My nightly routine is like therapy for me. It is a moment for me that I hold very sacred. Washing my face and treating my skin feels like washing away the day and energizing myself for the next one.
After working all day, coming home, making dinner, hitting the gym and pouring myself a glass of red wine (or bourbon if it was a tough day); treating my skin is truly so revitalizing to me. There are so many moments that are for others. This moment is for me.
Okay - beyond the emotional and mental therapeutic benefits of my nightly routine, we also have the scientific reasons why certain skin care products and their ingredients are so important at night time (or whenever you sleep).
All day your skin is fighting to protect itself from all sorts of things - pollution, sun, bacteria, stress, etc. When we get ready to sleep our sleep hormone, melatonin, rises and helps the skin’s ability to repair itself. Melatonin is one of the reasons why our skin is able to repair itself from any damage done to it throughout the day. We also have another hormone responsible for helping our skin recover. Our human growth hormone (HGH) spearheads our skin’s repair by accelerating cell turnover (basically where new skin cells are produced and travel from the lower level of the skin to the top and then shed the dead cells on the surface).
Now, because of these hormones kicking in, our body temperature increases slightly. As a result, our body loses moisture. However, this means that the absorption of product will be slightly better because the body wants that moisture back. SEE why skincare at night is so key?! Science! Now on to my routine..
Oil cleanse. This is kind of a buzz wordy thing in skincare right now. I’ve been testing it out for a few reasons. 1. It helps hydrate the skin. My skin has been weirdly dehydrated lately because of rainy weird winter weather in LA. 2. It helps remove your makeup thoroughly. I use Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm. I scoop a bit out and massage it all around my face & neck, normally 60 seconds or more. Give cleansing time. If you don’t thoroughly cleanse and then top *slightly dirty* skin with oils, serums and creams…clogged pores are gonna happen. You know we don’t want that. :)
We are cleansing again, baby. I’m the biggest believer in a double cleanse. For reasons like what I said above, let’s make sure all that makeup and/or dirt and bacteria are gone. I typically use Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, currently I’m trying out Bliss Make-Up Melt (which is apparently a dupe for Milky Jelly). I massage this onto my face and neck as well, concentrating on areas that can hold dirt - like creases, folds, and the hairline.
I apply two pumps of Beauty Counter Overnight Resurfacing Peel to my face and neck. This product has over 15 naturally derived acids, including lactic, glycolic, and malic acid. It’s a leave on AHA/BHA peel, which I love. It’s gentle because it contains fatty acids and hyaluronic acid. This is my major player at night in terms of treatment. The acids help remove dead skin cells on the surface while diving deep in my pores to help exfoliate at a deeper level. Remember, our skin is already doing this naturally via our restorative sleep hormones, but products like these will help boost what your body is already doing.
I drop a few drops of hyaluronic acid (my fave is from The Ordinary but I like the Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule as well) onto my face and neck. My AHA/BHA leave on peel already has HA, but I want a little more to help with moisture absorption and general plumpness. :)
While the HA is soaking in, I apply a dab of OleHenriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme all around my eye - underneath, on the corners and sides, and all over the eyelid. I’ve been trying out this eye cream for a few weeks now and am really enjoying it. It also has vitamin C, which really helps with brightening the eye area.
Next I pat a few drops of either The Ordinary 100% Squalane Oil or Aria Starr Rosehip Oil. Now, I know there are debates about wether you should use an oil or moisturizer first. I like to use an oil first and then a moisturizer because the molecular level of oil is smaller, thus sinking into your skin and leaving the moisturizer to lock in that hydration. I’ve been using rosehip oil lately to help give my skin extra hydration but also to lighten some of my red/dark spots from acne.
*step Six and a Half would be when I use my Gua Sha tool FYI*
I scoop out a of dollop of Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream and apply it all over my neck and face. This stuff is magical. They say it’s like adding a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie in the morning. You’re adding protein to your skin to help replenish your skin and keep it strong. Cool, I’m into that.