So you wake up in the morning, stumble into the bathroom to perform your morning ritual and on your way back you can’t resist glimpsing in the mirror to see how last night’s sleep (let’s hope it was a good one), has played out on your face and hair. You will either smile back at yourself or feel like retreating back to bed and throwing the covers over your head. Perhaps that was a bit dramatic, but there will be mornings when you feel like your skin has let you down.
Although beauty regimens can vary from person to person based on individual skin type and issues, this post will focus on foundational tips that women (and men) should implement as part of a nightly beauty regimen to help keep skin clean, moisturized and ready for the nightly recovery process.
1. This isn’t the movies…
We’ve all watched a movie where we see the actor wearing fresh, flawless makeup (including lip gloss!) during their bedtime scenes. Tsk, tsk. Let’s get back to reality. A clean face is a healthy face. If removing makeup before bed is currently not a priority for you then make it one. It is true that while you sleep your skin has an easier time with cell turnover, recovery and absorption of products because it is not fighting the daily environment stressors such as direct sunlight or pollution. If you still have a layer of makeup on your skin when you hit the pillow, your skin cannot breathe and all the good serums and night creams cannot perform their magic as they don’t have a chance to penetrate through your day’s makeup.
As far as make up removers go, I have tried several, yet I keep coming back to Micellar Water which is extremely effective, non-drying and never leaves a sticky residue on my skin. As an added bonus, it is easy on the pocketbook!
Depending on your skin type, you will need a proper cleanser and there are many offerings on the market, with the most common types below:
- Foamy cleansers tend to work best for oily or combination skin, and although they sometimes get a bad rap because of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) a lot of people love them because you feel “cleaner” afterwards
- Creamy cleansers are great for those who have dry or sensitive skin. These cleansers have moisturizing properties and some love the “milkiness” or moisturizing benefits
- Gel cleansers, not unlike a foamy cleanser, work well for oily or combination skin. They are clear, gel-like and offer a milder, yet still effective cleanse
Experiment with them and see which one best responds to the unique needs of your skin. To help ensure a thorough cleansing, get into the habit of using a soft cloth with your choice of cleanser and use SOFT, circular motions on your face for about 30 seconds. Rinse well to ensure there is no leftover residue.
Exfoliation is our friend and is a critical step in our beauty regimen when it comes to removing dead skin cells. Dead skin promote clogged pores. Although our skin naturally sheds dead cells, the process slows for us older folks. Sloughing off that top layer also helps smooth your skin, reduce dryness and dullness and leaves you feeling and looking all glowy. Serums and creams also become more effective as they have a chance to penetrate deeper into fresh, renewed skin.
Word of warning though, exfoliating can be addictive so try to limit this step to 2-3 times per week otherwise you may damage and irritate your skin and this is not what we are trying to achieve here! Give your face a rest! Stay tuned for a future post on my recommendation for a homemade exfoliant that is truly yummy for your skin!
4. Serum Treatment – woo hoo!
I am an outright serum snob. I will be sharing more on this specific topic in a later post, however let’s talk serum as it relates to being an integral part of your beauty regimen.
Serum in the context of skin nourishment is like Muhammad Ali is to boxing. They can whop a punch when it comes to skin benefits as they typically contain a much higher concentration of active ingredients than face creams. (although we need our face creams too). Our skin loves the hydrating and wrinkle reducing benefits of serum because it can more easily absorb it due to their thinner consistency which allows for deeper penetration below the epidermis.
For those who have acne-prone or oily skin, you would benefit most from a serum with salicylic acid and retinols. If you have dry or aging skin then serums chocked full with Vitamin C or hyaluronic acid are best. When buying serums (or creams for that matter) always look for the “ics” within the ingredients. Some of the more common powerhouses include:
- glycolic acid
- salicylic acid
- hyaluronic acid
- lactic acid
- citric acid
The last step in your nightly beauty routine is layering on a great moisturizer. You have pumped in all the goodness from your serum and now you need to lock it in with a great night cream that ideally contains hyaluronic acid. Did you know that this amazing little molecule holds a thousand times its weight in water to not only retain all that moisture in our skin, but also prevent all that moisture from evaporating into the air? How cool is that? There are several benefits to taking it orally as well, but let’s save that for another post.
6. Eye Cream
Applying an under eye cream to help reduce puffiness, dark circles and fine lines is a matter of preference. I personally do not invest in eye creams and instead rely on serums and oils to help address these common issues. Refrigerating your creams and serums can also help with puffiness. If you are a die hard eye cream gal, go for it and continue to use what works for you. Remember to use very little pressure when applying under eye cream to avoid any unnecessary tugging of this sensitive eye area. Roller balls work great if available and if not, put that ring finger to use and dab gently. There is a myriad of under eye solutions out there, but once again try to look for one containing your best friends – retinol and hyaluronic acid.
Climate plays a role
Something to keep in mind is how climate affects your skin. Would you wear a heavy, wool sweater in the middle of summer or a tank top in the dead of winter? Likely not. You need to apply the same considerations to your skin.
In winter your skin requires a thicker protection barrier from the harsh cold temperatures. Continue to use your favourite moisturizer if you want but if you are spending more outdoor time in rigid temps your skin will appreciate the added protection of skin balm ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, or coconut oil can deliver (don’t forget your SPF).
In summer, your skin has the ability to retain moisture more effectively and so an SPF in combination with a light serum as mentioned above is sufficient.
Time for bed, beautiful!
If you really want to go over the top with your beauty routine why not forage around in your nightstand for your favourite lip balm, cuticle treatment and body butter/cream. Your entire body will thank you in the morning.
Here’s to healthy, glowing skin in the morning!