As soon as you begin your hunt for the perfect night serum, be it offline or online, the hardest part is to get the right one. That’s because all of them look so fancy that zeroing in on the right skin nectar becomes too confusing. Should you go for more retinol or hydraulic acid? Or is there anything else you must keep in mind?
To get you out of your misery, we asked celebrity dermatologist, Dr Sejal Saheta from InUrSkn to help us out. Come, let’s learn all the tricks from the expert.
First things first, understand your skincare routine
There are certain fundamental differences between the morning and evening skincare routines. While your morning routine is largely about protecting your skin and preventing any damage from sun exposure and environmental factors, your evening routine focuses on repair and restoration of the health of your skin.
Like much of your body, your skin also naturally repairs itself in the night, while you sleep. A good nighttime skincare routine goes a long way in helping the natural repair and restoration process of your skin.
What’s in your night serum?
Before delving deep into the kind of skincare products that can cater to your skin type, it pays to understand the exact function of the various skincare ingredients.
Antioxidants: “These reduce the oxidative stress on your skin and also increase collagen synthesis. These features help control the melanin formation in your skin and at the same time, can decrease the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The most common antioxidants for skincare are vitamin C derivatives. There are also other lesser-known but equally effective antioxidants like glutathione, niacinamide, etc.”, advises Dr Saheta.
Collagen boosters: These are ingredients that encourage cellular turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production in your skin. Collagen is a protein that helps keep your skin elastic and supple, and hence keeps wrinkles at bay. The most common collagen boosters are retinoids, which are nothing but derivatives of vitamin A.
Moisture penetrating agents: These are ingredients like hyaluronic acid or lecithin that can hold large quantities of moisture, and help it penetrate into the deep layers of the skin. This helps to make your skin more hydrated and supple.
Barrier improvement agents: Ingredients like ceramides and lanolin improve the barrier function of the skin, and thus reduce transepidermal water loss.
Humectants: “These are ingredients like glycerine, PCA, etc. which help attract moisture to the upper layer of skin from the deeper layers, and also the atmosphere,” suggests Dr Saheta.
Emollients and anti-inflammatories: These are ingredients like squalene, which help soothe the skin and reduce any inflammation.
Choose your night serum as per your skin type
Your skincare routine should be based on the type of skin you have and its current state.
If you have dry skin: “It goes without saying that the first thing to consider would be a great moisturizer. You will need a moisturizer that is generally thicker in consistency, and which improves the barrier function of your skin and prevents any moisture loss. In addition, the moisturizer should have ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which provides for deeper moisture penetration.It also goes without saying that you will need to limit the usage of both antioxidants and retinoids, and also at the same time, control the amount of time for which these are kept on. Lastly, you may need for your moisturizer to have anti-inflammatory properties, which will soothe your skin after exposure to any active skincare ingredients,” recommends Dr Saheta.
If you have oily skin or combination skin: In this case, you should ensure that you use only non-comedogenic products, which do not block your pores and give rise to acne. Also, you can afford to use higher-strength serums or creams with both antioxidants and retinoids.
Aged skin: Your nighttime skincare products should have a focus on collagen and elastin regeneration. Hence, products that are based on retinoids and peptides which boost protein regeneration, are your best bet. In addition, it is essential to use a great moisturizer, rich in both hyaluronic acid, and also humectants.
Pigmented / patchy Skin: Your skincare product should focus on control and reduction of melanin generation. Hence, find a product that is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C or glutathione, and also contains other active ingredients like glycolic acid, which also help even out skin pigmentation.
Is applying the serum at night that important? What about normal creams?
Dr Saheta suggests that while serums have been pitched as concentrated versions that are more effective, this claim is largely untrue. A serum or a cream is only a delivery mechanism. Serums do have a better rate of absorption and come with the added advantage that they are largely non-comedogenic. Follow your dermatologist’s advice in terms of the selection of skincare products, and also their application period and frequency.
In conclusion, there is no one size fits all elixir that will help you restore the health of your skin overnight. And while the selection of a nighttime skincare serum or cream based on your skin type is important; it is essential to ensure that they are applied correctly and consistently.
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Phew! Looks a tad complicated, but for your skin it’s nothing. Just check the ingredients properly and follow the routine with dedication and get glowing skin for free.