BY MALENA HARBERS, SPECIAL TO THE STAR
Sleep is a precious commodity. And in our ever-quickening lifestyle it’s no wonder we’ve started to put those twilight hours to use: Getting your beauty sleep is now a more literal phrase than ever, from youth-restoring serums to hair repair creams, our beds are the new beauty salons.
The concept of nighttime-specific creams is not new. It’s common knowledge that, when free of makeup and sweat, our skin can absorb and benefit from a richer cream, especially if it’s packed with antioxidants, peptides and all the hi-tech and natural ingredients that promise to do their duty in maintaining youth. But the technology behind the latest batch of overnight beautifiers does cover new ground, offering formulas that address more than one concern at a time and venture beyond the face and into the hairline.
Not only are these products meant for multi-tasking when it comes to a beauty routine, but some of these same formulas work to induce a natural fountain of youth: a solid night’s sleep. In fact, recent findings in Medical News Today show that sleep deprivation actually speeds up the physical decline of old age. The state of deep sleep activates growth hormones, which restore skin’s elasticity, helping smooth out wrinkles and strengthen the hair and nails.
Since 40 per cent of Canadians report trouble sleeping, does that mean we’re all aging faster too?
According to Nadine Pernodet, executive director of research and development at Estée Lauder, getting your Zzz’s can, in fact, stave off the aging process.
“Many studies have shown that at night skin’s activities are different than during the day,” she says. “Nighttime is the optimal time to support the skin to maximize existing natural processes that occur because the skin is not trying to fight off all the external environmental aggressors at the same time, as it does during the day.”
With no disturbances from the environment, she goes on, the skin is more receptive to ingredients that help it to repair itself naturally.
But while Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett agrees that sleep is a regenerative state, she says there’s no difference between how the skin functions at night or during the day.
“Your skin is constantly regenerating,” Kellett says. “It regenerates during the day as well as during the night. Anything otherwise doesn’t make any scientific sense.”
Whether or not they work more efficiently after you’ve gone to bed, these products do make multi-tasking a breeze. Simply slap them on overnight and presto, you wake up to a more supple-skinned, luscious-locked you.
Working from the premise that the damage our skin suffers during the day can be counterbalanced at night, both Sisley’s Supremÿa and Estée Lauder’s newly formulated Advanced Night Repair are the newest nighttime creams that bank on the skin cell’s intrinsic timing.
Guerlain Issima Midnight Secret makes any sallow complexion look refreshed, despite late nights, and reduces puffiness, despite too many cocktails.
Prescriptives’ cheekily named Good in Bed couples a hint of self-tanner with light-reflecting optics in its wrinkle-smoothing formulation, promising you’ll awake with naturally glowing skin the moment your alarm goes off.
Forget hair masks that take 15 or even 30 minutes to repair tresses. Both John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease Overnight Serum and Frédéric Fekkai’s Overnight Hair Repair work to resuscitate damaged locks for a full eight hours without having to sit around in a shower cap.
For tense-looking skin, Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Face Cream incorporates buckbean and St. Paul’s wort extracts with camomile, lavender and mandarin essential oils to ensure you reach the state in which facial muscles are completely relaxed and a good night’s sleep is within reach.