It's a truth universally acknowledged [thanks, Austen] that a good night's sleep is vital to maintaining good skin health and functionality. The correlation between poor sleep and bad skin is revealed in a complexion which lacks moisture, elasticity, and radiance; and whilst makeup may create the illusion of a well-rested glow come 9am, why not do more than just fake it?
Since a full night of undisturbed shut-eye isn't always achievable, skincare brands are savvily creating products designed to take advantage of the parasympathetic nervous system [which recharges the skin overnight], and help you to make the most of your evening slumber.
Much more than just heavy duty moisturisers/serums, these treatments are specifically designed to capitalise not only upon the fact that you're lying bare-faced and comatose for 6+ hours, but also to cash in on your body's natural regenerative process. As you sleep your skin begins a process of cell renewal and damage repair that lasts from dusk till dawn. Instead of battling environmental stressors [as it does during the day] it turns instead to addressing the damage they have caused - namely by free radicals spawned via daily wear and tear [pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke etc.]. Free radicals break down the skin's cells, causing the visible damage we associate with ageing, but are neutralised by antioxidants - a key element to any overnight treatment worth its salt.
Meet the latest wave of overnight treatments; rich cocktails of antioxidants, essential oils, and hyaluronic acids; designed to support, boost, and mimic the body's nightly repair process. These products are set to turbocharge your complexion overnight and bring a whole new meaning to the notion of beauty sleep.
This thick balm can be used as an intensive 2-hour moisture treatment and layered with separate products to boost their efficacy, but serves best when worn solo and all night long. Featuring a lengthy line-up of botanical extracts and fruit oils [including rose, strawberry seed, aloe vera, apricot, honey, and rice oil] this is nature's best. It's rich in fatty acids, which plump the skin's appearance and boost moisture levels whilst simultaneously providing a layer of protection against future environmental damage. N.B I've always been sceptical of products that claim to "plumpen" skin; for years disregarding the word as misused and overzealous [in the context of skincare], but here is a product that more than lives up to its ample claims.
Science and beauty are well-matched bedfellows, and nowhere is this more evident than in Nars' hi-tech take on facial oil. This rich gel melts like butter upon application, transforming into a delicate oil and delivering moisture in the form of a luxurious blend of almond, plum, and rice extracts. Apply by night and expect to wake up to noticeably softer skin [you'll really notice the difference when it comes to your morning cleanse/makeup application]. Don't be tempted to claw into the tub - wiping your fingers across the surface will provide enough product, and be sure to massage it in well for all the benefits of your regular facial oil [minus the greasy finish].
This thick buttery cream will wake you up with a glow from day one. By far the most moisturising product I have ever used; it's ideal for restoring life and vitality to a dull and dehydrated complexion, as well as for getting rid of dry and flaky patches. Designed to replenish the skin with moisture lost during the day, it restores hydration levels and prevents future moisture loss via the inclusion of Japanese Seaweed extract, which repairs the skin's barrier in an overnight battle against dehydration.
I rate this a slightly more affordable [and minutely less effective] dupe of the above Origins mask [fans of Drinkup's peach/apricot scent will be pleased to know that it smells exactly the same]. Its difference lies in a lighter consistency - this has a lighter, fluffy mousse-like texture and is consequently not quite as instantly hydrating [whilst it may not have the one-stop wonder appeal of Origins' bestseller, I would imagine this version more suited to those with oily/breakout-prone skin]. Essentially it works along the same lines - aiming to fortify the skin's moisture barrier and prevent dryness and dehydration. Ingredients-wise it ranks rosehip and almond oils alongside peach extract and hyaluronic acid. Impressive for £13.
My experience of & Other Stories' beauty line is only just extending beyond their bodycare and nail polishes, but as far as skincare goes? So far, SO obsessed. This mask has a refreshingly light and gel-like texture [most overnight masks tend to come thick, which doesn't always equate to better], and a pleasantly calming aroma, which is more than bedtime appropriate. It contains almond oil and oats, which help to soothe an aggravated complexion, and Arginine, an amino acid with antioxidant and wound-healing properties - that's right, let your skincare do the hard work.
Colourless, odourless, and with water as its main ingredient, this is a bona fide skin drink. I slather it on both day and night in attempt to make up for my incredibly insufficient daily water intake [I'm working on it, promise], and it's without a doubt the next best thing to eight litres. Upon application it sits on the skin, but by morning has completely absorbed, leaving nothing but a bright and radiant complexion. Buoyed by the power of H2O, even the Sahara would be quenched.
Night time is prime time for dealing with breakouts [because until it's socially acceptable to spend the day with dots of face mask across one's face, I'll be confining such clandestine activities to the four walls of my bedroom]. However, if you [or your bedfellow] still has issues with this look [which lets face it, is 100% not sexy] Dermalogica has the answer. This clear gel absorbs instantly and without leaving residue or shine [allowing you to apply your night cream on top] and contains blemish battling favourites [salicylic acid and tea tree oil] as well as cucumber and lavender to soothe and calm a troubled complexion.
Skinesis is the brainchild of one of London's most sought after facialists [Sarah Chapman] whose expertise is evident in the efficacy of this, the brand's bestselling product. Overnight Facial takes advantage of skin's night-time rest period to pack on some of the most hydrating ingredients available. A cocktail of antioxidant goodness including Vitamins A, C, and E, jojoba oil, rose, jasmine, hemp, and melon seed, it's marketed as a 'facial in a bottle' and leaves skin feeling soft and supple come sunrise. I personally don't find this to be as miraculous as some do, it's certainly effective, but would definitely be more beneficial to those seeking to combat ageing skin.
What are your favourite overnight treatments?