Cosy up with a new bedtime beauty routine and you can wake up the next morning looking and feeling refreshed! These overnight products will make you look wide awake all day long.
‘Science shows good sleep is essential for repairing, regenerating and restructuring the skin. During the day, your skin’s main job is to keep hydrated and protected against dirt, pollution and UV rays, so repair takes a back seat. However, when you’re sleeping, skin switches into recovery mode,’ says dermo-pharmacist Dr Colette Haydon.
‘Your circadian rhythm optimises cellular functions at night, helping your skin to adapt to the daily environmental challenges it’s exposed to,’ explains dermatologist Dr Anita Sturnham.
Plus, as your body rests, blood vessels relax, dilating so that more toxins are moved along and a fresh supply of nutrients can be supplied to your skin. So here’s how to make the most of those magical hours.
Step 1: Cleanse
‘Cleansing is critical in your evening skincare routine – what you remove is just as important as what you put on,’ says Dr Haydon. Here’s our guide…
Best cleansers for Oily Skin…
To remove excess sebum, use heat to encourage oils to melt away. Massage Your Good Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser (£8.99) onto your face so the green tea extract breaks down dirt and oil, then wipe away with the muslin cloth, dipped in hot water. Or remove oil with oil using Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil (£16, kiehls.co.uk), which is packed with omega-6 fatty acids.
Best cleansers for Dry Skin…
Glycerine is a brilliant humectant – it draws moisture from the air into your skin and forms a barrier to prevent moisture loss. Find it in Odylique Creamy Coconut Cleanser (£18, odylique.co.uk). You’ll also find glycerine-derived ingredients and sweet almond oil in Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm (£18), which is enriched with vitamin E to fortify skin.
Best cleansers for Sensitive Skin…
A milky approach is best to gently break down dirt without causing irritation. La Roche-Posay Toleraine Dermo Cleanser (£12.50) is a wipe-off milk that can be used on allergy-prone skin. Products containing rose are also ideal as it has an anti-inflammatory effect – Nuxe Paris Cleansing Milk With Rose Petals (£14.50) is a lovely example.
Best cleansers for Combination Skin…
Gels work well as their texture can adapt to your skin’s needs. Pestle and Mortar Renew Cleansing Gel (£34) contains papaya and mango enzymes to blitz dirt. Alternatively, Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel (£12) contains moringa to rid skin of excess sebum, and glycerine to moisturise.
Step 2: acid tone
Forget old-school toners that merely refresh, these acid options are much more hardworking as they resurface your skin. The main types are: glycolic for overall skin toning; alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) for brightening; and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) for blackheads. All help to keep skin looking fresh as they slough off the top layer to reveal new skin cells.
The best acid toners
Start slowly – they’re powerful – by using once a week, then add in a further night if your skin needs it. And remember to use an SPF in the day. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Toner (£5.99, superdrug.com) is a soft approach to acid toning. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (£6.80) gives an acid hit with professional results. Glossier The Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector (£19, glossier.com) contains both AHAs and BHAs to clear blemishes, reduce redness and soften skin.
Step 3: overnight treatments
After cleansing is the time when skin will benefit most from anti-ageing ingredients. Simply tailor to your needs:
To target spots or regulate oil production…
antioxidants will help to balance your skin. Plant-based ones, such as green tea leaf and immortelle plant extract, are effective. Try: Glam Glow Dream Duo Overnight Transforming Treatment.
To tackle fine lines…
you need to focus on hardcore anti-ageing ingredients retinol, aka vitamin A, and amino peptide complexes, which help rebuild your skin from the inside out. Try: Anew Ultimate Infinite Effects Night Treatment Cream (£19.95).
plant extracts such as sunflower seed lipids and seaweeds will lock in moisture while stimulating collagen production. Try: Ren Overnight Recovery Balm (£40).
To minimise pigmentation and uneven skin tone…
choose products with retinol and fruit-based AHAs. Try: Lixirskin Night Switches Retinol 1% (£28).
To wake up to brighter, glowing skin…
Continue acid buffing while encouraging cell turnover with glycolic or AHA products.Try: SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight (£80).
Step 4: moisturise
‘Your night cream should contain hydrators and reparative nutrients,’ says Dr Anita Sturnham. ‘Seek out hyaluronic acid to hydrate and nourishing vitamins to boost collagen.’ If you’re using a mask, you can skip this step that night.
For hardcore hydration…
Use hyaluronic acid-packed Sebamed Anti-dry Night Intensive Cream (£10.29).
With collagen-friendly Q10, as found in NIVEA Q10 POWER Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream (£10.99, Boots.com).
Feed your face to plump out fine lines…
With Bare Minerals Skin Longevity Vital Power Sleeping Gel (£35, bareminerals.co.uk).
To repair and replenish….
Get a hit of omega-3, from Elemis Night Recovery Cream-Oil (£49, elemis.com).
Step 5: overnight hand treatments
At night, encase hands in heavy-duty hydrators that will help minimise fine lines and pigmentation while deeply moisturising. Bio Oil Dry Skin Gel (£4.99, supedrug.com) uses naturally occurring humectants to keep skin moisturised.
For a more intense option, Ameliorate Hand Treatment (£15) contains AHAs to rid hands of roughness by breaking down dead skin cells. Make sure you use an SPF on your hands the next day.
Step 6:transform your hair while you sleep
While you’re sleeping, all that increased blood flow goes to your scalp too, so make the most of it. If you have chemically treated hair comb through Bumble and Bumble While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair (£40). You only need a tiny amount for the evening primrose extract to seal strands and fight future damage.
If you’ve got thinning or fine hair…
try anti-ageing Nexxus Youth Renewal Elixir (£19.99), which contains elastin, a protein, to restore elasticity and strengthen.
Before you finally slip beneath the covers, dab a little Trilogy Everything Balm (£13.50) onto your temples. Lie back and allow the snooze-inducing rosehip to work its sweet dream magic.
DIY sleep massage
Give your face a late-night beauty knead to encourage blood flow, clear toxins and improve muscle tone while releasing tension. When applying your night cream, follow this simple, three-step facial massage, spending 60 seconds on each step:
- Sweep your hands in wide circles from under your ears, down the sides of your throat, back up the middle of your throat and then out from your chin under your jawline – this stimulates the lymph area to ditch toxins.
- Use similar circular motions across the sides of your face at the same time with each hand, pushing your skin upwards to prevent drag.
- Just using your fingertips, massage under your eyes, up the side of your nose, across the forehead and back round via your temples.