Nightime Skin Care - 4 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make
So you think you’re doing everything right? You cleanse, tone, and moisturize religiously and your skin still isn’t showing the fruits of your labor. Before you go on a mini shopping spree to overhaul your skincare routine (put down the debit card and step away from your computer!), it might not be your products to blame. Since nighttime is primetime for skin, those eight hours could hold the key to the cleanest, clearest complexion of your dreams.
1. You don’t get enough shuteye.
It’s not only you that has to go to school and work during the day — your skin has a long list of job responsibilities, too. The skin switches from protection mode into repair and regeneration mode at night. In the daytime, it’s very active fighting off invaders, defending and neutralizing damaging molecules from the environment. Giving your body ample time to rest and recharge is critical to keeping skin in peak condition, and not getting enough sleep accelerates the aging process and delays healing. This results in breakouts that won’t clear up as quickly, and to add to the issue, lack of sleep contributes to the dark circles and puffy eyes from a lack of blood circulation. Aim for seven to eight hours per night.
2. You sleep in your makeup.
Today’s makeup (think SPF, primer, foundation, powder) is built to last and packed with hi-tech ingredients designed to adhere to skin and be sweat-, smudge-, and even kiss-proof. So why would you want to leave all of that on at night? Not double-cleansing your face (first with a makeup-melting plant-based oil or precleanse wipe, followed with a cleanser for your specific skin condition) will result in congested, flaky, and even sensitized skin, and if you’re breakout prone, a fresh crop of pimples. So never sleep in your makeup or a day’s worth of street grime for that matter. Go to bed clean and hydrated.
3. You turn up the heat.
Dialing up the temperature inside causes extreme dryness and dehydration, especially in winter months when natural skin lipids are being wicked away by low humidity levels outside. Skin is also drier at night as it excretes less sebum, loses more water, and is more acidic. Dry skin equals irritated skin, which may explain why some people get “nighttime itch” or “flare-ups” of inflammatory skin conditions at night. Before bed, liberally apply a fragrance-free body lotion (look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and evening primrose oil) all over the body, especially the legs if they tend to get itchy, to help to trap in and attract moisture. Turn down the thermostat — you’ll not only sleep better, but have less scaly skin too.
4. You skip your moisturizer.
If you have oily skin, you might often skip the lotion or moisturizer before bed for fear it will only increase the breakouts, but like we’ve already learned, the skin is drier at night. And if the skin is dehydrated and the surface is tight and dry, it increases oil production as your skin tries to correct the problem. An oily skin needs moisture too but not necessarily fat, synthetic waxes and oils. I advise people to layer their hydration like you do your clothes in winter, from thinnest to thickest, as opposed to reaching for a single thick, heavy moisturizer that might be too rich for oily skin. Start by spritzing with a hydrating toner after cleansing. While the skin is still damp, apply a few drops of a light hydrating serum or fluid (look for ingredients like seaweed, honey, and hyaluronic acid that bind and attract moisture to the skin). Follow up with your lightweight moisturizer with 1-2% natural plant and nut oils.