Transform Your Skin: Minimal Effort for Maximum Results
By Kendall Farr, Licensed Esthetician, Spada Skincare
At night your skin is hard at work repairing any damage that you’ve sustained during the day. Even though your skin is constantly engaged in repair, these processes peak in the evening. They don’t call it ‘beauty sleep’ for nothing. The way that you care for your skin at night is what makes a visible difference in the tone, texture, and overall ‘glow’ you wake up with. It’s an easy choice to make—wake up looking fresh, well rested, and radiant. Well, yes. Here are 10 tips for nighttime skin care that will make a visible difference.
1. Wash Your Face. Every. Single. Night.
Let’s start off with a very basic (and very important) nighttime skincare tip: wash your face every night. As Skincare 101 as this may be, many clients tell me they don’t wash their faces consistently at night. Here’s why it’s smart to flip the script on this neglect: Your face is the dirtiest part of your body. The DIRTIEST. Think about it. We unintentionally touch our faces all day long spreading bacteria from our keypads, our phones, pretty much everything we touch. Add in surface film from SPF, makeup, and sebum. Wrap it all up in environmental pollution and indoor ventilation and it’s dirty wrapped in filthy.
2. Wash Your Face Earlier Not Later
Before that first glass of wine, before making dinner, before whatever list you may need to complete at night, wash your face. Why? Because there is an actual cellular advantage to doing your skin care as the sun goes down rather than right before your head hits the pillow. Our skin has a circadian rhythm and the cellular turnover in our skin (it rebuilds and refreshes our skin) is affected by the same ‘master clock’ that regulates our sleep patterns, body temperature, cardiac activity, blood pressure, hormone secretion, metabolism, and more. It was believed that all cell repair only occurred during sleep. Science now knows that these repair functions go to work as the light changes with sunset. This suggests that it’s beneficial to complete your nighttime skincare routine earlier in the evening when your skin first begins that repair. Your skin is also more permeable at night, so you’ll better absorb moisture and any active ingredients… provided your skin is clean. Do your routine first. Exhausted people tend to skip their skin care.
3. Use Baby Washcloths for a Gentle Cleansing
Did you know you should always wipe your skin with a washcloth after applying your cleanser? The surfactants in cleansing lotions dissolve makeup, SPF, and oils as they’re massaged into your skin but are not completely removed with just a rinse. The action of gently wiping away the dirt and oils with a washcloth transfers everything off the skin. Regular washcloths can be too rough textured and irritating for facial skin. Instead, opt for a gentle baby washcloth. Pick up a stack of them. Make the double cleanse the essential start to your routine.
4. Change Your Pillowcases Frequently
Part of your skin’s repair is the shedding of cells. Your skin also secretes oil and toxins at night, so you are are reintroducing that oil (and blemish-causing bacteria) and debris to your skin while you sleep. Product residue rubs off on your pillowcases. And if you haven’t washed your face, the grime of your day is what you’ll sleep in. This interferes with skin repair so it’s smart to sleep on a clean pillowcase every night. Especially for my acne prone clients, I recommend flipping your pillowcase after one night and changing your cases every few days.
5. Never Skip Moisturizer
Here’s a skin care fiction: skipping moisturizer at night lets your skin ‘breathe’. The skin doesn’t have a respiratory system, so there is no breathing happening. Avoiding moisturizer doesn’t offer any benefit to your skin. In fact, when the face is bare, the skin’s natural moisture (sebum) easily evaporates, resulting in dehydrated skin caused by dead cell build-up that makes the skin look dull. And it can contribute to pore clogging and breakouts. It’s key to use a moisturizer that’s suited for your skin type. This is where your esthetician can help guide you to a formulation that offers hydration along with active ingredients. Again, your skin’s permeability increases at night which allows your moisturizer to absorb even deeper into the layers of your skin.
6. Use Skincare Products with Active Ingredients
Your daytime skincare routine needs to be all about protection. It’s important to leverage the antioxidant shield of a high quality, oil soluble Vitamin C serum in tandem with a mineral SPF to protect your skin from environmental aggressors and sun damage. (Read about everything Vitamin C does for the skin here.) At night however, when your skin is at rest, I recommend using products with active ingredients aimed at supporting the skin’s natural repair processes. Ingredients like peptides and retinol will support and amplify that repair. Try a moisturizer like G.M. Collin Bota-Peptides Cream—an ultra-effective blend of 8 different peptides. The different molecular sizes of the peptides add up to a formula that drives the active ingredients into the deepest layers of the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production. And it’s key to add a retinol like G.M. Collin Retinol Advanced+ Night Cream to your nighttime routine—a few times a week. Retinol (Vitamin A₁) revs up cellular turnover to act on fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the look of enlarged pores, fade brown spots, and ease the look of any crepey texture. (Learn about retinol’s benefits for the skin here.)
7. Puffy Eyes? Sleep with Your Head Elevated
Keep your head elevated by sleeping on two pillows to reduce the fluid retention that causes annoying morning under eye puffiness. If you’re prone to this, drink a lot of water throughout the day and avoid high-sodium foods at night.
8. Use Eye Cream
Did you know that the skin around your eyes is ten times thinner than the skin on the rest of your face? And there is very little oil production in this area. It’s important to support this delicate skin with eye cream that is lightweight, filled with active ingredients and formulated specifically for the weight and delicacy of this skin. Those dark circles? It’s your blood vessels showing through thin skin. Ingredients like Haloxyl minimize the appearance of dark under eye circles while the ingredient Eyeliss visibly diminishes under eye puffiness. You’ll find these plus Argireline—an ingredient that visibly diminishes the look of expression lines—in G.M. Collin Phyto Stem Cell Eye Contour.
PRO TIP: Avoid applying eye cream too close to your lash line. As you blink, your eyelashes can lift microscopic amounts of product off the skin to be later deposited into the eyes, causing irritation and puffiness. The same goes for heavy eye creams that contain oils. These can migrate into your eyes and cause puffiness.
9. Avoid Using Oily Hand Cream If You’re Prone to Clogged Pores
Many people apply hand cream right before bed. If you’re a side sleeper, your hands may be tucked under your face. Heavy cream can penetrate your skin and clog your pores. Those little bumps along your cheeks? Could be pore clogging from your hand cream. This kind of contact (and irritation) can eventually lead to full-blown breakouts. If you think this might be happening to you, wear hand cream during the day.
10. Get Some Sleep!
A good 7–8 hours is ideal. Getting enough sleep is beneficial for many reasons. One reason: the visible improvement for skin. A lack of sleep makes the skin appear dull and lacking in vitality. Also, a lack of sleep—and the increased stress it places on the body—can aggravate all kinds of skin conditions, including breakouts, eczema, and psoriasis.
As we move into increasingly dry and sunny days, this seasonal shift is the perfect time to schedule a facial and to map out the right products to support a healthy skin care routine.