We all know why sleep is so important – a full eight hours keeps our bodies and brains more fit, happy, and focused. The effects of sleep on our skin are also oddly similar to the effects it has on our bodies; we can actually wake up with a healthier glow after a good night's rest.
While we sleep, our cells go into overdrive to help repair the damage incurred during the day (from contact with environmental pollutants and UV radiation, for example). Our blood vessels dilate, allowing an increased flow of nutrients and oxygen to the skin, which helps stimulate the removal of toxic cellular products, and our cells can even regenerate faster while we sleep.
Cells do this work whether or not we take care of our skin. But think of the time before you go to bed as an opportunity to feed your skin cells the products they need to optimize healing. To help you figure out how to optimize cellular skin repair for different skin types and conditions, we're giving you the perfect nighttime routine for every skin type.
SKIN CARE: THE BEST NIGHTTIME ROUTINE FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
If your skin is looking lifeless, it's likely not just because you're tired. It could be that your top layer of skin is not exfoliating properly – a circumstance that can wipe out the skin's lustre. To help regain that bright quality, boost your skin's natural tendency to regenerate at night by exfoliating and hydrating before catching some zzz's. When it comes to exfoliation, don't overdo it. Aggressive exfoliation can cause skin to become oily, irritated, and acne prone. So don't exfoliate everyday or more than once per day.
It's also possible that dull skin isn't getting hydrated properly, either. After cleansing, apply products that will hydrate and brighten, such as peptides and enzymes.
The nighttime routine for dry skin is pretty simple: clean your complexion of the day's grime, pollutants, and leftover sunscreen. Then, pump it with super hydrators and lock that moisture in. Those with dry skin may find it helpful to perform a gentle two-step cleanse, first using an oil to remove their makeup, then a gentle cleanser that won't strip the skin and will help restore the skin barrier. After cleansing, hydrate your skin with water in the form of a microfine mist or a simple splash. Make sure to lock that soothing blast of water into the skin by applying a moisturizing cream made with hyaluronic acid – a molecule that can attract hundreds of times its volume in water – to seal moisture into the skin.
Looking to avoid greasy skin during the day? Optimize your nighttime skin-care routine to regulate oil production by focusing on cleansing and feeding your skin nutrients that don't trigger even more sebum. Those with oily skin tend to have larger pores, so a big part of regulating oil production is getting – and keeping – your skin clean.
Opt for a cleanser with either salicylic acid or sulfur and clays, because they typically sequester oil and rid skin of makeup and dirt. Added oil production also means a heightened risk of clogged pores. So opt for cleansing tools like sponges or brushes for cleaning your skin.
A moisturizer may not always be necessary for those with oily skin. However, when dry patches surface, a non-comedogenic, light moisturizer can hydrate the skin without clogging pores.
Those with combination skin may assume that practically any product will work on their complexions, since they include oily, dry and in-between skin. But, when skin conditions change from one zone of the face to another, great skin care lies in how you use the products, rather than which products you use.
To begin, opt for a cleanser with gentle aspects, or a foaming cleanser with antioxidants. These pack the power to lift oil off the skin, but can still calm inflammation and keep the face's dry portions happy.
When selecting a moisturizer, pick a gentle product with free-radical-fighting antioxidants such as Vitamin C. When it comes to those antioxidant-delivering serums and moisturizers, be sure to hit dryer patches while completely bypassing oily T-zones.