Are You Committing These Nighttime Beauty Blunders?
You know the drill. You stumble home exhausted after a night out. The last thing you want to think of is your skin. But if you want to wake up with glowing skin, then a bit of skin prep before you hit the sack is imperative.
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Mistake #1: You’re applying retinol to damp skin.
This one might sound like a “do” for super sensitive skin types that can’t handle full-on, high concentrations of retinol, but medical director of SW1 Clinic, Dr Kenneth Lee says applying a topical retinoid to wet or damp skin can actually lead to irritation and reduced tolerability.
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Mistake #2: …Or you’re not sleeping the right way.
This one sort of sounds unpreventable, but according to celebrity makeup artists, the second biggest cause of wrinkles is sleeping. After sunlight/UV exposure, squishing your face into a pillow for approximately 2,500 hours of sleep per year is like ironing wrinkles into your skin. So if you’re someone who wants to prevent premature wrinkles on your face, you might want to consider giving serious thought to how you lay on your pillow at night. Use a firm pillow and strategically position your head so the lower half of your face never touches the pillow.
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Mistake #3: You’re skipping a hydrating moisturizer.
“After you wash your face before bed, you need to rehydrate your skin and help to keep the skin barrier intact,” Dr. Kenneth Lee says. “Applying a moisturizer with topical hyaluronic acid and or ceramides will help hydrate and protect your skin.” This is even more important for women who sleep in air-conditioned rooms where the skin can be stripped of vital moisture while you sleep.
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Mistake #4: You’re storing your serums.
This one is bordering the makeup spectrum, but makes sense all the same if you think about it for skin care as well. “The biggest mistake women make is putting their serums away in the cabinet and then forgetting to actually apply them. The best time to apply eyelash and eyebrow conditioners is in the evening after you’ve cleansed your face. Put these products next to your toothpaste so you don’t forget to apply each night,” says Dr Low Chai Ling, creator of SW1 and CHAI cosmeceutical lines.
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Mistake #5: You’re neglecting your eyes and lips
After stripping your eye and lips of makeup, the fragile skin of these areas lose vital moisture and have a compromised barrier function. This means they wont be able to retain water as well, leading to formation of lines and wrinkles. Furhermore, what better time to let your serums slowly work its magic than while you are sleeping? Dr Low recommends applying a dedicated night serum that can target your key skin concerns. “If you have pores and fine lines, try Sleep Mode, a overnight controlled release glycolic peel” she says. “For those who wants an anti-aging fix, apply retinoid-enriched Age Defy before you sleep to let the vitamin A work the magic.” Don’t neglect your eyes as well, use a dedicated eye serum for dark eye circles or a skin-restoring eye oil to soften and nourish the skin.
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Mistake #6: You’re exfoliating incorrectly.
That term “over” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to exfoliating, but Dr Kenneth Lee says if you’re exfoliating your face every night, that’s too much. The American Academy of Dermatology even recommends talking to your board-certified dermatologist first regarding which kind of exfoliator/exfoliation treatment you should use because they can actually make skin worse—especially if you have acne or rosacea—if used incorrectly. When it comes to the skin of the face, gentle exfoliation is key. While exfoliation can help with the removal of dead cells and debris, over-exfoliation can lead to irritation and redness.
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Mistake #7: You’re applying the wrong vitamins.
One question may women puzzle over: When is it best to apply anything with vitamin C? “Vitamin C serums should be worn during the day—not at night. The reason for this is because it increases the effectiveness of your sunscreen and boosts your skin’s defense against UV exposure” explains Dr Low. However, there could be exceptions to the rule. Generally, if you are using vitamin A, that is best applied at night. “Use a sunscreen in the day if you are using ingredients such as vitamin a and fruit acids” she says.
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