose skin falls on the dry side of the spectrum may find that rich products look greasy during the day. Those with oily skin will not appreciate the extra added oils. So, keep those heavier products for the night, when you are safely ensconced in your home.
It’s no coincidence that products come labelled night cream or night moisturiser. Another effective but best at night treatment is a face oil. You can add a couple drops of face oil to your night time moisturiser or retinol prep, to up the healing and beneficial aspects. With heavier creams, you may find it beneficial to wash your pillowcase a few extra times a week, to stop grease and grime transferring to your face.