Let's start off with the hard truth — you have to wash your face. I know, I know... you have the best of intentions when it comes to caring for your skin at night. But more often than not you face-plant into bed with a face full of dirt, oil, and makeup. And then wake up with the resulting skin issues (AKA zits for days).
I know you're tired, and the call of the bed is strong, but it's still not a good habit to get into. "Going to bed without washing off makeup or cleaning the face allows for all the micro-pollutants, dirt and bacteria from the day to sit on the skin," says Dr. Rachel Nazarian, of Schweiger Dermatology Group, in an email to Bustle. This can obviously lead to clogged pores and pimples. But did you know those pollutants can also cause skin to age faster? Skipping those few minutes in the bathroom is simply not worth it.
But apart from washing away the grime of the day, and preventing future pimples, a nighttime skincare routine can also help undo the day's damage. "Nighttime is when the skin heals and repairs itself," Nazarian says. So you might want to consider taking your routine a step further, and nourishing your skin with special treatments. "By feeding it vital active ingredients, you're contributing to this healing process and allowing the skin to absorb beneficial and rejuvenating ingredients at the time it's most effective," she added.
With that in mind, here are some nighttime skincare tips. It may take a bit of effort, especially since a lot of them go beyond simple washing, but I promise it'll be totally worth it.
1. Take Time To Double Cleanse
If washing your face is difficult enough as it is, then the double cleanse may have you clicking out of this article. But stay with me, because once you get a habit down, a double wash may not be a big deal. As Nazarian says, "This is when you first remove makeup with a micellar water and then use a cleanser." Micellar water is made up of micelles (tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in soft water, and can be found in products from the likes of Garnier, to Lancôme. Apparently, dirt is attracted to the balls and is therefore easily washed away, leaving behind ridiculously clean skin. Pretty cool, right?
2. Or Just Cleanse As Usual
Too much? OK, then just stick to a normal wash. For good results, Nazarian suggests using a gentle cleanser, like a Dove beauty bar, or Cetaphil hydrating cleanser. Simply wash your face, and call it a night. Better this, then nothing at all.
3. Be Sure To Exfoliate
To take it a step further, give exfoliating a try. Not only does it feel amazing to slough off dead skin, but exfoliating allows for a clearer path for other active ingredients (like serum, or moisturizer) to reach your skin, Nazarian explains. So scrub away.
4. Put On A Nighttime Moisturizer
Caring for you skin at night means you have free reign to go to town with the products, however goopy or thick they may be. And good thing, too, as this is usually the case — especially with moisturizers. "The biggest difference between daytime and nighttime moisturizers is that the former are lighter in consistency and often contain sunscreen. The consistency of nighttime moisturizers may not feel or look aesthetically pleasing to the user, but they make skin soft and supple," said Dana Oliver on HuffingtonPost.com.
5. Pat On An Eye Cream
The skin around your eyes is incredibly delicate, and it'll start to show signs of age if you don't take care of it. So start thinking about gently patting on an eye cream that contains some helpful ingredients. "Eye creams formulated with caffeine, which reduces puffiness, and niacinamide, which increases moisture levels, keep skin from drying out and stave off wrinkles," Oliver said. It'll be a worthy addition to your skin care regimen.
6. Sleep Near A Humidifier
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As far as nighttime routines go, there's nothing easier than flicking on the humidifier. So get yourself one, ASAP. It'll help hydrate your face (and body) continuously while you sleep, according to an article on GoodHousekeeping.co. You'll wake up looking, and feeling, way better.
7. Consider A Retinol
New York Biology Retinol Cream, $19, Amazon
Retinol products are pretty darn useful when it comes to keeping skin looking great. "I ... recommend using a retinol product about three times a week to help cells turnover, as well as to get rid of sun damage and fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," Nazarian says. All good things, that will eventually mean lovely skin.
8. Keep In Mind Which Side You Sleep On
Some dermatologist can tell which side you sleep on, simply by looking at the fine lines of your face. Of course life is more about getting good sleep, and less about preventing lines whilst you dream, but it is definitely something to consider. "Some experts recommend anti-wrinkle pillows," said Linda Formachilli on WebMD.com. Or, you could simply try falling asleep on the side you don't usually sleep on.
9. Skip The Alcohol
I know, bummer. But if you've been waking up looking puffy, then it may be what's to blame. It all has to do with dehydration, according to GoodHousekeeping.com, and your body's desperate attempt to rehydrate after you've had one too many. It's much better to sip on some water, or tea, and go off to bed alcohol-free.
10. Don't Forget Your Lips
Your lips need the nighttime to heal, too. So don't skip them in your routine. As Marthy Vp said on DivineCaroline.com, "Gently wash your lips with warm water on a soft cloth. This will remove any dry and dead skin. Apply a lip balm to soften and heal chapped lips." You'll wake up with the supplest lips ever.
11. Actually Get Some Sleep
Newcomdigi Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, $17, Amazon
You can put on all the creams and lotions in the world, but the best and most effective way to care for you skin at night is to catch some Zs. "The definition of beauty sleep is following these tips combined with getting at least seven hours of sleep a night," Nazarian suggests.
So wash your face, and get into bed. Your skin will be better for it in the morning.
Images: Pexels (1); Isla Murray/Bustle