While you were sleeping


When it comes to a newborn, the phrase nighttime training is bandied about. It requires setting a routine – dimming the lights, a warm bath, burp, feed, lullaby and lights off. Apparently, it helps the kid relax. Similarly, a nighttime routine is suggested for adults for better sleep and less stress. Now, your skincare, it’s recommended by some, needs a nighttime routine too. The reason is simple: mornings are busy. You barely have time to put your game face on with a coat of sunscreen and a touch of makeup before you rush out. Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Smriti Naswa Singh says that your nighttime skin routine depends on your age and skin type – and also ageing factors that affect you like stress levels, long-distance daily travel, exposure to pollution, habits like smoking. Your profession too helps you decide your skincare. For instance, those working long hours need to take more care.

It doesn’t need to be a big investment; simple solutions work. The idea is to treat your skin to good ol’ TLC before you sleep, as that’s the time the body’s repair process kicks in. Singh’s personal nighttime routine includes removing make-up with cleansing milk or moisturiser and then applying a night cream fit-to-age. Being in her 30s, she uses a vitamin A or retinol-based cream/serum. “It’s for everyone – but every age has different needs and requires different kind of night creams,” she adds.

Dry skin needs cream-based moisturisers; oily skin needs lotion or gel-based ones and combination skins need more trial and error before finding the right fit. Sensitive skin should use mild variants which don’t have parabens, strong fragrance or colouring agents. Nighttime creams focus on skin repair. Singh advises picking creams and serums with vitamin A (important for the keratinisation process), hyaluronic acid which hydrates and peptides for 40+ as the collagen starts weakening by then. Singh adds, “Normal skin needs the least care. Oily skin wreaks havoc in age groups of 15-40 years when people get bouts of acne. At this age, they need night-care routines the most. While dry skin needs to be taken care of in winter at all ages and in all seasons post-40 years, when the hormonal changes and ageing process start depleting natural moisturising factors.”

You will know if your night routine is working if you stay aglow day in and day out. The other measures are: your skin feels smoother, there’s lesser need for a facial, skin tone is even and there are fewer fine lines. Singh advises that if you want to start a nighttime routine post-30s, consult a dermatologist to get the right course and ingredients for your skin needs.

One of the cornerstones of a night routine are under-eye creams, according to dermatologists, as the skin around the eyes is seven times thinner than the rest of the face. Don’t expect miracles though – the skin is a mirror of the internal body. If you are stressed, smoke or drink, hooked to your cellphone, don’t sleep well or eat healthy and hydrate, a nighttime

routine won’t undo that damage miraculously.

– If you don’t have cleansing milk, use a non-comedogenic moisturiser

– Night cream depends on age and skin type, moisturiser is for all ages

– Above 30? Use moisturising creams.

-Above 40-50? Use hyaluronic acid

– Vitamin C serum is ideal for those in their early 30s; for 30-40, vitamin A is good; for over 40, add retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides

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