When developing a nighttime skincare routine, it's important to know your skin type and to pick products that are right for your complexion. This will ensure that your products are working for you, and won't make any of your concerns worse. Whether your skin is oily, normal or dry you want to ensure that you get the perfect beauty sleep.
When you sleep your skin regenerates and repairs itself, so this is the best time to give your skin a little more TLC and apply your key ingredients. Keep reading to discover top tips from our dermatologist, Dr. Nina Desai, on how to build the best nighttime skincare routine for your complexion.
Cleansing is a very important part of the nighttime skincare routine. I am a big fan of the double cleanse at night to prepare your skin to soak in the powerful active ingredients you apply before sleep and most importantly, to remove all the toxins and residue from the day.
If you're oily, combination, or you wear makeup during the day, I recommend starting with a micellar cleansing water on a soft cotton round to remove makeup. Follow this up with an AHA cleanser, such as GlyPro AHA Resurfacing Cleanser for a deeper clean. If oil, dirt, bacteria, and makeup are left behind on the skin at night, your skin will be more prone to becoming congested and you may wake up with a new breakout.
Those of us with very sensitive skin or very dry skin may not be able to tolerate a glycolic acid cleanser every night, so I often recommend alternating nights with Hydra Bright AHA Cleanser. For those with sensitive skin or dry skin, Phyto-Active Enzyme Cream Cleanser is less drying to skin.
When you wash your face you always want to be careful to not tug or pull at your skin and do not rub dry with a towel. Be very gentle and always pat dry, making sure not to irritate your skin.
Toners have become a great add-on to our skincare routines. Traditionally, toners were products used to restore the skin’s pH after cleansing the face with an alkaline soap, and they also helped prep your skin for serums and moisturizers and get rid of excess oil or dirt that your cleanser might have missed. But today, the best toners do so much more. They actually provide similar benefits as a serum or treatment product. That’s because they are infused with ingredients like AHAs, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins that can exfoliate, brighten, soothe, hydrate, and more.
Next, apply your retinol. Retinoids, or vitamin A derivatives, are so important for promoting cell turnover and boosting collagen production, which, over time is going to leave our skin smoother, tighter, and with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
When starting out with a retinoid, no matter what your skin type is, you want to start at a low strength and work your way up. Starting with either Beta-Clarity BHA Drops which contain 1% retinol plus salicylic acid, or GlyPro Retinol Drops which weigh in at 1.5% retinol, is your best approach. By slowly building a tolerance you'll minimize any redness, dryness, or peeling that may occur.
Retinol itself is light-sensitive, so your skin not only becomes more vulnerable to the sun and ultimately becomes more susceptible to sun damage, but the retinol will lose potency, this is one of the main reasons retinoids are best to use at night.
Moisturizing skin at night is also a vital step. This is where knowing your skin type is important. If you're oily or acne-prone you'll want to use Oil Free Moisturizer or Oil Control Emulsion, which uses ultra light hydration with microsponge technology to reduce shine. For dry skin, pick a thicker, richer moisturizer to hydrate the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles such as Vita E Essential Cream or Restorative Cream. For even more hydration, try adding a hydrating serum to maintain your skin barrier and lock in moisture, without adding more oil back to the skin.
I like to give my under eyes and lips a little extra TLC before bed. The skin around the eyes is thin and super delicate and more susceptible to the breakdown of collagen and the development of fine lines and wrinkles, so protecting these areas is very important to prevent the appearance of aging.
For my eyes, I love C-Shield Eye Restore Hydrator. The specialized blend of antioxidants and peptides in this product gently but effectively boost collagen and elastin production, which will improve crow’s feet, crepey texture, and under-eye discoloration so this is a must and can actually be used morning and night.
For my lips I love an occlusive balm to lock in moisture. I use Barrier Balm which hydrates and conditions the lips making them healthier and fuller.
While retinoids, antioxidants, and SPF are the staples of any good skincare routine, targeted serums and products should also be worked into your routine based on your individual skin needs. If you're dealing with hyperpigmentation, sun spots, or melasma, key ingredients are brightening agents such as arbutin and AHAs like glycolic acid, azelaic acid, lactic acid—so, a perfect product to target those concerns is Hydra-Bright Alpha Arbutin Drops.
If you suffer from acne or have oily skin, give your face some extra defense from oil and bacteria that contribute to acne with Beta-Clarity BHA Drops. And, when you have an annoying active acne lesion, Clear Skin Spot Treatment should be used as a spot treatment until the area is clear.
Some other steps we can do to keep our skin healthy is to wash our pillowcases once a week. Oil and bacteria build up on our pillowcases and can contribute to acne. Try turning over your pillow every night too.
Additionally, we should also do our best to sleep on our back and not on our face or side to avoid the unnecessary breakdown of collagen while we sleep. Lastly, for a more potent dose of hydration, I often recommend an overnight face mask 1-2 times a week for those who need it.