How do I wake up with such amazing skin, you ask? OK, you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyways. Using the right skin care products when you start your day is essential, but your nighttime skin care routine is just as important. Think of it this way: If you’re not putting something on your face before you go to sleep, you’re missing an opportunity. I know night creams might seem like a luxury gimmick, but there’s something to them, and you know you can trust me, because under all this makeup, I have great skin (usually).
Now, I put a lot of shit on my face, but I’m not one of those girls with a 12-step skin care routine. Shout out to them, seriously: It's just that I’m usually getting home at three a.m. and I want to hit the sack as fast as possible. Instead, I use some killer night products that give me great results so I can achieve great skin while I sleep.
So, what do I look for in a nighttime skin care product?
First, retinol. Your skin cells regenerate while you're asleep, so a product with retinol will help stimulate cell regeneration, giving you newer skin, meaning brighter skin with more even tone, faster. Secondly, hydration. It’s quite simple, really: Hydrated skin is healthy skin. More important, hydrated skin looks amazing always, so it’s good to give your skin a big drink of the good stuff while you sleep. We’ll get to that later. First, take a look at my skin — I told you there's a reason to trust me.
Alright, let's get down to it: These are my very favorite products that have rescued my face overnight time and time again.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, $32, Nordstrom
We all know that we should remove makeup and cleanse our skin before hopping in bed. I love oil cleansing for this reason, it’s gentle and nourishing, while really pulling makeup, dirt, and yes, oil, off of your face. Oils break down everything that the removing wipe left behind, like mascara residue between lashes, so you don’t wake up with raccoon eyes even after you took your makeup off.
The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil is a newer option and a great way to prep your skin for bed. Primrose oil helps strengthen your skin’s barrier and hold in moisture, and lavender oils work to even tone and diminish redness. Squalane helps balance skin’s hydration and helps to smooth texture, keeping it extra soft.
I massage the oil into my skin for about 30 seconds, and then splash some water on it. Most oils need to by physically removed from the skin instead of rinsed off (because, you know, oil and water), but this emulsifies so it slides away. I usually wipe a soft towel over my skin just to make sure I’ve got it all off and my skin is ready for whatever treatment I’m about to apply.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $55, Sephora
For starters, like the Armani Luminous Silk foundation or the MILK Holographic Highlighting Stick, this is a product that lives up to all the hype. I held off from copping it for a while because I didn’t want to believe any one product could be that good, but I have to admit that it is that good. The retinoid oil in Luna helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores while improving skin’s texture and elasticity. Blue tansy and chamomile help sooth skin, reduce redness, and even your skin’s overall tone.
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, $64 ,Sephora; MILK Holographic Highlighting Stick, $28,Sephora
I’ve been using it almost nightly for about four months and my skin looks more hydrated, tone looks more even, and my face looks less sallow even if I’ve been getting less sleep, or whatever. The thing I notice most? My skin really does look more luminous.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $46, Nordstrom
If you’re not in the mood to drop over a Benjamin on your skin care, I get it. This is another great option that can take the place of the Luna oil — the main difference is that it is made without retinol. In terms of benefits, even without the retinol, the benefits of this Kiehl’s oil are almost neck and neck with the aforementioned product. Made with the same benefits of the oil cleanser, this is made for all night wear. It’s been a cult classic for a while, so much so that they made a daytime version and made it into the night cleanser.
Origins Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream
Origins Overnight Hydrating Repair Cream, $41, Macy's
When I’m looking for an extra dose of moisture at night, which is like, always, I keep going back to this night cream from Origins. It’s formulated with rose, watermelon, and lychee to replenish the moisture you lost throughout the day. It also works to strengthen the skin’s barrier to help it retain moisture. I especially like this during cold moths like these to help with chapped skin and wind burn.
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask, $17, Amazon
Writing about skin care is tricky for a thousand reasons because every product is going to have different effects on different skin. This product showed up at my apartment with a few other products and it was a total afterthought at first. In fact, I only initially used it because of the snail slime angle, to freak my boyfriend out. But now it is a clutch product that I use at least three times a week.
This Missha Snail Sleeping Mask is a low key miracle product, for me at least, and I’m not joking when I tell you that I see results by morning. By “results,” I don’t mean it gives me a whole new face every night. I’m saying that my skin looks plump, glowy, and juiced-up with moisture.
Over time, this will improve damaged texture, firm skin, and soothe while you sleep. But by morning? Your skin will be bouncy and glowing like never before.
Oh, and the best part? It’s only $23, and that gets you 3.7 ounces, which will last you quite awhile. And as of February, MISSHA is available at Target.
I've always thought we have no excuse not to take a little time for our skin at night. After all, we're asleep — it's not like we're doing anything else.