Do you care about your skin? Check! Are you interested in your skin looking and feeling it’s best for years to come? Check! Are you willing to put in a little effort to make sure your skin is healthy? Check! Now you’re ready for this quick and easy nighttime routine checklist for better skin.
Your skincare routine is highly personal and can be as expansive as your skin desires, but these four quick steps can be the perfect base for a nighttime ritual that protects and pampers your skin.
Take Away The Day
The importance of removing your makeup before you crawl into bed can’t be understated. To properly care for your skin, you need to thoroughly remove every trace of makeup before moving on to any other step in your skincare routine. Neglecting this step and sleeping in your makeup can cause a host of problems for your skin, from eye irritation to acne and aging.
“Sleeping in your makeup can increase your exposure to free radicals,” Dr. James C. Marotta told Good Housekeeping,” leading to collagen breakdown and skin that ages faster.” According to the International Dermal Institute, free radicals are nothing more than a group of atoms with an unpaired electron. It sounds innocuous enough, but that rogue electron can cause the atoms to become unstable and highly reactive. Oxygen free radicals are implicit in the aging process, and by removing your makeup before bed, you’re eliminating an opportunity for them to do damage to your delicate facial skin.
By leaving makeup on your skin while you sleep, you’re also clogging your pores with oils and potentially bacteria that can cause acne breakouts. If you’re prone to acne, completely removing your makeup not only removes a source of debris from your pores, but it also removes a barrier between your skin and any acne treatments you might be using. The same goes for your cleanser and moisturizer. The less between you and your products, the more effective they can be.
Cleanse Your Skin
“But didn’t I just cleanse my skin by taking my makeup off?” you might wonder. But cleansing your skin is a very different and very important step. Think of removing your makeup as running the vacuum and cleansing your skin as a nice, deep carpet shampooing. Removing your makeup is freeing your skin of foreign materials. Cleansing is taking care of the skin itself.
Choose a cleanser that meets your skin’s specific needs. Just remember that harsh doesn’t necessarily equal effective. Your best bet, no matter what your skin concerns are, is to choose a cleanser without harsh soaps or detergents. Your skin has a very specific, very delicate pH balance, and soaps with harsh ingredients can damage that, which leads to irritation. A study in Dermatology confirmed that the most egregious offenders are soaps that contain highly alkaline ingredients that upset skin’s acid mantle and beneficial bacterial flora.
Moisturize For Better Skin
Once your skin is free of makeup and properly cleansed, it’s important to put any lost moisture back into your skin. Use a formula that meets your skin’s needs. Light gel formulas are perfect for naturally oily skin that doesn’t need a super dose of hydration. Thicker creams can be a godsend to dry skin, especially in the winter months.
Don’t feel the need to saturate your skin. A little moisture goes a long way, and since you’ve properly prepared it, your skin will be extra accepting of any moisturizing products you use. Don’t neglect your neck and pay special attention to delicate areas like under your eyes and around your mouth.
Make Sure Your Hard Work Isn’t Going To Waste
By removing your makeup, cleansing and moisturizing every night before bed, you’re caring for and protecting your skin. But something as simple as your pillowcase could be sabotaging all of your good intentions. You might not think of it, but by using subpar, inexpensive, cotton bed linens, you may be undoing all of the good your nighttime skincare routine has done for your skin. Don’t let your linens be the cause of damaged or dull skin. Get a pillowcase and sheets that work as hard as you do to protect and preserve your skin.
Cotton’s loose weave and absorbent fibers can pull moisture away from your skin, trapping it in you bedding. This can cause your skin and hair to become dry, brittle and flaky. It also means you’re left sleeping in bed linens rich with moisture that can be uncomfortable and unbreathable. Investing in a high tech, tight weave fabric can benefit your skin by preserving its moisture and maximizing air flow to your body. You’ve put so much effort into your skin. Don’t let a shoddy pillowcase put it all to waste.