Makes perfect sense, yet sometimes we just can't make the effort. Still, even beyond the makeup we slather on, the (often unintentional) habit of touching our faces all day long makes it one of the dirtiest parts of the body. It’s important to clean the skin at night to avoid the spread of acne bacteria that can cause blemishes. In addition, skin repairs itself at night, so removing makeup allows for a clean palette to apply nighttime performance products for maximum absorption. Sure, it requires some serious discipline to perform any nighttime skin care routine — especially when exhausted — but it's always worth it.
Wash skin earlier in the evening
One of the most common excuses I hear is that people are too tired to wash their face at night. That's why I suggest starting a nighttime skin routine at 7 or 8 p.m. when it's less likely to be skipped. Earlier is better than never!
Always use moisturizer at night
Some people avoid using night cream to let their skin “breathe.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Avoiding night cream offers no positive skin benefit. In fact, when skin is bare, any existing moisture evaporates right out of it, resulting in dry skin cell build-up and a dull, tired complexion. It’s really important to use a moisturizer suited for your skin type; at night, when your skin is at rest, the skin’s permeability is at its highest, thus allowing the action ingredients to absorb deeper within the skin.
Use products with performance ingredients
During the day, skin requires environmental-protecting ingredients like some serious SPF. But, at night when skin is regenerating, look for repairing, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Glycolic acid, retinol, peptides, red marine algae, and Dermaxyl all encourage collagen activity. Exfoliating ingredients like AHAs (glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids) and BHAs to stimulate new, healthy skin cell growth while removing surface dry skin cells. Soothing ingredients like white tea extract and Azulene to provide anti-inflammatory relief.
Change pillowcases frequently
Why? Bacteria and oil may get reintroduced into the skin during sleep, so it’s always suggested for acne-prone skin to have a fresh, clean pillowcase to sleep on.
Use baby washcloths instead of regular washcloths
Regular washcloths can be too harsh on the skin, but washcloths with soft fibers — or, even better, baby washcloths or facial sponges — can be an important part of an evening routine to remove makeup. Even if skin is not sensitive, it’s always a good idea to treat it gently and refrain from scrubbing.
Avoid applying eye cream too close to the eye
It’s important to avoid applying eye cream too close to the lash line, since your eyelashes can pick up the product and migrate into eyes. With every blink the hairs will lift microscopic amounts of product that can eventually deposit into eyes. Anything that enters the eyes can be an obvious irritant and cause unnecessary puffiness — not a good look.
Sleep with your head elevated
Keep your head elevated by sleeping on two pillows at night to reduce under-eye puffiness. This helps to reduce fluid retention in the eye area and a reduction in puffiness in the morning. For even better circulation, give yourself a light facial massage when you wake up to encourage fluid to drain from the under-eye area.
Avoid using greasy hand creams
There's a condition I like to call "hand cream acne" that results in sleeping with hands touching the face at night. Many people use a thick hand cream before going to bed, and if you sleep on your side with your hands on your face, the cream may be getting into the skin and clogging the pores. If you find that this may be happening to you, sleep with cotton gloves or avoid using a heavy hand cream.
Get enough beauty sleep
There is no doubt that getting enough sleep every night can offer many skin benefits. A lack of some quality shut-eye compromises the body’s circulatory system and causes stagnant blood in the vessels under the eyes because it hasn’t properly drained. And, that means bags. Lack of sleep also causes the skin to look pale and tired because the circulation has been impaired. In addition, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep because sleep deprivation also causes stress, which can aggravate all skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Bottom line: When you’re tired, you look it!