This story was updated in January 2019.
Who doesn't want flawless skin, right? Unless you’re born with it, perfect skin is something most of us only dream of. And don’t worry, dreams do come true. Ironically, the best time to use skincare products is at night while you are about to slip into a blissful slumber. They call it beauty sleep for a reason ladies! Sure you could use skincare products during the day too, but they would be milder and less potent than the ones you can apply at night. During the day, typically the best line of treatment would be a Vitamin C rich moisturiser topped off with a good sunscreen.
The best time to take care of your skin is in the PM. It's no surprise that your skin too like every other part of your body heals and rejuvenates at night. This is the best time to tackle all those skin concerns like dullness, spots, pigmentation and sun damage. Night-time skincare routines are most effective and most important because you're in the comforts of your home away from all the sunlight and pollution. More importantly, your skin has the time to recover and heal so this is the right time to feed it with nourishing ingredients.
As soon as you’re home, you should wash your face to get rid of all the pollution and dust it’s been exposed to all day. Apply your nighttime skin care products as soon as you’ve cleansed. This will ensure that the products have at least an hour to sink into your skin before you snooze. If you apply anything just moments before you hit the sack, chances are your pillow covers will soak in most of the product. Allow your moisturiser or any treatment 15 minutes to absorb into your skin before you snooze.
At night, you should look for products with ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids, Retinol, Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C. This is the time when your skin heals and rejuvenates so the best kind of products to feed your skin would definitely be those that focus on exfoliation, brightening and scar fading. Keep reading to know why!
AHA’s are useful when it comes to exfoliating your skin. People with dull skin tend to benefit the most from this because the AHA’s help slough off the dead skin cells from the surface. They’re a milder way to exfoliate as compared to a chemical peel or an abrasive scrub.
BHA’s work below the surface of the skin to unclog pores and clear out your skin. If acne, blackheads and general clogged pores seem to worry you, a treatment of BHA’s would be particularly beneficial when used at night.
Vitamin C is one of the best anti-aging, brightening, scar fading treatments you can find. It works on brightening up your skin while getting rid of scars, pigmentation, blemishes and even fine lines and wrinkles. While you can use this during the day too (with sunscreen over it), a more potent version of Vitamin C is best recommended at night.
The best anti-aging products on the market contain some form of Retinol or Vitamin A. It's one of the best, most potent, anti-aging ingredients used in skincare products. Retinol will help fade fine lines, wrinkles and improve the elasticity and tone of your skin. Retinol is recommended to people who are over the age of 25, that’s typically when the first signs of aging start to show on the skin. Retinol as an ingredient, is a little harsh on your skin, it may leave your skin dry and increase sensitivity to the sun especially if you’ve just started using it. Be extra particular about using SPF during the day after you’ve used a retinol product the previous night.
You're probably thinking that you are too young to worry about your skin, but if you're over 20, it is the right time to start taking care. And the right time to start using anti-ageing skincare treatments is when you hit 25.
Whenever you use any treatment products at night, it’s advised that you use a good sunscreen during the day to protect your skin. Most products that are meant to treat your skin in any way increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. This means that your skin will tan and get damaged more easily than it would if you weren’t using any treatment products. Don’t worry this is not necessarily a bad thing. Just ensure that you are diligent with sunscreen, apply it every 3-4 hours and cover your face with a hat, cap or scarf if you are going to be exposed to the sun for a long time.
If you are going on vacation, it would be best if you stop using any treatment products a week prior. This will ensure that your skin is not super sensitive to the sun when you’re out and about.
Here are the best night creams you can invest in to wake up to gorgeous skin every single day. They will address a whole range of problems ranging from pigmentation, dark spots, blemishes and dull skin. These products vary from affordable to luxury skincare totally worth the splurge. We have sorted them according to your budget...Check em' out!
It's Skin Collagen Nutrition Cream (Rs 950)
This night cream is infused with marine extracts, amino acids and collagen to improve the elasticity of your skin. Collagen is one of the most essential elements present in our skin, loss of collagen is what makes your skin sag and look aged. The best way to reverse the effects of reducing collagen would be to eat healthily and use a night cream enriched with pure collagen extracts. This cream is perfect for dull, dry and mature skin that needs a boost.
