Find our here how a natural night cream is your best defense to achieving your skin care goals.
Night creams are more than just a marketing ploy or added step in a skin care routine – they can be your ticket to better skin sooner than without – and allow you to maintain that consistently with use. I personally have always needed a night cream, as my skin leans on the dry side.
10 IMPORTANT REASONS TO USE A NIGHT CREAM
Regardless of your age, there are many advantages to using a night cream. It can be a window of opportunity to correct some skin care issues your having, or help you counter some things going on in your life that could be affecting your skin (stress, illness, travel, acne, etc.).
1. Increases moisture: A night cream can supply and added layer of moisture to your routine that you probably need. It can be a long stretch of time from when you implemented our daytime skin care routine, and after cleansing at night some hydration will be a much welcome step.
2. Even skin tone and discoloration: When using night creams that contain collagen builders and/or helps exfoliation, sun spots and discoloration can be reduced by a night cream that pushes skin to renew and reveal healthier skin. Looks for ingredients and extracts that are known for fading sun spots or increasing the speed of skin cell turnover.
3. Protects skin: A quality night cream will contain some antioxidants to help combats the effects of daily exposure to impurities and environmental damage. It’s hard to stay ahead of the curve without antioxidants. Research shows that antioxidants used topically can greatly improve the fight against free radicals.
As we outlined in our “What are antioxidants and how do they help our skin?” blog post, there are 11 top antioxidants to look for: Ascorbic acid, coffee berry, curcumin, grapeseed, green tea, lycopene, niacinamide, resveratrol, retinol, soy isoflavones, and tocopherol.
4. Increases collagen: Night creams geared toward collagen building can give you the added boost you need to have younger looking, healthier skin. But what exactly is collagen? As a person ages, their body produces less collagen. This lack of collagen results in the common signs of aging. Wrinkles, sagging skin that has lost its elasticity, and stiff joints are all signs that the body is producing less collagen. When collagen levels are high, the skin is soft, smooth, and firm. Collagen helps the skin cells renew and repair themselves.
What are some things that can damage collagen? Consuming processed sugar, sun exposure, smoking or being around smoke, environmental conditions, and the natural aging process. Ingredients that can boost collagen? Aloe, extracts and oils rich in vitamin c, peptides, hyaluronic acid, acids, retinoids, and antioxidants.
5. Improves circulation: Not only can a good night cream help skin with better circulation, but the application of using products (cleansing, massaging, applying) can also assist. Better circulation means better skin cell turnover, and therefore healthier looking skin. The interesting thing about better circulation in the skin, is that it brings oxygen and nutrient up toward the skin’s surface, helping you from the inside while to apply topical products.
6. Reduces and softens wrinkles: The wrinkles and other lines on your face get reduced by the addition of humectants that are applied to your skin, and work by attracting moisture and keeping it there. Humectants penetrate the outer layer of the skin, attract water to it, and lock that moisture in. You are basically trapping moisture into the skin with a layer of quality product, hence softer skin and reduced wrinkles since they are plumped with moisture.
7. Improves tone and firming: There are several reasons why skin can sag and lose tone. A few of the most common reasons might be hormonal issues or menopause, UV light damage, certain medications, smoking and alcohol. Retinoids, antioxidants, and peptides are the most important ingredients to help combat this common concern.
Self massage for your face is also another great way to increase facial firmness. There are many tutorials online to help instruct you to perform a facial massage or lymph node massage – both which are fantastic options.
8. It’s an added dose of anti aging benefits: Night creams are typically an opportunity to a quality skin care producer to add higher levels of active ingredients, as opposed to a higher dose during the day. Some anti aging ingredients are photosensitive and therefore not always a great option for daytime products. But in the evening, it’s an opportune time to take advantage of several hours out of sunlight to fortify your skin with those all important ingredients you skin is longing for.
9. Can help improve elasticity: Loss of skin elasticity is a natural part of the aging process. You may have noticed it for the first time when you were putting on makeup or rubbed your eyes. You moved your eyelid slightly to the side, and your skin didn’t bounce back the way it used to. Skin elasticity is skin’s ability to stretch and snap back to its original shape.
