While you were Sleeping
Just the term "night cream" can summon up visions of Fifties housewives slathered in a thick layer of greasy vanishing cream, rollers in place, ready for a good night’s sleep. But that image of night-time skincare is out of date, as modern formulations are light, easily absorbed and contain active ingredients that seem better suited to a chemistry lab than our faces.
Gone are the days when sleeping was a passive beauty process. Now those precious eight hours are the best time to pamper your skin and hair.The latest generation of night creams contain active ingredients that help skin to retain a healthy moisture balance, without the need for oils and creams that could block the pores.
But despite these high - tech formulations, the beauty world is still divided as to whether we still need night creams at all - some skincare companies simply don’t offer them. Other companies like Clarins, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and Lancaster offer specific night creams and argue that your skin’s needs differ at night.
Every 24 hours, our body clock divides our biological processes into two distinctly different phases - an active period when we are awake and functioning, during which our bodie’s resources of oxygen and nutrients are being constantly depleted, and a resting and repairing phase when we are asleep and our body can call on stored resources to renew itself.
Research by the big beauty companies has confirmed that while water loss through the skin is greatest at night, so is our skin’s ability to absorb active ingredients from whatever cream we apply before we sleep.
As a result, night creams often contain higher doses of active ingredients that might go to waste during daylight hours, such as Vitamins C and E which fight free radicals, fruit acids which exfoliate away dead skin cells, ceramides which help repair the barrier function of the skin, and NMF’s that help to rehydrate it.
It’s almost as if our skin is too busy doing it’s job of protecting our bodies from the outside world during the day. At night, however, it repairs and renews itself. So it makes sense that a day cream should offer protection and a night cream should offer treatment.
Night creams are invaluable to someone with very dry skin because they primarily work at preventing the loss of water through the skin while we sleep. But they also offer the best way to try a specific treatment, including the anti-ageing lotion, retinol or fruit - acid cream.
It’s however not just your face that can benefit from a little night - time pampering. The skin on your body also renews and repairs itself while you sleep. Body lotions are more tempting at night because you don’t have to get dressed minutes afterwards. Apply them all over, concentrating on elbows, knees, shins, hands and feet .
Finally, take advantage of the time spent sleeping to try a deep conditioning hair treatment which you wouldn't normally have time for during the day. Don’t wash your hair first, just comb the conditioner through the last few inches of your dry hair to ensure the ingredients are concentrated and protect your pillow with a hand towel. In the morning just shampoo and rinse as usual.
Voila! Did you ever think you could look beautiful by doing nothing else but sleep a good eight hours? And now you know why Linda Evangelista was once quoted as saying - " I refuse to get out of bed for less than ten thousand Dollars a day...!"