This one is enriched with Vitamins A, C, E, grapeseed oil and sea buckthorn oil to repair and hydrate your skin. All the antioxidants will keep your skin looking supple while keeping fine lines away.
An ayurvedic magic potion, this moisturiser from Biotique has extracts of saffron. If you’re not aware of some of the beauty benefits of saffron, a quick google search will tell you that it’s one of the world's most expensive and loved spices. It has uses in culinary and beauty industries and its benefits are unparalleled. This moisturiser combines saffron, almond, turmeric and Vitamin E to help lighten, brighten and nourish your skin. With regular use, you will notice fine lines and wrinkles seem less noticeable.
If you’re looking for an affordable drugstore cream with Retinol as an active ingredient, this night cream from Garnier is the perfect fit. It’s got extracts of ginger, cherry and bilberry extract to firm and tighten up your skin. Use it regularly to get rid of early signs of aging.
The Olay Total Effects Night Firming Cream provides your skin with seven anti-aging benefits in one product. It has vitamins, antioxidants and wheat protein that help your skin look younger and firmer day after day.
This night mask has a jelly-like texture that's lightweight and absorbs easily. It has hyaluronic acid and French grape seed extract to improve your skin's texture while giving it a boost of hydration.
Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator (Rs 1,550) and the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System With Pure Vitamin C (Rs 1,700)
The Clinique Moisture Surge is a pretty versatile moisturiser - you can use this one in the day or at night to wrap your skin in a blanket of hydration. It's a gel-based lightweight moisturiser that claims to keeps your skin hydrated and delivers a 152% instant moisture boost for up to 72 hours. This is my personal favourite for the day and summer-nights. Add a few drops of the Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin C serum to the moisturiser to make yourself a potent combination that tackles skin concerns like ageing and pigmentation and blemishes.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (RS 2,100)
This is one of those overnight miracle products that either works for you or it doesn't. It helps to regenerate, repair and replenish the skin barrier with the botanical and essential oils present in the formula. I would recommend going to the Kiehl's store and asking for some samples before you buy the full sized product since essential oils may not suit all skin types.
This is one of those all-in-one kinda products that target all of your skin concerns. The formula is power packed with over 15 active ingredients. It will hydrate, repair, brighten and protect your skin from acne, blemishes, tanning, dryness and unevenness. The kojic acid and Vitamin A present in the formula tackle ageing and pigmentation while the hyaluronic acid and vegetable oils and wheat sugars keep your skin plump and hydrated. I've been using this night cream for the past 3 months and if you're looking for just ONE product that does it all, this is it.
LANEIGE Water Sleeping Pack (Rs 1,850)
If you're looking for a lightweight sleeping mask that will give you that glossy, plump skin the next morning then you will love this moisturiser. It is ideal if you suffer from dry, dehydrated skin that lacks lustre and vitality. While the product won't have any great effect on tackling pigmentation and other skin troubles, it's PERFECT to give your skin that K-beauty glow. If you have next to perfect skin, this would be a great night-time moisturiser to wake up to glowing skin.
If you're a firm believer in the power of Ayurveda, this luxurious night cream has a unique blend of pure sandalwood and saffron. It's ultra-hydrating and is going to help your skin regain that lost radiance and fix any scarring and blemishes that you may have. The formula is best suited for a person with normal to dry skin.
Fresh - Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream (Rs 2,971)
This moisturiser will keep your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours at a stretch. It uses a pretty unique time-release technology to provide your skin with continuous hydration. It has a combination of hyaluronic acids, rose water, rose flower oil and plum seed oil to give you a hydrated, well rested healthy complexion all day long! I love this moisturiser, especially through winter.
These twist and pop capsules are filled with a serum that helps repair and moisturises the skin and have anti-aging properties too. It is a lightweight, silky-smooth serum that contains ceramide lipid complex and Vitamins A and E that will give you youthful-looking skin day after day. The fact that the serum is in the capsule tells you that it maintains the freshness.
