An average human being spends about 40 percent of his entire life sleeping or trying to go to sleep. This time spent in bed is probably the single most important factor when it comes to the recuperation of body and mind. Your skin is no different.
As we sleep our skin is able to heal itself from the day’s damage by increase in blood flow, increased collagen synthesis, cellular regeneration etc. Hence one must pay extra attention to their night time skin routine so as to boost the repair and restore function of the skin.
Dr.Sejal Saheta, Dermatologist & Veneorologist, Inurskn says, “When it comes to winter night time routine, there are three basic steps to remember: Cleanse – Restore – Moisturise”
Night Time = No Make-Up, Clean Skin Time
The first thing to do when you are calling it a day, is to remove your makeup. Makeup tends to clog pores leading to bacterial growth and also can react with the skin if left overnight. Make sure that the skin cleanser you use has no alcohol or acid content. These ingredients tend to dry up your skin.
Next head for a shower to ensure that you wash away the dirt, grime, sweat and pollutants from your skin. This ensures that your pores are open, your skin is able to breathe and you do not get any reactions or infections.
Dr.Sejal Saheta says, "During winters I recommend that one must use oilatum soaps (moisturising soaps) and one should use lukewarm water during the shower. Remember that conventional soaps and hot water both tend to strip the skin of its natural oils and make it very dry."
On your face you can choose to use a mild non-foaming face wash or a mild cleanser. In both cases do look for skin hydrating ingredients in them. (more about hydrating ingredients shortly)
Time To Repair And Restore
Now with your skin nice and clean it’s time to use targeted serums to help you with conditions that may be affecting your skin.
For Aged Skin, consider using retinol based serums or creams. Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and are the most effective ingredients when it comes to fighting signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. However retinoids (retinol is a type of retinoid) are very tricky to use as they tend to dry out your skin. During winters I would recommend going easy on these serums or using creams with lower retinol percentage as these tend to also dry up your skin. And no matter what, always wash your face after a maximum of one hour after using a retinoid serum or cream.
For Pigmentation issues like marks, spots and patchiness, Vitamin C based serums are like elixirs. These tend to reduce the oxidative stress on your skin and also tend to help regulate melanin formation. These can be left on during the night and generally do not cause dryness. There are also serums with other active ingredients targeting pigmentation like glutathione, niacinamide etc., but it is best to speak to your dermatologist before starting any of these serums.
Your under eye area may need special attention as it is one of the most affected areas in terms of pigmentation, water retention, loss of collagen etc. There are restorative serums that one can and should try, but again only after speaking to your dermatologist.
Time To Moisturise And Re-Hydrate Your Skin
When it comes to winters the single most important thing to do is to ensure that your skin remains moisturised all the time.
During your night time routine, the first thing to do after taking a shower is to immediately moisturise your body with a light moisturising lotion that spreads well and does not block the pores of your skin.
And after you are done with using restorative serums on your face you should apply a moisturising cream on your face.
Also remember to pay special attention to your neck, hands and feet. If your hands and feet dry up more in the night then you may want to use a thicker moisturising cream.
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A Bit More About Moisturisers
Given the importance of moisturising your skin during winter, one must know the ingredients that are present in their moisturiser and how they can help them with their specific issues. Dr.Sejal Saheta tells us about the purpose of different ingredients of a moisturiser.
- Ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Lecithin hold on to moisture and help it penetrate deeper into the skin.
- While ingredients like Ceramides and Lanolin improve the barrier function of the skin and thus reduce trans-epidermal water loss
- Glycerine, PCA and other such ingredients act as humectants. That is, they help attract moisture to the upper layer of skin from the deeper layers and also the atmosphere.
- Lastly there are ingredients like squalene which act as emollients and help soothe the skin.
Dr.Sejal Saheta says, “I would like to leave you with the thought that the ‘skin needs’ of every person is different and it is best not to compare skin care routines. The best way to establish a skin care routine for winter or otherwise, is with the help of your dermatologist who can recommend great skin care products that are best suited to your skin.”