Your evening routine is not only essential for setting the tone for your night of rest, but just as your body digests food and recovers as you sleep, formative changes can happen to your skin overnight as well so it’s important to take good care of your complexion before bed. We know that getting a good night of sleep is necessary for improving your overall health, and drinking ample water throughout the day will hydrate your skin and even boost your metabolism, but what steps are needed in the evening for locking in an ageless appearance? With this question in mind, we spoke with board certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner to find out once and for all the most important evening step for slowing down aging and achieving younger, brighter looking skin.
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An ingredient which should be kept to evening usage for the safety of your skin as it is, retinol is one of the best steps to add to your nighttime routine for a younger looking appearance. While each step of your nightly habits is undeniably beneficial for your wellbeing, when it comes to keeping fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration at bay, retinol is the best of the best. “Retinol has been shown to stimulate collagen production, strengthen the foundation of the skin, and improve the fine lines and wrinkles. It also enhances cell turnover to improve skin radiance and even skin tone,” explains Zeichner.
Because retinol works by slowly transforming the skin from the inside out while enhancing collagen production, you can’t necessarily expect to see changes overnight. In fact, your skin will likely undergo an adjustment period as it gets used to the generally harsh product working on your complexion. That being said, using this ingredient in the evening will allow it to sink into your skin overnight, and because it may make your body more sensitive to UV rays, adding it to your bedtime routine will reduce the increased risk of sun damage.
“We know that skin cell turnover naturally is at its peak at night, so it makes sense to use retinol to enhance that activity. While retinol thickens the deeper skin layers, it thins out the outer skin layer, known as the stratum corneum,” says Zeichner. “This makes you sensitive to sunburn, so you should always wear sunscreen in the morning when you are using retinol in your routine.”
When first beginning to use retinol you should be cognizant of the irritation it may cause, making sure to hydrate your skin adequately in order to overcompensate for any dryness and flaking which may arise. Zeichner recommends the Bliss Youth Got This collection which combines pure retinol with squalane and amino acids in order to negate some of the drying effects the retinol may have. This solution also contains peptides which have been known to boost the strength of the outer layer of the skin, working alongside retinol for a younger looking complexion and making this product the perfect staple for your evening routine.
If you choose to include one skincare ingredient in your ritual before heading to bed, retinol is undeniably the best step for preventing age lines from developing while fading existing wrinkles and smoothing and brightening your appearance. Naturally no ingredient will entirely be able to halt the effect of the years on your skin, but retinol is one of the best solutions that doesn’t rely on a procedure to make visible changes on your face.