Skincare lovers know the importance of a regular skincare routine, but have you ever wondered why you need a morning and an evening routine? The reason for this is that your skin works in tandem with the natural biological processes of your body and thus has different needs throughout the day. Your nighttime skincare is just as important as your daytime skincare for holistically treating the skin.
Why do we need different skincare for day vs night?
A study in 2005 found that circadian rhythms are active within the epidermis, affecting skin temperature, water loss and keratinocyte production. According to the The International Dermal Institute, skin cells work in a defense mode during the day to protect themselves against sun exposure, pollution and other free radical damage. At night, the body and the mind switch gears and go into an active regeneration mode.
Rate of blood flow to the skin has also been linked to the circadian rhythm, increasing in the late afternoon and at night. In fact, dermatologists note that skin permeability increases at night and peaks around midnight. In other words, the skin is best able to absorb products while we sleep. With all this in mind, daytime products are formulated to do one part of the job, while nighttime products are designed to do the rest.
What happens to the skin while we sleep?
There’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep. In addition to absorbing nutrition topically, the skin is able to do a lot of repair internally. While the body is at rest, we are in a deep state of recovery or healing. Tissues repair, hormone levels re-balance and digestive processes reset the body.
Over time, lack of sleep will age the skin faster, as we need rest to generate collagen and maintain the structural integrity of our skin. Tired skin can manifest as dry skin, dark undereye circles and dull or uneven skin tone. To prevent this from happening, a consistent bedtime is key. Strive to get about eight hours of uninterrupted rest every night.
Best products to choose at night
Knowing that the skin is better able to absorb nutrition at night, it’s a good idea to choose products that are rich in active ingredients and deeply moisturizing. Look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like lavender, CBD and Vitamin E for skin-soothing. Formulas that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerine and squalane oil are ideal for infusing hydration and locking in moisture while you sleep.
Other benefits of a bedtime routine
The benefits of a P.M. skincare routine extend beyond just treating your skin. A recent study found that participants age 18 to 45 who practiced a consistent skincare routine experienced an 83% decrease in cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Participants even felt 76 percent more confident taking a selfie compared to 53 percent at the beginning of the study.
By making time for self care in the morning and at night, you help lower stress levels which helps reduce inflammation and re-balance the entire body. The result is happy, healthy skin that glows day and night.
Circadian Rhythm and the Skin: A Review of the Literature by Alexis B. Lyons, MD; Lauren Moy, MD; Ronald Moy, MD; and Rebecca Tung, MD
How The Skin Can Tell Time by Mikhail Geyfman and Bogi Andersen, Investigative Journal of Dermatology, 2009
The Science of Sleep and Skin, International Dermal Institute
There's scientific proof that a skincare routine can reduce stress by Jessica Harris, Harper’s Bazaar UK