Sleeping doesn’t just help you feel rested—it’s also when your skin renews itself. “When you don’t sleep, you see your skin the next day and it kind of looks jet lagged,” Jeanette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC, who recommends getting six to eight hours of shuteye each night. To really maximize your beauty sleep, though, you need to log enough hours in bed and follow the right nighttime regimen. Use the products Graf recommends to make the most of your Zzz’s.
1. An Exfoliator
Exfoliation enhances the renewal process by clearing the way for other products to better penetrate your skin. She recommends anything from a gentle cleanser that sloughs off dead skin to a mechanical exfoliator to a mini-peel. “An over-the-counter glycolic peel is very good,” she says. Graf also advises against morning exfoliation. “You’re working against yourself,” by exposing the pores, she says.
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“Retinol is pivotal in repairing the skin on a molecular level,” says Graf. “The vitamin A works to form bonds with the skin’s DNA to repair skin from damage done the day before, as well as to build collagen.” Coupling retinol with a moisturizer, like Kate Somerville RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream ($85, sephora.com), shortens your regimen and adds a necessary layer of protection. A thin serum, like Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum ($98, sephora.com), is great if you want a lighter formula that the skin can absorb instantly.
“Peptides are great for nighttime use,” says Graf. Their amino acids are integral in the renewal process because they signal the skin to repair itself. Peptide bonds help to link collagen back together, adding suppleness back to the skin. To get the best out of your eye cream, opt for a peptide-infused formula, such as Dr. Brandt Skincare Do Not Age with Dr. Brandt Triple Peptide Eye Cream ($80, sephora.com).
4. Acne Treatments
Because many pimple-related products are so strong they dry out the skin or cause redness, women with acne-prone skin should focus on treating blemishes in the p.m.
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