Loss of skin elasticity is known as elastosis. Elastosis causes skin to look saggy, crinkled, or leathery. Fortunately, there are some ways to correct a lack of elasticity (you’ll notice the pattern here). Retinoid, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and topical acids can all play an important part in helping improve the elasticity of your skin.
10. Can help you target special concerns: Like bouts of eczema, acne, sun damage after some prolonged time outdoors, or rejuvenation after a time period of illness, high stress, or chemotherapy. We all encounter different “seasons” in our life, when it comes to our health, situations that might include increased stress levels, or perhaps we’ve entered a stage of life that causes skin issues (pregnancy and motherhood, hormonal imbalances, menopause, etc.). For example, I personally experienced an increased amount of stress and exhaustion the year both of my parents died.
Sometimes simple things like hydration and proper diet can take a back seat when we’re going through things. A night cream and skin care plan for the evening can give us the edge on taking better care of those special concerns. Look out for the ingredients you feel that you need at that time, and take advantage of the evening hours to implement those ingredients to your advantage.
IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS TO CONSIDER
As noted above there are several ingredients that are very beneficial for the skin, especially so in a night cream when percentages can be higher and therefore more effective. It’s a great opportunity to create a plan and night time skin care routine that incorporates some (or all) of these ingredients to improve your skin:
Peptides: When collagen breaks down, the peptides act as an alert system, informing our bodies to make more collagen to help replace what we lose naturally as we get older. Every year we age, collagen production decreases. This causes wrinkles, dehydration, discoloration, loss of firmness, and a dull complexion. Peptides help rebuild collagen and preserve the skin’s youthful appearance. In scientific terms, peptides are fragments of proteins. On their own, peptides are made up of amino acids. Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of skin. Without peptides, skin doesn’t remain intact and the result is loss of firmness, appearance of wrinkles, texture changes, and skin that doesn’t bounce back as it once did. Using products with peptides directly on top of our skin acts as a fake-out, tricking our skin into thinking it's lost collagen and needs to make more. There is a long list of peptides you can significantly benefit from, many of which are plant derived.
Acids and Exfoliation Ingredients: Some of my most favorite skin care ingredients are acids and exfoliants. I can’t think of a better way to gradually transform your skin. Depending on the ingredient, strength of ingredient, and frequency of use, it’s quite possible to eliminate scars, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles that have found a way to etch themselves into our skin. Some acids to consider: lactic, malic, glycolic, trichloroacetic. Some surface exfoliants to try: pumice powder, rice powder, crushed seeds, and one of my favorite earth derived exfoliants – aluminum dioxide.
Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a sugar found naturally in our skin that holds water and helps keep it hydrated and plump. Just like collagen and elastin, the amount of naturally-occurring hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases as we get older. Hyaluronic acid plays well with most other ingredients and can be paired with peels, retinols, vitamins, and other acids, making it an optimal ingredient for multi-tasking products.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure. It also inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots, even out skin tone, and enhance skin radiance. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant known for its healing and medicinal properties. Its stems store water, creating a clear, gel-like substance in the leaves, which contains vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids. The gel from aloe has been used throughout history to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as burns, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores, research shows.
Antioxidants: By reducing inflammation, antioxidants allow skin to repair itself and correct visible damage. Some antioxidants, like vitamin C, are very good at stimulating collagen production.
Ginseng: Ginseng is thought of as Korea's best medicine. Not only is it good for your health, it also carries beneficial properties for the skin. It prevents aging, maintains the skin's elasticity, lengthens the lifespan of skin cells, is an antioxidant, activities the skin, and prevents the skin's cells from aging.
Algae: Not only does Algae have some wonderful protective properties, it is also extremely moisturizing. In skin care, it can help to regulate moisture balance in the different layers of the epidermis (our outer layer of skin). It works as a natural humectant providing a reserve of water in the tissues, locking water in the upper layers of the skin, keeping it supple and hydrated. Algae provides the skin with minerals and trace elements, essential nutrients that help our skin maintain and reinforce its natural functions.
Retinoids and Vitamin A: Per Harvard, Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin.
Jeanette | Formulator, Owner & Herbal Expert