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7 Treatments That Work Double Duty While You Sleep


SkinCeuticals Post-Chemical Peel SystemThere’s a reason why they call it beauty sleep: nighttime is the optimal time for the skin to rejuvenate itself and the only period when the body is fully relaxed. “During the day, the skin works hard to protect itself from bacteria, sun exposure, UV rays, free radicals, and other environmental stressors,” says Dr. DiAnne Davis, a board-certified dermatologist in Dallas, TX. “Overnight is when the skin resets and repairs itself.” With that in mind, let’s help you take your beauty sleep to the next level.

Overnight Treatments for the Win 

When the body is asleep, the skin cells partake in rejuvenation. “We believe the rate of skin renewal doubles, collagen production speeds up, and cell damage reverses,” says Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Overnight products stay in contact with the skin for an extended period so that the active ingredients can go to work for a long period uninterrupted,” she explains.

Overnight treatments are more concentrated, thicker, and contain more active ingredients than their daytime counterparts. Evening serums are essential to incorporate into your P.M. routine since they have heavy-hitting actives, like retinol, peptides, and growth factors.

Along with serums, thick creams, face oils, and even leave-on masks are also a must since they increase moisture levels. Not to mention, water loss is higher at night, so it’s important to keep the skin well hydrated. In addition, Dr. Davis says that it’s easier for the skin to handle thicker products at bedtime because it is not in “protect” mode but rather “repair mode.”

Best Overnight Skin Care Ingredients

When it comes to picking the right ingredients, some skin care ingredients are more effective at night. “For example, sunlight deactivates many vitamin A-derived ingredients (retinol),” says Dr. Murphy-Rose. Retinol is one of the most effective overnight ingredients as it helps accelerate cell turnover, increase collagen production, improve pore size and texture, and treat acne.

Other notable ingredients include glycolic acid, which stimulates cell turnover and aids in producing elastin and collagen, along with lactic acid, which loosens the bond between dead skin cells to reduce dark spots. Dr. Murphy-Rose recommends using alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acids) at night to encourage the shedding of older skin cells. Antioxidants like vitamin C also stimulate collagen production while brightening the skin.

For a softening effect, which is necessary for creating glowy skin, work in oils rich in fatty acids and vitamins. “For the driest skin, look for a combination of humectants (water-attracting ingredients that draw in moisture) like glycerin and hyaluronic acid and rich moisturizers like emollients to bind and lock in moisture,” advises Dr. Murphy-Rose. On the other hand, she says combination and oily skin types fare best with humectants and light moisturizers.

Here are the best overnight treatments that will help you get that seasonal glow come morning.

  1. Dermalogica BioLumin-C Vitamin-C Gel Moisturizer
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    Dermalogica BioLumin-C Vitamin-C Gel Moisturizer

    This gel moisturizer includes vitamin C, which brightens and evens out the skin’s tone. But that’s not all—five types of hyaluronic acid plus replenishing squalene oil add a healthy dose of moisture to the skin. By morning you’ll wake up to a radiant complexion that’s smoother, softer, and firmer.

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  2. TULA Skincare Rose Glow Get It Cooling Brightening Eye Balm
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    TULA Skincare Rose Glow Get It Cooling Brightening Eye Balm

    Eye balms are great for moisturizing the thin skin under the eyes. Swipe this caffeine-, rosehip oil-, and rosewater-rich formula around the entire orbital rim to decrease signs of under-eye puffiness for a luminous look.

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  3. IMAGE Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Overnight Masque
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    IMAGE Skincare VITAL C Hydrating Overnight Masque

    Sleeping masks flood the skin with actives to help undo the damage that ages it. This energizing treatment, which smells like freshly peeled oranges, features skin-brightening vitamin C plus blue-green algae extract to smooth the skin while restoring its radiance.

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  4. Sunday Riley GOOD GENES Glycolic Acid Treatment
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    Sunday Riley GOOD GENES Glycolic Acid Treatment

    Swipe on a layer of this exfoliating treatment onto clean skin and watch it gleam. Glow-boosting glycolic acid molecules sink into the skin to break up dullness and discoloration, leaving skin looking smooth and radiant.

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  5. Eminence Organic Skin Care Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil
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    Eminence Organic Skin Care Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil

    Inimitable in formulation, this glow-getting oil starts as a solid but quickly becomes liquid upon contact. Loaded with skin-boosting botanicals like camellia and marula oils alongside natural glow-from-within pink tourmaline gemstones, apply the oil in circular motions to reveal your skin’s natural glow.

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  6. NEW! SkinCeuticals Post-Chemical Peel System
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    NEW! SkinCeuticals Post-Chemical Peel System

    Chemical peels are a tried-and-true way to quickly up the glow factor and this at-home system allows you to maintain those results in between treatments. Featuring a glycolic acid-based gel cleanser and night cream, this powerful skin care set is a must-have to jumpstart your nighttime regimen.

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  7. Dr Dennis Gross SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro
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    Dr Dennis Gross SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro

    Light therapy is a proven way to rev up your skin’s glow factor. This beloved one features 162 LED red and blue lights to boost collagen, kill acne-causing bacteria, and reduce redness for clear, luminescent skin.

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Elise Minton Tabin

Elise Minton Tabin is an award-winning beauty journalist, editor, and beauty expert with more than 16 years of experience. She previously held the title of Executive Beauty Editor at NewBeauty magazine, where she reported on beauty, plastic surgery, anti-aging, health and wellness. She was also instrumental in the launch of the beauty supplement brand Hush & Hush. A self-professed beauty junkie and retinol and sunscreen pusher, Elise knows what’s new, what works and who’s the best to go for every procedure under the sun. Follow Elise on Facebook, Instagram, and on her beauty blog,