Beauty sleep is more than just a cliché. Use the latest scientific research to update your nightly rituals and help your skin rejuvenate, whilst you slumber. It’s not just a marketing ploy. Your skin actually changes behaviour at night and you can help it with a few simple tweaks to your night-time rituals.
1. Get to bed before 11 pm
There’s some evidence* that your skin cells renew at their fastest rate (called mitosis) between 11 pm and midnight. That’s when your anti-aging creams offer the greatest benefit to your skin.
2. Keep your skincare regime simple, for it to be effective
Ideally, you should wash your face as soon as you get home, to stop dirt and pollutant clogging up your skin. However, if you are always on the go, aim to wash off all the make-up before you sleep; using lukewarm water (your pores will thank you). Apply your serum or moisturiser directly afterwards. Dermatologists agree that retinol and glycolic acid ingredients work best at night, without exposure to the sun.
Whilst your face is important, don’t neglect the rest of your skin. Your neck, throat and the back of your hands also get exposed to sun and wrinkles as they age. Simply extend your face cream to treat these areas too. Finally, give a little TLC to your elbows, heels and toes with a simple body cream -they are in constant use during the day.
Whilst your skin renews itself, it stops producing so much oil (sebum) that acts as a protective barrier in the daytime**. This makes a good moisturiser doubly important. Dehydration also makes you look and feel rough, so make sure you have a large glass of water before bed.
4. Pay attention to your pillow
Harsh fibres and scented detergent can irritate your face and reduce both your sleep and your skin renewal. Ideally, you should be looking at pillowcase made of cotton satin or silk that feels soft towards your skin.
5. Skip the screen-reading
You may already be using a blue-light filter on your phone, or the night shift function but you are still squinting in the dark to read it. Every time you squint, you are deepening the lines around your eyes. Unless you are an on-call emergency worker, leave the phone downstairs and enjoy some quality time with a book and a good reading light.