Just us or does it already feel like 2019 has been a year so far? While we made our resolutions to take better care of our skin starting January 1, who really has time for a daily 10-step beauty routine? Luckily, our fave beauty brands are on to our lazy-gal tendencies and have formulated all kinds of new skin-saving products that work overnight—saving you precious minutes in the morning.
Of course, overhauling your habits can seem totally overwhelming, so we’re here to help you work the latest proven ingredients and cult-favourite products into your nighttime routine, one beauty sleep at a time.
Start your evening with an AHA moment
That’s alpha hydroxy acid, FYI. After removing your makeup and cleansing your face using warm water to open up your pores, you need to regenerate and hydrate your skin. A product containing AHAs will do double duty by encouraging skin cell renewal through gentle exfoliation, leaving you with fresh, oh-so-soft skin. If you’re looking for an easy introduction to overnight acid treatments, start with the Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Overnight Cream ($75). Designed to diminish dark spots and acne scars, the formula is gentle, and will easily fit into your existing nightly skincare routine. Apply a thin layer and leave it overnight—it’s the beauty Instagrammer’s secret to glowing #nofilter selfies!
For a rich product that truly goes deep, try GLAMGLOW’s ‘Good In Bed’ Passionfruit Softening Cream ($75), a thick and luxurious cream with a delightful fruity scent that is formulated with glycolic acid (an AHA). If you feel that slight tingling sensation, it means the product is working its magic. But, to be on the safe side, it’s always best to spot test any new product before slathering it all over your face.
Take it next level with retinols
If you’ve tried AHAs and find they just aren’t strong enough to counter that winter dullness, try upping your nighttime skincare game with a retinol oil. Dermatologists have long been preaching the powers of retinol products, which help stimulate skin cell regeneration, making your skin look visibly younger, smoother and more luminous by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and pores. Because it can take skin a while to adjust to these products, it’s best to introduce them into your routine slowly. Try one to two times a week at first; then you can slowly up the frequency. The Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($135) by Sunday Riley is a cult fave retinoid meant to be applied after cleansing. (You’ll recognize the stand-out blue bottle from every bathroom #shelfie ever.)
If you prefer a cream texture, Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinol Cream ($92) contains 1% retinol—considered a potent dose of the antioxidant—and is formulated with vegan passionfruit, apricot, marula and jojoba oils to calm and hydrate. And, for a plant-based alternative, try OLEHENRIKSEN’s Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème ($66), which uses bakuchiol to reduce fine lines and even skin tone.
Hype up your hydration ASAP
Before heading to sleep for eight hours (yes, we’re dreaming big in 2019!), look for lightweight products that hydrate and plump-up tired skin throughout the night. The Water Sleeping Mask ($33), an award-winning gel from K-Beauty brand Laneige, absorbs rapidly and moisturizes deeply. After a quick rinse in the morning, you’ll have a glowing, hydrated complexion that’s ready to take on the day.
Another lightweight overnighter is Fresh’s Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream ($60), a whipped antioxidant-rich cream made with super lotus and peach leaf extract. This is the kind of moisturizer that makes you look well-rested when you’re, well, not, by reducing the effects of environmental stressors and fatigue through intense hydration.
Pro-tip: Apply moisturizers up to an hour before your head actually hits the pillow, so you don’t rub everything off before your skin has time to absorb it.
Seal in moisture before hitting the hay
This is the nightcap of your new bedtime routine. The Murad Night Fix Enzyme Treatment ($90) is a game-changing serum that uses peptides, enzymes and a patent-pending aroma technology to encourage a good night’s sleep. Contrary to most skin care routines, this serum is meant to be applied after your moisturizer to seal in skin-repairing ingredients. (The brand recommends keeping the treatment on your bedside table so that you can apply it just before shutting your eyes.) Once you’ve applied the product, cup your hands over your nose and take three deep, calming breaths. This small moment of mindfulness can make all the difference to decompress after a long day. And the serum works overnight to repair equally worn-out skin using an anti-aging peptide and tri-enzyme technology. So come morning, your skin is primed for its a.m. regimen and ready to face the day.