Having a good nighttime routine helps to improve overall skin health, and as cells regenerate faster overnight, it’s the ideal time to use treatments. These are some of my current rotational products that I use as skin boosters in my nighttime skin routines.
While we sleep, our bodies go into repair mode by reducing the release of cortisol, processing toxins, improving oxygen/blood flow, cells renew and skin becomes more rested. Although we lose moisture overnight, by applying good skin products before we go to bed, we can add moisture and aid the repair of skin while the body is at rest.
I have sensitive skin, so I don’t go for intense nighttime peels, strong glycolics or full-on retinol. Instead, after cleansing well, I prefer to apply oils, serums, gentle acids or retinol blends, and more recently…peptides.
I have tried a few gentle retinol blend serums, and found them to be effective yet gentle on my skin. The ones I have been using over recent months, are from the brands Skin Sense and Disciple.
Skin Sense Double Strength Retinol Serum, contains a concentration of 0.6% aretinol, and also included are capric triglyceride, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and Linefill™ complex. This is not a runny viscosity serum, it has a texture more like a cream and feels nice upon application. I use this once a week when I need something stronger, usually if my skin isn’t looking or feeling great. I find surface texture is improved in the morning, and hydration is uncompromised. Aside from a little tingling when applied, my skin doesn’t react, although the only downside, is that is has a slightly strange scent.
A true serum texture, Disciple Dreamy Skin has a much shorter list of ingredients. I enjoy using this product more as the scent is lovely, especially when using before bed. Its highest content is Grapeseed and Rosehip working as anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and emollients. The actives follow in equal amounts ; Retinyl Palmitate, Jasmine, Frankincense, and Blue Chamomile oils. I use this a couple of nights a week, and my skin appears softer soon after application. I’ve had no sensitivity issues, just juicy, plump skin.
*always use SPF the day following acids or retinols being applied to the skin
I’ve had a love of Decleor products, since I trained and worked as one of their therapists in my late 30’s. So, I had to include an old favourite of over 20 years, plus a more recent of their nighttime treatment products.
*NOTE : Although I continue to use some products, sadly, I have a big gripe with Decleor now. Being that the take over by L’Oreal of this salon brand, one which had stood the test of time with fabulous products that delivered results, is totally changing ranges, discontinuing products and altering formulas. I feel it’s a real shame and is resulting in the brand losing an array of loyal fans!
Containing a high concentration of Niacinamide, Hydra Floral White Petal Sleeping Mask, also contains Sweet Orange, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis and Pea extract. The brightening citrus oils are encapsulated in microspheres in a lightweight gel mask, that helps to even skin tone and texture. I apply a thin layer at nighttime, using a couple of times a week, alternating weeks using retinol blends, otherwise my skin becomes sensitive. The morning after using, I find skin is plump and glowing. A good treatment to hydrate, lessen dark patches and brighten skin.
Decleor were the pioneers of skincare balms, and I don’t know where they’d be without these and the aromessences! Not cleansing balms, but nighttime treatment balms, each blend for a different skin type/issue. My all-time favourite is Aromessence Night Balm ~ Neroli, originally Baume Essential, (check out my archive post). However, I do turn to Aromessence Night Balm ~ Iris when I really want to address fine lines and skin slackening. A 100% natural blend of ; concrete of iris, geranium, camomile, lavender essential oils, hazelnut, wheat germ and borage waxes. I love these natural night balms as they work, addressing issues with the skin, whilst feeding and nurturing the skin.
I’ve not used many peptide formulas before, but find these products from British brand Elemis, to be gentle and effective on my ageing and sensitive skin.
A couple of nighttime products I’ve been enjoying, are from luxury British brand Elemis, who I’ve been a fan of for around 16 years now. Their Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream Oil containing Elemis tetra-peptides, an array of beneficial oils and is rich in omega 3, vitamin E and anti-oxidants. This creamy yet lightweight serum helps reduce fine lines, brightens and nourishes. I apply about 3-4 pumps and skin feels soft and a little firmer, plus looks rested and bright in the morning.
The Peptide4 Plumping Pillow Facial is a gel mask, designed to brighten and replenish dehydrated skin. I use this over the top of the above oil, for an added moisture boost. Ingredients include botanical extracts, oils and glycerine. This feels cooling upon application, and being a lightweight viscosity, it’s preferable to a heavy night cream for gals having night sweats. I wouldn’t say this improves signs of ageing, but it certainly replenishes hydration, which in turn helps to plump skin, and will help ease the look of fine lines when used regularly. A good product for the summer beauty stash, ideal for when on holiday to rehydrate skin after being in the sun.
The next 2 products, are must-haves in my skincare stash…
Deciem have some fab products under their umbrella of ranges, and The Ordinary is no exception. I love their AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling Solution as a nighttime treatment, also known as the “blood mask”. Having sensitive skin, a Peeling solution always sounds scary to me at first, but it’s all good. I don’t leave as long on the skin as advised, and gradually build up a little more. There is a slight tingle with this but thankfully, I’ve never had any sensitive reaction. It improves surface texture and brightens skin in a short time, and preps skin ready for an overnight booster treatment. Low budget and great results, so its a no-brainer.
After using this peel (or even a gentle fruit acid exfoliant), I use the Skin Nourish Mask from Bobbi Brown. I apply in a fairly thick layer and let it sink into the skin late evening, usually while watching tv, but I don’t remove before bed as I let it continue to work its magic. It’s super moisturising and nourishing, so if like me you have a dehydrated/dry skin, your skin will find it a treat. It contains ingredients including Muru butter, plant extracts, rice bran oil, squalene, glycerine, and green algae, all helping to add moisture, smooth and leave a protective barrier on the skin. Can be used as a mask in the day prior to makeup for a special occasion (or simply self-indulgence), or as an overnight treatment. This is a mask I cannot be without!
I do use other nighttime products, but these have been my recent go-to’s. With chronic illness, I get hit by fatigue, especially in winter, so I make sure to perform my routine earlier in the evening. If I can’t do that, or I haven’t got the energy before bed to perform a double cleanse, I rely on micellar water and quick balm/serum application. Nighttime is THE most important time to treat skin (apart from cleansing and spf application in the day), so it’s worth investing a little self-care time, some good products to suit your skin, and performing a routine before sleep. Aim to be religious in taking care of your skin at night, and you will soon start to see the benefits. I hope some of these have been of interest, and let me know if you use any of them and if they work for you too.
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* gifted products : Disciple, Bobbi Brown and Skin Sense