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Beautifying dreams

Katja Kokko | 6.7.2015

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People are often confused with the idea of night cream. Should I use a night cream? Do I really need a different product in the evening and in the morning? Effective skincare doesn’t necessarily mean a thousand different bottles and jars, as long as the products are coherently selected, with the skin’s needs kept in mind. This is why I recommend choosing your daily products together with a cosmetologist, who has a deeper understanding of skincare.

When it comes to night creams and night-time skincare, my recommendations depend on the skin’s needs, skintype and especially age, but it’s also important to think about the skin’s own biological rhythm. Usually I recommend a cleanser followed by toner, serum and skin oil, and that’s it. However, it’s important to learn to listen to your skin’s needs. If there’s flaking or your skin feels tight, especially during colder months or after sunbathing, a night cream is also needed.

I almost always recommend adding a cream in the evenings for normal, dry and aging skin. I used to have a lot of clogged pores, which is why I rarely used cream in the evenings. My skin was also a lot oilier than it is now, so there was simply no need for a cream except during wintertime. My skin has gone through quite a transformation, and nowadays my pores rarely get clogged. My skin is drier than it used to be, and so a cream is nowadays needed almost seven nights a week.

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What kind of cream should I use? Can I use the same cream on evenings and mornings?

When it comes to natural cosmetics, you can almost always use the same cream mornings and evenings. Protecting creams with SPF are the exception, as they are meant to be used on mornings only.

What about nightcream, then? And all the other products recommended for night-time use only? 

The skin’s moisture balance and its own protective mechanism are at their lowest during the evening and night, around 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. This is when active ingredients are best absorbed. When the clock strokes midnight, skin’s cell turnover is at its fastest. This is why it’s a good idea to use skin regenerating products, such as serums and creams, on the evenings, especially for aging skin. If you are going through a lot of stress, I would also recommend a more effective night cream or serum.

During the morning, skin’s own protective mechanism is at its strongest, and active ingredients aren’t absorbed as well as during the evening. The skin is preparing against external stress factors, so you should support the skin’s own immunity and go for energizing toners, serums and moisturizers, preferably with SPF during summertime. Moisturizer locks in moisture and nutrients, protects the skin and continues to moisturize during the day.

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Now that my skin’s needs have changed, I’ve started using a night cream and serum. During the summer I’ve developed a new favorite nightly ritual, consisting of Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep ConcentrateRose Facial Oil and Vitamin E & Avocado Night Cream.

Beauty Sleep Concentrate is suitable for all skin types during the evenings. It has a richer consistency than a typical serum, but it absorbs quickly.  For dry and 50+ skin I recommend the entire combination: a few drops of facial oil as well as a regenerating night cream on top of Beauty Sleep Concentrate. Personally I only use Rose Facial Oil on top of the serum because of the serum’s richer consistency.

Beauty Sleep Concentrate is one of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ most well-known products. What makes it especially good for night-time use are the peptides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and the calming essential oils it contains: clary sage, cypress, orange, patchouli and ylang ylang. Peptides are great for night-time products, because they command collagen to renew. (Yes, you read right. Peptides talk to skin cells.)

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My other favorite combination is a very light and gel-like serum (such as the ones by Suki, Juice Beauty or The Organic Pharmacy), Rose Facial Oil and Vitamin E & Avocado Night Cream. The night cream has a velvety consistency, but just airy enough not to feel too heavy. The jar claims it’s suitable for all skin types, but I would say it’s ideal for normal, dry, thin, aging and stressed skin, as well as skin that is lacking in moisture or prone to couperosa. If your skin is prone to clogging, I would recommend the aforementioned combination over this.

The ingredients in the night cream are sweet and soothing, but also regenerating. Wheat germ, avocado and almond oils nourish, soothe and regenerate the skin. Marshmallow root extract soothes and moisturizes, while comfrey leaf extract regenerates, soothes and smoothes the skin. Avocado oil contains vitamin E, but vitamin E is also added to the cream as an individual ingredient. Vitamin E is one of the most effective antioxidants. It repairs the damage caused by free radicals, making skin smoother and healthier. Especially during summertime, a cream containing vitamin E is excellent in repairing sun damage. It also improves skin’s moisture balance, which is at its lowest during night time.

I have also named Rose Facial Oil as one of my summer favorites. It’s lovely for night-time use, a Sleeping Beauty mixture of grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil and evening primrose oil as well as rose absolute, rose wax, patchouli and geranium. With this scent, you can’t help but to have sweet dreams!

What’s your night-time beauty ritual like? Do you use a traditional night-cream or a special power product? Have you ever thought that skin has its own biological rhythm that should be taken into account in your skincare routine?

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Pictures Katja Kokko

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  1. Ajattelin ihan kysäistä, että minkälaista yövoidetta suosittelisit 32-vuotiaan herkälle iholle, joka ärsyyntyy helposti (voimakkaat tuoksut, mekaaninen kuorinta, kylmän ja kuuman vaihtelut jne.), on kuivahko mutta myös kohtalaisen helposti rasvoittuva.