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  • Writer's pictureJamie Vilet


Does your daytime skin care routine have to be different from your nighttime skin care routine? Absolutely! Your skin has different needs in the morning than it does at night. When you properly take care of your skin at the right time, it really pays off! WHAT DETERMINES YOUR SKIN’S NEEDS? Two things: environmental aggressors and your circadian rhythm. ENVIRONMENTAL AGGRESSORS Every day, your skin fights off environmental aggressors, such as air pollution, UV radiation and countless chemicals and toxins, New York-based dermatologist Deny Engelman explained in a NET-A-PORTER article. “Our morning skin care routine is super-important to provide our skin with the tools it needs to combat these assailants,” Engelman said. Using protective skin care in the morning prevents your skin from becoming dry, dull and sun-damaged. It also helps fight off acne, redness and premature aging. However, you don’t need to worry about protecting your skin from environmental aggressors while you’re safely tucked underneath the covers (unless you haven’t washed your bedsheet in a while). That is why some skin care products only benefit you in the daytime. Other products, like retinol serums, make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Save these products for your nighttime skin care routine to avoid sun damage.

CIRCADIAN RHYTHM Your circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle your body goes through every day. Think of it as an internal clock that controls your biological functions so your body knows when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHM? The brain gets clues from the environment to know when it is time to switch from the wake phase to the sleep phase of the cycle. For example, as the sun goes down and you're exposed to less blue light, your brain releases the sleepiness hormone, melatonin. What does this have to do with your skin? Everything! At night, your circadian rhythm increases cell regeneration and collagen production while decreasing your cortisol (stress hormone) level. These processes allow your skin to repair itself so it is ready to take on another onslaught of environmental aggressors the next day. At the same time, your skin weakens and produces less oil while you sleep, leaving it susceptible to dehydration. For your nighttime skin care routine, focus on aiding the repairing process and keeping your skin hydrated. Your skin’s nightly repair cycle also gives you the perfect opportunity to smooth out wrinkles and treat skin conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation and rosacea. So, bring on those treatment products to achieve a glowing, youthful complexion. CREATING A MORNING AND NIGHTTIME SKIN CARE ROUTINE Now that you understand what your skin needs in the morning versus at night, let’s talk about how to create an AM and PM skin care routine that will give you the results you want. The golden rule for any skin care regimen is to apply products from thinnest to thickest, so the thicker products seep through the thinner ones and into your skin. But don’t worry. We’ve made it even simpler than that by creating the 4-Step System: Cleanse, Treat, Balance, Protect. This makes it easier for you to remember which order to apply your skin care. Here’s how it works for a morning skin care regimen:

MORNING SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP: CLEANSE Yes, believe it or not, your skin needs cleaning even after you’ve slept. That’s because the skin-repairing process includes purging toxins through your pores. These toxins end up on the surface of your skin, so to keep them from clogging your pores, wash your face, neck and décolleté with a gentle cleanser. The best part about GlyMed Plus cleansers is that they not only cleanse your skin but also protect it from environmental aggressors so you retain your natural beauty. STEP 2: TREAT Protect your skin from environmental aggressors using an antioxidant-rich serum. This step is also for any treatment products your aesthetician recommends and says you can use during the day. STEP 3: BALANCE Prevent your skin from drying out by putting on moisturizer. Morning moisturizers can also protect your skin from free radicals that cause skin damage and premature aging. STEP 4: PROTECT Finish your morning skin care routine with quality sunscreen. Regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy outside, SPF protects your skin against UV rays and helps prevent premature aging, sun damage and skin cancer. UV protection also keeps your skin tone balanced and your skin hydrated so you have a soft, smooth complexion.

NIGHTTIME SKIN CARE ROUTINE For your PM skin care routine, the GlyMed Plus 4-Step System works slightly differently because you don’t need the fourth step for SPF. Instead, you cleanse your skin twice so it fully absorbs the rest of your skin care products. The cleaner your skin is, the better results you get. STEP 1: FIRST CLEANSE Remove makeup, sunscreen and any excess oil from your skin using a gentle cleanser. Facial wipes contain artificial fragrances that can irritate your skin and cause breakouts, and your skin deserves better than that. STEP 1.5: SECOND CLEANSE This time you are cleansing your skin to remove dirt, pollutants, toxins and other pore-clogging agents, so your skin stays smooth and radiant. Wash your face, neck and décolleté thoroughly to achieve a stunning complexion. Use gentler cleansers when washing twice. STEP 2: TREAT Leverage your skin’s nightly repairing process by applying treatment products to improve your skin health. As your skin regenerates new cells, it will deeply absorb the nutrients from your skin care, so you wake up to a newer and brighter you. Here are treatment products that are great for this step:

  • Chemical Exfoliants — Exfoliants remove dead skin cells to keep your skin looking young and radiant. Use them 1 – 3 times a week so you don’t over-exfoliate and hurt your skin.

  • Masques — Choose a face masque that supports your skin care goals. Masques can firm and smooth your skin to reduce signs of aging. Some are great for treating acne and oily skin, and others are packed with antioxidants and botanicals that detoxify and exfoliate your skin.

  • Retinol/Retinoids — Retinol brightens and heals your skin by increasing cell production and unclogging your pores. You can use a prescription-strength retinoid prescribed by a board-certified doctor or try products micro-encapsulated to gently deliver the maximum concentration of retinol without negative side effects.

  • Serums — Like face masques, serums provide a wide range of benefits, depending on their ingredients. Some serums contain peptides with powerful anti-aging effects, while others have chemical compounds that reduce acne lesions. If you like to do skin cycling, you can use an exfoliant one night, retinol the next night, then a gentle serum two nights in a row to rest your skin.

STEP 3: BALANCE Lock in your treatment products with a high-quality moisturizer. While you can use the same moisturizer you use in the morning, we recommend using a night cream because it is full of nutrients that help your skin rejuvenate while you sleep. Look for night creams with antioxidants, peptides and Vitamins A and C for skin repair. You can also use face oil that mimics the skin’s natural sebum (oil), keeping it hydrated.

STEP 4: GET LOTS OF ZZZS There is actually one more step to add to your nighttime skin care routine, and that’s to get a good night’s sleep. Ever wondered why you get dark circles under your eyes after a terrible night’s sleep? That’s because sleep deprivation prevents your skin from fully repairing itself. As a result, your skin becomes dehydrated and takes longer to heal from cuts, sores and all those nasty environmental aggressors it encounters during the day. SIGNS SLEEP DEPRIVATION IS AFFECTING YOUR SKIN

  • Dark circles

  • Puffiness

  • Dehydrated skin

  • Dull complexion

  • Cold sores

  • Skin infections

  • Pimples

  • Cuts slow to heal

If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, there are lots of steps you can take. The key is to keep your circadian rhythm consistent by establishing routines that help your body know when it’s time to wake up and when it is time to sleep. TIPS FOR GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP

  • Plan for 7 – 9 hours of sleep. Calculate how long it takes to do your bedtime routine then add 15 – 20 min to fall asleep

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day

  • Have a set bedtime routine to tell your brain it is time to wind down

  • Eat an early dinner

  • Eat meals at the same time each day

  • No liquids two hours before bed so you don’t have to get up to urinate

  • No caffeine after midday

  • No sweets after 7 p.m.

  • Adjust your bedroom temperature to 62 – 68 degrees F. Extreme temperatures can disrupt your sleep.

  • Stop using electronics two hours before going to bed. Blue light can prevent your brain from releasing melatonin to make you sleepy.

  • Take an aromatherapy-infused bath to relax your muscles

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