Taking even a few minutes for a nighttime facial routine can improve the health and beauty of your skin.
Wash Your Face at Night
Stop! Don’t slip into bed sans cleansing. Your makeup grinds into your skin all night, causing breakouts and even stretching out the pores, which makes your skin look older. Ginn recommends an oil-based makeup remover, which can handle even waterproof mascara without tugging delicate skin. Use a cotton pad to sweep the makeup remover over your skin, and follow up with a gentle face cleanser. (Sonya recommends: Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse, then Special Cleansing Gel or Essential Cleansing Solution)
Boost Collagen With Vitamin A
As you get older, collagen production in your skin decreases. “If you never stopped making collagen and never damaged collagen, you would never get a wrinkle, your pores would stay small, you’d never get a scar, and your skin would stay nice and tight,” says Ginn. “Collagen is key.” To stimulate collagen production, which will help smooth fine lines and reduce the appearance of pores, Ginn recommends applying vitamin A in the form of either a prescription or over-the-counter retinoid every night. As a bonus, retinoids can help lighten brown spots. (Sonya recommends MAP 15 Regenerator by Dermalogica, slows aging by stimulating collagen and refining skin texture)
Apply Eye Cream
For refreshed-looking peepers, “eye cream is a must,” says Ginn. Skin around the eyes is thinner than elsewhere on the body, and as you age it becomes even thinner, which can result in under-eye circles and hollowing. Ginn says to look for an eye cream or serum with vitamins A, C, E, or K, which help repair the skin and lighten dark circles. If you use a serum, you’ll need a light eye cream on top of that to keep the skin hydrated. (Sonya recommends Dermalogica’s Age Reversal Eye Complex, targets, wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.)
Switch Up Your Sleep Sides
Ginn says she can tell what side a patient sleeps on because that half of her face has more fine lines. Some experts recommend anti-wrinkle pillows, but before you go to the expense, Ginn recommends starting out the night on the side you don’t usually sleep on. Even if you end up flipping over in your sleep — which you probably will — you’ll spend less time with one side of your face smooshed into the pillow. Or try sleeping on your back.
Ginn emphasizes that to look good, you need to feel good. “A happy face — the lines are so worth it,” says Ginn. “Just take time to enjoy life. What’s going on on the inside is surely going to reflect on the outside.” So spend a few minutes reading a funny book or watching a humorous YouTube clip (may we suggest “Charlie Bit My Finger”?), go for a walk, call a friend, or enjoy a piece of exquisite dark chocolate. All in the name of beauty!
By Linda Formichelli
Reviewed by Karyn Grossman, MD