We recently hosted Dermalogica in The Bedroom LA for an evening of relaxation and restoration. A nighttime yoga flow with Love Yoga was followed by mini facials and skin consultations, and we learned about some key elements of the science of sleep and the effect it has on your skin. We discovered that the hours we spend asleep are actually among our most constructive: certain areas of our brains work their hardest during sleep, and skin is best able to repair and regenerate itself at night.
After the event, we sat down with Dermalogica's Sr. Director of Education, Heather Hickman, to chat about the most important components of building a nighttime routine, the science of sleep (and skin), and the ideal nighttime regimen based on skin type.
Why is sleep so important for your skin?
The time we spend asleep is more active than most people realize. The mind and body enter a biological regeneration mode while we sleep, performing reparative functions that don’t really occur during wakefulness. The brain clears out waste products, ramps up its production of protective brain cells and consolidates memories to enhance problem-solving and creativity.
The skin follows a similar regenerative process. Sleep-inducing melatonin is produced at night and is known for its antioxidant properties and levels of stress hormone cortisol fall during sleep, allowing skin to repair and protect itself from outside damage. Sleep also allows the body to make more collagen, which minimizes fine lines and releases more human growth hormone, which increases muscle mass and strengthens skin.
Conversely, sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on skin. Just a few nights of missed sleep can result in sallow skin and puffy eyes, and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to dark circles under the eyes and premature aging.
What are the most important components to building a skin care regimen?
The key component of building an effective skin care routine is to ensure you know your skin type and condition. We all have those products lurking in the back of our bathroom cabinets that made us breakout, or had a drying effect on the skin, right? More often than not, this is not due to a bad product formula, it’s just not the correct product formula for your skin. The most common mistake that we see is purchasing products for a dry skin, which is a skin lacking oil, when really your skin is dehydrated, lacking moisture, two completely different concerns with two completely different product needs. Before building or improving your daily and most importantly nightly skin care regimen, take the time to have your skin FaceMapped to ensure you are choosing the products that will provide you with your best skin ever while also ensuring you save your pocket book from any more costly mistakes!
What advice do you have for fitting a routine into a busy lifestyle?
Multitasking is a girl’s best friend! Water friendly products can be taken into the shower for quick and easy skin cleansing and exfoliating. Need to vacuum? Wear your skin specific treatment mask while you’re doing it. Netflix binge before bed? Don’t skip the intro to the next episode, use that time to apply your vital nighttime treatment products instead. Maybe you’re a morning gym person, keep your bag packed with travel friendly sizes so you can include your skin fitness plan as part of your health fitness plan.
Are there certain ingredients or products specifically that are best for at night?
Absolutely! As we’ve established, your skin is nocturnal. Because the skin is in repair mode and blood flow increases at night, it’s best able to absorb active ingredients while we sleep. Dependent on your skin concerns, nighttime is the best time to apply products such as retinols or vitamin C that can diminish the signs of aging, salicylic acids for a breakout prone skin or peptide rich oil based serums for a dry skin.
What type of product isn’t recommended at night that you might use during the day? Is it “bad” to use day time products before bed?
Unless you’re taking a daytime nap on your sundeck, sunscreens should be avoided while you sleep. If your daytime moisturizer contains sunscreen (this is a good thing!) ensure you are switching out to a sunscreen free moisturizer at night. But sunscreens aside, it really is not detrimental to use your daytime products at night, although layering with additional active ingredients that will work while you sleep is of course beneficial. What is detrimental to your skin is using no products at all or worse still, going to bed with your make up on. Double cleansing your skin before bed and applying a skin specific moisturizer and active treatment products for your inherent needs will ensure you wake up fresh faced and bright skinned.