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Beauty Experts share their tips on how to repair signs of Aging Overnight

Growing up, “Get your beauty sleep!” was something my mother would often bid me ahead of a big day. For a while, I genuinely thought that the secret to looking youthful and refreshed was a full night’s rest coupled with a complete skin-care routine. (Perhaps I was always a beauty editor in the making?) At some point through my rebellious teenage years, I waved off my mother’s advice, thinking it a misguided attempt to stop my late-night television watching or magazine reading. Turns out, she was actually on to something. Ahead, a guide to beauty sleep—from sleep supplements to overnight masks.

Sleep Supplements

These days, preparing for a good night’s rest starts before you dive into your bedtime skin care routine or your head hits the pillow. “Certain supplements may promote better sleep by providing key nutrients that support relaxation and regulate sleep-related hormones,” says Valerie Agyeman R.D.N., dietitian and host of women’s health podcast, Flourish Heights—adding that these are most helpful to individuals experiencing difficulty falling or staying asleep like menopausal women or those with insomnia.

While supplements are not a quick fix to these problems, Agyeman notes that certain nutrients can improve sleep health. “Some of those [nutrients] include vitamin D, that has been shown to function in sleep quality, as well as iron as iron deficiency has been associated with poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep," says certified sleep specialist Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell. If you're deficient in either of these, she recommends repleting your iron or vitamin D levels; just be sure to check with your trusted health professional. Otherwise, she lists valerian, magnesium, melatonin, ashwagandha as ingredients to look for for improved sleep quality. Agyeman is partial to Nature Made’s Magnesium Glycinate as its “gentle on the stomach and helps with menstrual cycle support, relaxation, sleep and stress,” while Moon Juice's Magnesi-Om is an editor favorite.

Prioritizing a healthy sleep cycle only enhances your skin’s ability to restore itself while you rest. “Sleep supplements may indirectly help skin health by improving sleep quality (a.k.a that beauty sleep), allowing the body to repair cells,” says Agyeman, who emphasizes practicing a thoughtful nighttime skin care routine simultaneously.

Night Skin Care Routine


“A nighttime skin routine is crucial to maintaining healthy, youthful skin because it supports skin's reparative changes that occur at night,” says New York-based board-certified dermatologist Lauren Penzi, MD. “It is important to remove all of the makeup, dirt, oil, and debris that our skin is exposed to during the day, and give your skin a chance to recover from UV rays, oxidative damage and other pollutants that skin is exposed to during the day.” A double cleanse is a foolproof means to removing the day’s dirt and debris. Start with a cleansing oil or balm, then follow with a gel or exfoliating face wash to ensure skin is soft and clean. Once the skin is clean, though, she continues that a carefully selected cream, serum, or treatment often contains ingredients that are higher concentrated and more efficacious when applied at night.

Serums & Treatments

Of all the expert-recommended ingredients, retinoids are most renowned for skin rejuvenation. “They promote a faster cell turnover and have anti-aging properties that improve fine lines, wrinkles, and improve collagen stimulation in the skin,” family nurse practitioner, aesthetic injector, and founder of Aion Aesthetics, Akis Ntonos says. Those in search of a more gentle, plant-derived solution might incorporate bakuchiol, which Dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm notes have the same benefits but causes less redness and irritation.

For acne, enlarged pores, and skin texture, Penzi highlights AHAs and BHAs to shed dead skin cells and break down excess sebum. Dryness, on the other hand, might require hydrators such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin to lock in moisture.

As you would in the daytime, look to supercharged serums and treatments as the next step post-cleanse. The Medik8 treatment combines encapsulated retinaldehyde, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, glycerin to combat sagging, texture, and pores overnight.

Night Creams

Because PM formulas often contain ingredients that are higher concentrated and more efficacious when applied before bed, you’ll certainly want a designated night cream. To experience the restorative benefits of retinol, Olay’s moisturizer is always a good idea, whereas Isdin’s cream is rich in antioxidants, melatonin, and peptides to protect against environmental stressors. Then there’s 111Skin’s nourishing cream powered by Dr. Yannis Alexandrides’s signature healing complex, NAC Y², alongside centella asiatic and hyaluronic acid to strengthen and hydrate skin.

Overnight Face Masks

Remember: the best face masks have a way of supercharging your complexion after just a short treatment. Nowadays, there are a handful of overnight options that don’t need to be rinsed off until after sunrise. All three of our experts recommend EltaMD’s Skin Recovery mask, which promises to calm redness, improve hydration, and aid skin barrier repair. Improved barrier function and protection against environmental stressors could also be achieved through Naturopathica’s white team-enriched mask, picked by Ntonos. Partial to a K-beauty philosophy? Sulwhasoo offers a sumptuous overnight treatment containing the antioxidant-rich Korean red pine extract to soften, smooth, plump, and hydrate in just a few hours. Lastly, dry skin is no match for Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask, known for its unmatched moisture surge, just like its complementing Lip Sleeping Mask.

Lip Treatments

Speaking of lips, your daily slumber is the perfect time to give your pout a dose of TLC. Your beloved Aquaphor is always a good idea, or SpoiledChild’s luxe mask is full of peptides, shea, and AHAs. For intensive remedies, this SkinCeuticals formula replenishes moisture levels and smooth lip’s surface.

Sleep Accessories

No matter what kind of sleeper you are, ensure your bedroom setup also puts your best skin forward. “Sleep accessories aren’t necessary for good sleep, but they can be helpful in supporting a better sleeping environment to promote a deep, uninterrupted slumber,” explains Palm, who is a fan of sleeping next to a humidifier to prevent dryness caused by water loss. “A humidifier can also help some people breathe better in general, which promotes more sound sleep,” such as this device by Canopy. Bedding-wise, Penzi says silk is the way to go, particularly for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin as the fabric is hypoallergenic. “Not only [is silk] soft and luxurious, but [it] greatly reduces friction that may cause pulling on the facial skin and scalp and hair, which means less chance of wrinkles and hair loss/breakage.” Per Ntonos, eucalyptus does the trick, too—leaving us with one final reminder: “You can always use any of these accessories to enhance your sleep, but remember, adequate sleep will always be superior and more beneficial to any sleep accessory.” For a high-tech approach, one could even start wearing an Oura ring which tracks your sleep patterns, heart rate, and body temperature amongst other things.

Is Beauty Sleep Real?

“Beauty sleep is very much a real thing,” says Ntonos “Many of the restorative capabilities our skin has are achieved during our night sleep, since cells regenerate quicker at nighttime.”

Palm explains it like this: While you sleep, your body repairs damage caused by environmental stressors by increasing blood flow and rebuilding collagen, while producing hormones essential to recovery—melatonin, human growth hormone, and cortisol. “This process helps to stave off wrinkles, age spots, skin laxity, and other signs of aging in the long run, which is why getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night and having a dialed-in circadian rhythm is essential for great skin,” she details.

That being said, experts say it’s actually possible to treat skin concerns overnight, making your PM regimen that much more important. “A breakout or two might resolve overnight with proper topical treatments,” continues Palm. “The same goes for mild dryness, which may be resolved with proper hydration, moisturizing with an occlusive cream, and sleeping next to a humidifier to prevent transepidermal water loss.” On wrinkles, age spots, and pigmentation concerns, she emphasizes that addressing these concerns warrants more than just a good night's rest, but an effective and consistent skin care regimen, sun protection, and a healthy lifestyle (along with non-invasive treatments from an esthetician or dermatologist, if preferred).

The original article can be found on British Vogue.

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