Night Creams - Would you skin benefit from using one?
Updated: Jul 20
During my last two skincare blogs I’ve written in depth about moisturisers. Feel free to take a read if this skincare staple is new to you. They are an essential part of looking after your skin as they have many benefits, including:
- Help to protect the skins natural barrier.
- Keep it hydrated by maintaining our natural moisturising factors.
- Prevent moisture loss from our skin.
- Soothe irritated skin.
- Fight against free radical damage which can cause fine lines, a break down in collagen, blemishes and pigmentation.
- Smoothing the skin’s surface.
- Providing a perfect base for make up to be applied so that it stays put all day.
- All of which can improve the appearance and feel of our skin.
Many brands not only produce day time moisturisers for different skin types but also evening moisturisers. More often than not they are called night creams and they are designed to be used at the end of our evening skincare routine before going to bed. I’ve mentioned before about how I’m a fan of starting my evening routine a couple of hours before going to bed. This means that through cleansing my face I’m getting rid of any make up, SPF (sun cream), dirt, pollution, sweat etc before treating my skin with other products. I usually, but not always, finish with a moisturiser. As I do all of this way before my bedtime the products have a chance to penetrate into the skin so that my face doesn’t stick to my pillow! It also means that by the time I go to bed I can feel if my skin needs any more hydration, in which case I can pop a little more product on.
Our skin is repairing all the time, the difference at night is that it isn’t being hit left, right and centre by dirt, sunlight, environmental aggressors etc. and having to protect us. Therefore it can go into full repair and regeneration mode by increasing blood flow and cell turnover, rebuilding collagen and repairing damage from UV sun exposure.
Does everyone need a night cream?
I’ve said before that we generally don’t need lots of different moisturisers. There are other steps in our skincare routine that warrant a selection of products i.e. toners/acid toners, serums etc. We should choose a moisturiser that is suited to our skin type, so even those with an oily skin can benefit from the right moisturiser and quite often this can be used day and night. However, there are instances where a night cream would work really well and be a valuable part of our evening routine. Both day and night creams are purposely formulated differently. In short, day creams protect the skin whilst night creams work hard to repair and regenerate and you’ll normally find that day creams are generally lighter in texture than night creams, which tend to be richer.
If skin is particularly dry, dehydrated, uneven in texture, uncomfortable or there are real concerns about signs of ageing then a night cream can be a great addition. It’s important to note that as we get older our skin’s ability to retain moisture reduces, so our need for moisture increases. It can also help induce repair by amplifying cell turnover. Be guided, in the first instance, by how the night cream feels on the skin, if it just sits on the surface it is probably too rich and may clog pores which can result in blackheads and other blemishes. It should sink in and leave the skin feeling comfortable. Don’t forget to apply cream to the neck and cleavage (décolleté) area too. There’s no point in having a lovely looking face, but a neck and chest area that doesn’t match. Any excess product can be massaged into the back of the hands. Waste not want not I say!! However don’t apply a thick moisturiser around the eye area as this can result in puffiness which is not a look most of us are aiming for when we wake up in the morning! A good cream can also reduce that droopy creased lines look we might get after several hours in bed (a silk pillow case can also reduce this from happening). Bear in mind that if you exfoliate your skin regularly any product that is subsequently applied will sink in and work far more effectively than if you don’t. You’ll definitely get more for your money as you won’t need to use as much product each night.
If you are really not sure if your skin would benefit from a specific night cream you can do a little experiment. Take some time to establish your skin’s night time needs. Cleanse your face in the evening and go to bed bare-faced i.e. don’t apply anything else. When you wake up, go straight to a mirror in good light and look at your face. Do you have any dry patches, does your skin feel sensitive, is your complexion a little dull, do you look a bit deflated or drained? If this is the case you may benefit from something which boosts cell turnover, plumps or really feeds the skin with nourishment and much needed moisture. If your skin feels oily and congested on waking you may benefit for something skin balancing. Don’t think that night creams are only for night time use either. It is possible that, if your skin is particularly stressed, sensitive, parched, these technical formulas can deliver an intensive hit of nutrients whenever needed. The important thing to remember is that our skin can go through cycles and changes and therefore it’s advantageous to have a couple of options available depending on what your skin is like, what season we are in, your hormones, stress levels etc.
You can also find this article on http://www.perfumeryandcompany.com a beautiful independent beauty boutique offering a comprehensive range of products and amazing personal service. I am their resident blogger writing about all things beauty. The blog I do for them is in addition to continuing to write my own content for my website and my social media platforms.
I use a combination of night creams, oils, serums and balms in the evening. I also use day time moisturisers. What I choose depends on the condition of my skin. These are a few of my night cream firm favourites (although the Decleor product is technically a balm it is designed for night time use) I'll share my favourite oils and serums in another blog.