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Home / Skin Care

Night-time habits damaging your skin

 If you desire flawless skin, you cannot afford to ignore night-time skincare (Image: Shutterstock)

After getting home from a busy day at work or a night out, many women skip important skincare basics in a rush to get into bed. However, if you desire flawless skin, you can’t afford to ignore night-time skincare.

In fact, if you do night-time skin care properly, you can just splash your face with some water in the morning and focus on makeup application.

When your head hits the pillow at night and you fall asleep, your body goes to work. Cells repair and regenerate, hormones rebalance, and the brain transfers short-term memory into long-term memory.

The effects of good sleep are especially visible on your skin. When you get adequate nightly sleep, you are less likely to look haggard and more likely to have glowing, supple skin. No wonder a good night’s sleep is referred to as ‘beauty sleep’.

In addition to the natural cell regeneration, your skin becomes more receptive to certain products, especially anti-aging products.

For instance, it is advisable to apply glycolic acid at night rather than during the day as it can be rendered less effective by sunlight.

Unlike most people assume, our bodies don’t just vegetate and hibernate during sleep. This is an important time for all body cells and organs, including the skin, to repair and regenerate.

To maximise on this natural process and keep your skin looking radiant, here are a few night-time skincare mistakes you should avoid:

 Sleeping with makeup on and on a dirty pillow is damaging your skin (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Sleeping with makeup on

All of us have done it! But while you might be able to get away with an occasional slip-up, making a habit of sleeping with your makeup on can wreak havoc on your skin.

Leaving your makeup on when you hit the snooze button can clog your pores and lead to dry skin, acne, rashes, and even wrinkles.

Worse, if you leave your eye makeup on, it can lead to eye irritation, infections, styes, or broken lashes.

No matter how worn-out you feel ensure that you don’t skip this important part of your night-time skincare routine.

And don’t skimp when it comes to buying makeup removers. A high-quality, alcohol-free makeup remover will help you avoid skin irritation. 

Harsh makeup removers, that tend to be on the cheaper side, can cause more harm than good. This is especially so when it comes to sensitive skin types and the delicate and sensitive eye area.

Unless you are entertaining at home, it is best to remove your makeup as soon as you get home. This means less time in pore-clogging makeup and more time for your night-time skincare products to work.

After gently removing your makeup, cleanse your skin and apply a toner and moisturiser or beauty serum. This is also a great time to apply a dedicated night cream and eye cream.

  • Washing your skin with cold or hot water

During the cold season, it is tempting to wash your face with hot water in the shower. When it is hotter, cold water might be your go-to for cooling your face down after a long day outdoors.

However, both hot and cold water can be harmful to the health and appearance of your skin. Extreme temperatures can inflame your skin and lead to irritation.

Don’t believe the myth that cold water helps close the pores while hot water opens them up for better exfoliation and cleansing.

Hot water also strips the skin’s natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to irritation. On the other hand, using ice-cold water to wash your face irritates the skin and might lead to damaging the delicate capillaries just beneath the skin.

So, what is the right skin temperature?

Always use lukewarm water on your face, whether at night or during the day. Lukewarm water washes off the accumulated dirt and makeup residue from your skin, while maintaining your skin’s natural oils.

 Never skip your retinol creams and always wash your skin with warm water (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Skipping retinol creams

If you haven’t incorporated a retinol cream or moisturiser into your night-time skincare routine, don’t wait anymore.

Many younger women are under the false impression that retinol creams are anti-aging products for older women. However, dermatologists recommend you incorporate retinol into your skincare as early as in your 20s.

A vitamin A derivative, retinol can be found in over-the-counter creams or in stronger concentrations under prescription. Retinol stimulates the metabolism of skin cells and encourages collagen production.

It reduces and prevents sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores. However, don’t expect retinol to work like a magic portion. Give it 3-6 months to see significant improvement on your skin.

Bear in mind that retinol can be irritating to the skin. Go for lower concentrations and apply only once or twice a week if you are a beginner.

  • Sleeping on dirty pillows

After removing your makeup, cleansing, moisturising and applying dedicated night-time skincare products, it is time to hit the sheets! But wait, how clean are your pillowcases? And what material are they made of?

Dirty pillowcases can transfer germs to your clean skin and lead to irritation and breakouts. Change and launder your pillowcases every two or three days.

If your skin is sensitive, it is best to avoid scented detergents or fabric softeners. The chemicals in those products can irritate and inflame your skin while you sleep.

The material your pillow cases are made from is also a cause of concern. Although natural fabrics are recommended, avoid cotton pillowcases.

Cotton can be rough and drying on your skin, leading to premature wrinkles and irritation. Go for silk or satin pillowcases.

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