We Tried This: Sleeping Beauty Skin of Dreams
As a magazine beauty editor for over seven years, I know that night is prime time when it comes to beautifying your skin. It’s not just what I see in bathroom mirror each morning. There’s also bonafide science behind it.
Researchers at the University of California-Irvine have found that new skin cells grow faster while you sleep, so a good nighttime facial routine can make a world of difference. During deep sleep early in the night, our bodies experience a huge surge in the human growth hormone. This accelerates the repair of body cells and tissues, bone and muscle. Including skin!
Want to rise and shine? Follow these five tried-and-true radiance-boosting steps each night and wake up to amazing skin.
Step 1: Cleanse
This is the first and most important step. The morning often reveals the consequences of not properly removing your makeup and impurities from the previous day: a dull complexion.
One very effective and gentle way to remove dirt and oil is with micellar water. The water is made up of tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules suspended in a soft water. This captures and draws out dirt and oil, and removes makeup without any harsh scrubbing.
Follow up with a face cleanser designed to meet your skin’s needs. A soft bristle rotating cleansing brush or a sonic silicone-based cleansing tool offers a deeper cleanse.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliators reveal fresh skin and remove dead skin cells from pores. They also help enhance your skin’s ability to absorb moisture. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, steer clear of rough scrubs, which can cause irritation and lead to breakouts. A gentle fruit enzyme scrub or a serum designed to exfoliate often does the trick. It’s a great technique to use at night, because if you get any redness, you have plenty of time to sleep it off. You don’t have to perform this step every night. One or two times a week will do.
Step 3: Tone
Toning your skin nightly nourishes your complexion. Toners available now are formulated with fruit and flower extracts, packed with nutrients that can help boost your skin glow. While skin toner helps your skin absorb serums and moisturizers, the biggest benefit of toning is to restore your skin’s PH balance, which can be thrown off during the cleansing process. Although this step is often skipped, consider toner the ultimate balancing act — it helps to refresh, refine pores and control excess oil.
Step 4: Serums
Serums are sometimes watery or syrupy in consistency, and should be patted into the skin. Serums can help with anti-aging, improve clarity, tighten, or brighten. Using a serum at night can help target a variety of skin problems and penetrate the skin without the interference of daytime factors like stress, the sun, sweat and pollutants. The serum can do its job most effectively and tackle your skincare concerns uninterrupted while you snooze.
Step 5: Moisturize
A moisturizer specifically designed for nighttime, or even an overnight mask a couple of times a week, can give you an optimum glow. The fatty acids and ceramides in these creams can help soften and smooth skin and seal in the moisture. Night creams tend to be a little heavier than day creams. The University of Tennessee Medical Center suggests using creams that contain vitamin A and vitamin B5 to increase firmness and build moisture levels.
Step 6: Get Quality Sleep
Of course, product can only go so far. Sleep can act like a powerful and FREE fountain of youth — or as close to it as you can find. Adequate sleep ensures healthy skin as it balances the interaction between the human growth hormone (the anabolic, restorative hormone) and cortisol (the catabolic, destructive hormone). Sleep deprivation increases evening cortisol levels, interfering with the production of collagen, essential for tissue and skin health.
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