I think it was the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet who said, “Go girl. Seek happy nights to happy days”. WELL, was she onto something or what? Yes, in this blog, we go a little beyond rolling in the hay with Romeo (which would have been infinitely better on peace silk) and help you claim those happy skin days through skin-nourishing beauty sleep.
If you’re sensitive, blemish or acne-prone skin is keeping you up at night, and having you wake up to new and nastier zits and dots, it’s time to show acne the door. You can do this by implementing these easy skin-saving tips into your nighttime routine.
The culprit: Your mask
The cure: Ah, the mask. Not to be confused with a Jim Carrey film, or your favourite way to wind down with a glass of wine, the mask (covid-style) is the most notorious new trigger for facial acne - aka maskne.
- If washing it regularly (because we’re not using single-use masks, right?), isn’t working, try switching to a silk mask to curb maskne breakouts. Silk tends to not aggravate the skin as much as synthetic fabrics and is naturally hydrating.
- Consider wearing a richer moisturiser to form a protective barrier beneath your mask during the day if you’re not too sensitive. For overnight skincare after a long day of wearing your mask, be sure to cleanse, exfoliate if needed, spot treat, and naturally hydrate with water.
- Stay away from those intensely active ingredients if you already have breakout areas. This will generally only irritate and inflame, which can make things worse. For breakouts that occurred during the day, look for ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, tree oil, or salicylic acid to apply before you go to bed. These will kill microbes and dry up oil in the follicle.
The hidden beauty of the mask is that you’re covered - so, it might be time to adopt less-irritating techniques like dropping the makeup brush and let your skin breathe all day, and all night. Don’t worry, you can go hard on the eye makeup instead.
The culprit: Sneaky marketing
The cure: Beware, beware, beware of overused marketing terms, results that sound too good to be true, and remember to read the ingredients. Not all skincare products will get the overnight skincare results they claim.
- Noncomedogenic is a label you’ve probably heard a lot, and also goes by the name of oil-free, non-acnegenic, or something about not clogging your pores. Which is great, these products should be used on acne-prone areas, but not all are created equal. It’s best to check the full ingredient list before using anything.
- Avoid anything that contains potential irritants, like alcohol or fragrance.
- Products with coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil sound pretty luxe, but when it comes to acne treatment, they only reinforce the problem. A general rule of thumb; if we can eat the product, bacteria and fungus can eat the product (ew!).
The culprit: Your hormones
The cure: If you’ve become pregnant, or recently had some life or physical changes occur, going through Puberty Vol.2, or have an underlying condition (such as PCOS) you might be noticing the acne a little (or a lot) more than usual.
- First things first, if this is worrying you consult your skin therapist, dermatologist or physician.
- Go as natural and simple as possible, anything less irritating and not upsetting to your skin. Hydrate with natural ingredients that will keep your pores clean and won’t affect your skin barrier, and will help with excess sebum.
- Calming and nourishing products and ingredients are key to overnight skincare. Chamomile and charcoal ingredients can gently soothe skin and give you the beauty sleep you deserve.
- Avoid using aggressive or drying products, as your skin can overcompensate and produce even more oil. Stay naturally hydrated with a light moisturiser that won’t clog pores while you sleep.
The culprit: You. You’re doing it wrong
The cure: If you’re not removing your makeup properly (or at all), or using the wrong skincare products for your skin type, it’s time for a good old-fashioned nighttime skincare review.
- Makeup remover. properly removing it will help keep pores unclogged. Micellar water is ideal when you’re aiming to soothe sensitive skin, or try something equally as gentle and hydrating (and not… single-use).
- There isn't a one-size-fits-all routine, there is a foundational regimen that everyone should have in the nightly cleanse. Gently get rid of grime before bed by cleansing with hydrating face washes that won’t strip your skin of the good stuff.
- Applying a spot treatment after cleansing can allow the ingredients to work their way deep into the skin. As well as treating existing pimples, these products can target scarring and stop new breakouts.
- Maybe you’ve never checked what your hair care formulas are doing to your skin? From shampoos and conditioners to generic styling products, irritating ingredients can cause breakouts in areas like the forehead and neck.
The culprit: Your pillowcase
The cure: Getting enough sleep is one thing, but doing it so your skincare routine works to optimum levels is a whole other ball game. And it’s not always because your pillowcase hasn’t seen the washing machine in a few weeks…
- Step away from the moisture thieves. Aka cotton pillowcases. I mean, why wear a night cream at all? Cotton pretty much strips it of its natural moisture, leaving your skin in a weird dry-cottony limbo. And if that's not enough, it can also bring allergens and bacteria with it.
- Watch out for wool. Wool is an excellent insulator, but the amount of insulation you might want likely depends on your sleeping environment (ahem, maybe not those hot Aussie summer nights), so choose the weight and weave carefully. Beware that some wool can be quite itchy, which can irritate the skin at night.
- Silk, on the other hand, is hypoallergenic, supremely anti-bacterial and it won’t soak up your carefully researched and applied routine. Silk fabric glides over acne-prone, pimply or sore areas, without snagging, catching, or chafing. It’s just generally less irritating, which is great news when your sleep needs to enhance your daytime skin.
Hot Tip: NIDRA silk pillowcases aren’t absorbent, irritating, or bacteria-collecting so they’ll keep your nighttime skincare products where they should be: on your face!