While this is not a moisturiser, it's an anti-ageing serum that will leave you addicted. It's been designed specifically for our Indian skin and it repairs and rejuvenates the skin, and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, crows feet, pigmentation and dull sallow skin. Just apply it every night and follow it up with a lightweight moisturiser like the Clinique moisture surge. It's one of those products that I've known works since I've grown up seeing my mother use it religiously every night.
Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment (Rs 6,251)
This is a treatment product that contains high-potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells. With regular use, it will help reveal smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin. I'm a huge fan of this product, I have used a deluxe sample I received when I was travelling. I only wish I'd invested in the full sized one. Lactic acid is really good for your skin, it will exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells and help your skin heal blemishes and discolouration.
While this is slightly above Rs 7,000 (this also depends on currency fluctuation), it's definitely worth that splurge. This moisturizer fights all signs of ageing by stimulating collagen to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Once you use this, your skin is hydrated, smooth and luminous. I've actually used a mini version of this and my skin felt AMAZING! The name is aptly called magic cream because it has Charlotte's secret mix of anti-ageing, hydrating and youth-promoting ingredients that will give your complexion an amazing glow. If you're above 30, this one will definitely be your fave.
If you’re more of a DIY kinda girl we’ve got some pretty easy and affordable recipes for DIY night creams. You can whip these up in the comforts of your home using all natural ingredients that you can find in your kitchen. This way, you know exactly how pure and organic the night cream you will make is. While these DIY night creams may be in their purest form, you won’t be able to store them for long since they would contain all natural ingredients, their shelf life would be shortened considerably. For best results, store them in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. You could store them in the refrigerator if you like.
Aloe vera gel is pretty much the cure for any and every skin ailment, here we’re going to use this magical elixir to create a versatile face and body cream. The cream can be customized depending on your concern. You will need a few essential oils and a base oil.
Here’s what you need:
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl until you have a whipped cream like consistency. Transfer the mixture to a small glass jar. You can use this on your body and your face daily!
If you don’t already know, glycerine is one of the best humectants on the market. It attracts moisture and helps combat dull, dry and flaky skin. It’s the perfect cream to use if you have dry skin or if you live in cold winter weather.
Here’s what you need:
Mix all the ingredients well and transfer them to a glass container. You can use this every day in the night before bed. With time, you’ll notice that your skin is hydrated and soft. The rose water and the rose essential oil will brighten your skin and help fade any scars, blemishes and pigmentation and leave you with a beautiful glow.
If you have extremely dry skin, cocoa butter is your friend. Not only does this smell exactly like chocolate but it nourishes your skin from the inside out. This is perfect for use all over your body in winter.
Here’s what you need:
Heat all of the ingredients (except the essential oil) on the gas using the double boiler method. If you’re not familiar with the double boiler method, it involves placing a small container inside a bigger container. Fill up the bigger container with water and fill up the smaller container with the product you want to melt. This way, the cocoa butter is not exposed to direct heat. Once all the ingredients are melted, transfer it to a container from which you want to use it and add the essential oil. Mix well and it’s ready to use! This cream will just melt into your skin. If you have acne prone skin, you might want to try this on a small patch first or add a few drops of tea tree oil to it.
Olive oil is great for your skin, hair, body and health. It’s one of the best oils you can consume and apply for all over good skin. A mixture of olive oil and beeswax will give your skin vitality, glow and nourish and soften it. Much like a head massage using olive oil, your skin too will feel softer, smoother and rejuvenated after using this cream.
Here’s what you need:
Heat the olive oil and beeswax using the double boiler method mentioned above. Once the mixture is melted, add a few drops of essential oil and mix well. Store it in a glass jar and use it daily on your face and body. The vitamins, minerals and nutrients present in this cream will not only nourish your skin but also repair it. With time, you’ll see scars fading and any signs of aging fade away. Your skin will be left with that youthful bounce it once had.
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