When your head hits the pillow at night and you fall asleep, your body goes to work. Your brain transfers short-term memories into long-term storage, your hormone levels rebalance themselves, and your cells repair and regenerate after a day of damage. You are unlikely to notice the effects of these nightly activities upon waking except in one highly visible area – your skin.
There is a reason the term “beauty sleep” came to be. Your skin cells regenerate at night, recovering from high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) that can wreak havoc on your body during the day. Your skin also becomes more receptive to certain products at night, particularly anti-aging products.
If you want your skin to look and feel its best, you should be taking care of it both day and night. Simply washing your face in the morning and slathering on a layer of moisturizer may not be enough. A nightly skincare routine is just as important for maintaining the health and appearance of your skin. Read on to learn more about building a nightly regimen and to see our top product recommendations.
What Happens to Your Skin at Night?
Your skin goes through changes throughout your life. In fact, your skin regenerates itself completely about every 27 days. To make sure your skin looks and feels its best, you should perform certain maintenance tasks on a daily basis. Thoroughly cleansing your skin is a great way to start your morning, especially if you follow it with toner, moisturizer specific to your skin type, and SPF. These steps are essential for hydrating and protecting your skin’s outer layer.
Throughout the day, your skin takes a beating. From layers of makeup to harsh environmental factors (such as pollution and UV damage), your skin has a lot to recover from after a long day.
Here are some of the things that happen to your skin while you sleep:
- Cell division renews and repairs the skin, most of it happening between 11 and midnight whether you are asleep or not.
- Your skin is better able to absorb anti-aging ingredients like glycolic acid which break down in sunlight.
- Sebum (oil) production peaks at midday, so your skin’s moisture levels start to drop toward the end of the day and into the night.
- Your skin temperature increases slightly, and your pH becomes more acidic, both of these factors combine to dry out your skin.
- Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels decrease, giving your skin time to recover from inflammation, including the type that can exacerbate acne breakouts.
- Your skin has time to recover and regenerate from environmental damage from pollution, cigarette smoke, UV damage, and other factors.
Though your brain may be asleep on a conscious level, your body is very much awake and active as you sleep. This is when the majority of your body’s repair and regeneration happens so, if you want to reap these benefits for your skin, you should develop a nightly skincare routine.
Tips for Building a Nightly Skincare Routine
Your skin is just as unique as you are, so there is no one-size-fits-all skincare routine. When it comes to building a skincare regimen, the first thing you need to know is your skin type. If your skin feels tight throughout the day and is prone to flaking, you probably have dry skin. Oily skin, on the other hand, may look “greasy” and is more prone to clogged pores and breakouts. If you have normal or combination skin, you may experience dryness in some areas, but breakouts are not a frequent problem.
With that being said, you should consult a skincare professional to determine your exact skin type. We recommend visiting your local Yon-Ka Paris Spa for a complimentary consultation.
Once you’ve determined your skin type, you should take a moment to think about your individual skincare concerns. Do you have sensitive skin that reacts to certain skincare ingredients? Do you have mature skin prone to fine lines and age spots? Understanding your skin is the key to creating an individualized skincare plan to help you reach your goals.
Here are some tips for developing a nighttime skincare routine:
- Start by cleansing your face to remove oil, bacteria, makeup and other debris – a clean palette will also boost the efficacy of your skincare products.
- Wash your face in the evening instead of right before bed because natural skin cell repair starts as soon as the sun goes down.
- Use toner after cleansing to help rebalance your skin’s moisture levels – this is particularly important for oily skin types who often strip their skin.
- Apply any additional treatment products tailored to your skincare concerns – this is when you should use serums and spot treatments.
- Choose products with active ingredients geared toward exfoliation, repair, and anti-inflammation.
- Include an eye cream in your nightly routine but be careful about applying it too close to the lash line or it might get into your eyes. Lightly dab on as to not hurt the delicate skin around the eyes. Tip: use your ring finger for the lightest pressure.
- Put on a thin layer of moisturizer customized to your skin type after cleansing — your skin is more permeable at night.
In addition to formulating your customized nightly skincare routine, there are a few other sleep-specific habits you should consider adopting…
Change your pillowcase often, especially if you have acne-prone skin – or you can simply flip the pillow over to get a few extra nights in. You may also want to consider sleeping with your head slightly elevated – this will help reduce under-eye puffiness. Most importantly, make sure you give yourself time to get a good 7 or 8 hours of beauty sleep to look and feel your best come morning.
Products to Include in Your Nightly Skincare Regimen
When the sun goes down, your skin starts to regenerate and it becomes more permeable, making it the perfect time to use certain skincare ingredients. Choosing the right moisturizer for nighttime will help you maximize the benefit you get from those ingredients.
Here are some of the top Yon-Ka Paris products to include in your nightly regimen:
- Elastine Nuit – This smoothing anti-wrinkle night cream helps soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is protein-enriched, formulated to restore the skin’s natural elastic look and feel. Use in combination with Elastine Jour to soothe, protect, and repair all skin types.
- Alpha Contour – This refreshing, non-greasy contour cream actives natural cell renewal to hydrate the skin, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. It is made with a blend of revitalizing fruit acids to soften the delicate contours of the eyes and lips, gently buffing away the visible signs of aging. Use nightly and, once a week, apply a thick layer for 15 minutes for anti-aging benefits.
- Phyto 58 PS – This regenerating night cream erases visible signs of aging and fatigue with its multi-purpose formula, rich in rosemary essential oil. It offers detoxifying, antiseptic, clarifying, and tightening effects, bringing radiance to dull skin, tightening pores, and toning down dark spots. Phyto 58 is also available in a normal to oily formula as well.
- Elixir Vital – Repair damage for all skin types with this revitalizing, regenerating concentrate. With its intensive moisturizing action, it diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains a restructuring blend of beech bud and soy peptides to heal skin damaged by stress, fatigue, hormonal changes, scars, and sun exposure.
- Masque 103 – Formulated for oily skin types, this purifying and clarifying masque features a triple blend of natural clay to clarify skin and tighten pores. Use weekly to decongest and oxygenate the complexion while preventing blackheads and the buildup of impurities. Follow with toner and moisturizer.
- Time Resist Nuit – Together with Time Resist Jour, this anti-aging duo revitalizes, hydrates, and renews the skin’s youthful appearance for all skin types. It features advanced natural ingredient technology to neutralize the effects of damaging internal and external factors, combined with an all-new synergy that utilizes new-generation plant-based stem cells to fight inflamm’aging.
Skincare is not something you should do when you think of it – it should be part of your daily and nightly routine. The skin is the largest organ in your body, and it takes a lot of hits throughout the day. To wake up looking and feeling refreshed, take what you’ve learned here to develop a customized nightly skincare regimen and start using it on a nightly basis. You may be amazed by the results!