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What's the best nighttime skin routine?

by timetospa October 25, 2013
What's the best nighttime skin routine?

When you come home after a long day at work, the first thing you probably want to do is hit the sack, makeup and all. But too many nights of falling asleep with product and residue clinging to your face can do some serious damage to your skin over time.

While you might put more effort into your morning beauty routine, your nighttime regimen is just as important. Your body does most of its repairing as you sleep - and that includes your skin. It's essential to have your skin in the best condition to maximize your body's ability to restore itself. By using these beauty tips and the proper skincare products, you can get the most out of your nighttime face-washing routine:

Nightly removal
It might be tempting to skip out on washing your face at night, but it's not something you want to leave until the morning. Going to sleep with makeup on - as well as excess oils and sweat - can clog your pores, which not only produces unwanted acne and blackheads, but can also lead to long-lasting damage.

"Sleeping in your makeup can result in unnecessary exposure to the free radicals in the environment, which the makeup holds on to," Dr. Eric Schweiger, founder of the Clear Clinic, told The Huffington Post. "Free radicals cause the breakdown of healthy collagen, which results in fine lines on the skin."

Schweiger added that sleeping in your makeup for a long period of time might result in premature aging, while leaving mascara and eyeliner on can agitate your eyes, causing redness and inflammation. So before heading to bed each night, guard yourself against these negative effects by wiping away all the leftover makeup with a fragrance-free, oil-based cream that can be applied either directly to the skin or dabbed onto a soft cloth. If you want something a bit more accessible, makeup removing wipes, such as Elemis FreshSkin Make-Up Away Cleansing Wipes, are quick and easy to use and can be easily stored on your nightstand or in your purse for when you're on the go.

You might also need an additional remover for your eye makeup, especially if you like to layer on the eyeliner each day. Specially designed for hard-to-expel products like waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliner, these eye products remove them seamlessly without causing more irritation.

Freshen up
Now that you've removed your makeup, your work is not over yet. To fully unclog your pores and freshen your skin, you need to wash your face each night with a gentle cleanser. When picking out the right cleanser, you need to choose according to your skin type. For uneven, oily or acne-ridden skin, try a cleanser specially made to balance out the oils on your face and reduce breakouts, such as the Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser. Normal skin should be washed with a fragrance-free formula.

Above all, always remember to remove your makeup before washing your face to ensure that you're fully cleansing your pores.

"Many cleansers can't take off concealer or foundation completely, especially around the eyes and nose," New Jersey-based dermatologist Jeanine Downie told Marie Claire magazine.

Repair and renew
Even though your skin is makeup-free and freshly washed, there is still one more step that is integral to your nighttime face-washing routine - repairing. If your dermis is sensitive, dry or uneven, moisturizing your face every night will help fix all those broken capillaries and hydrate your skin. Water-based moisturizers that won't clog your skin with extra oils work best for those with acne. Beware of heavy moisturizers - on some skin types, they might just add to the acne, not reduce it.

Nighttime moisturizing also guards against aging when used in conjunction with a retinoid product, according to Discovery Health. Retinoid keeps your skin from losing its collagen, which lessens in production as women age, and even has some other benefits.

"It lightens discoloration, smoothes skin texture, and boosts collagen production, which will increase skin's firmness and elasticity," dermatologist Fredric Brandt told Elle magazine.

The lack of collagen is what causes wrinkles, so slathering a retinol cream on your face several times a week will cut down on your growing-old worries. Brandt added that protecting your skin against aging can start as early as your teens.

Lotions and creams aren't the only thing that will help your skin restore itself. Staying out all night might be OK to do when you're in your 20s, but as you age a lack of sleep can produce dark circles, fine lines and an uneven complexion, according to the Los Angeles Times. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep everyday will not only make you feel alert and refreshed, but also make your skin look rejuvenated.

"During hours of sleep, cortisol and insulin production inversely peak so that collagen 1 production is accelerated," dermatologist Harold Lancer told the news source.

So in order to truly take care of your skin, give yourself an early bed time - your skin will thank you for it.

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