After a busy day—or let’s be real: a busy decade—summoning the energy for your nightly skincare routine can feel mighty challenging. Really, who hasn’t thought, what’s the harm in going to sleep with my makeup on just this once?
Here is why — We all want to be our best and sleep provides you with the perfect platform for enhancing your skin’s health and appearance. And, it turns out that plenty of damage can be done to your skin while you slumber.
Further, the five minutes you spend on your nightly skincare routine will remind you of the power and importance of nourishing yourself—and with that comes self-compassion (and more inner confidence).
So before you skip your regime to head straight for the sheets, consider these 5 reasons why your nightly skincare routine is essential:
1. Your skin is…well, dirty
From sunup to sundown, your skin is subjected to myriad impurities, from air pollution and auto fumes to grease and debris (to say nothing of your makeup).
Bedding down with all those layers on your face clogs your pores—and is akin to slipping a muddy foot into a clean sock. Indeed, an unclean slate is fertile ground for bacteria, rendering you vulnerable to waking up with acne, a rash, and/or dryness.
“Eventually, your youth can no longer out-match the toxicity of the damage from makeup left on overnight,” says dermatologist Dr. Macrene Renee Alexiades-Armenakas.
“When you sleep with makeup clogging the pores, the bacteria proliferate overnight. Pollutants and other bacteria adhere to the makeup and further add stress and damage to the skin. Leaving makeup on overnight can exacerbate breakouts and worsen the skin aging process.”
2. It’s an excellent time to use anti-aging products
Throughout the day—and, really, throughout our lives—your skin, as your body’s largest organ, is susceptible to UV exposure and damage.
These Vitamin A derivatives—which boost cell turnover and bolster collagen—are sensitive to sunlight, which is why, according to dermatologist Dr. Doris Day, you should use them exclusively at night before bed.
The result? Potentially brighter, smoother skin by sunrise.
3. You lose out on the chance to target other problems
Like your brain and body, your skin relies on slumber to restore, regenerate, and rejuvenate.
Given the amazing metabolic processes that occur while you’re dreaming, to not use this time to treat your skin is a huge missed opportunity.
Happen to have adult acne? Apply a clog-busting product before you fluff your pillow. Is your skin dry? Use your midnight hours to let that moisturizer do some serious soaking. Those with pigmentation issues, on the other hand, can use their REM to let toners do their magic.
And please don’t think you can apply such products on an unwashed complexion: Not only will they be ineffective, but they’ll also further congest your pores.
4. It will strengthen a vital habit
Many women fight nightly skincare routines because of a) time and b) money.
In truth, a basic nightly skincare routine requires no more than five minutes and three ingredients (water, cleanser, and moisturizer).
Once you start seeing the impact an evening regime has on your complexion, you’ll quickly find momentum—and begin to see it as fundamental as brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
What’s more, the efficacy of some skincare products depends on consistency; to see real results, you must use them faithfully.
5. It may slow down the aging process
As discussed, your face is exposed to a number of toxins throughout the day, including free radicals, such as the sun, smoke, smog, and dust. Ultimately, these cause damage to our complexion’s DNA and hasten aging by breaking down collagen and creating wrinkles (as well as dark spots, fine lines, and broken blood vessels).
The healing effects of sleep, however, allow your skin to counteract this process—particularly if your skin has been properly prepped with a gentle cleanser and an all-natural moisturizer. Combine sufficient rest with an antioxidant-rich diet and you’ll be golden. Or, rather, glowing. After all, it’s called beauty sleep for a reason.