Since entering my 30s, I've started to notice subtle changes in my skin: little smile lines here, a few more sun spots there. While I fully embrace aging gracefully, I'm also on a neverending quest to keep the largest organ of my body as healthy as possible, which is why I'm committed to refining my evening skincare routine.
That's why I reached out to Melanie Grant, an Australia-based skincare expert known for her clinical and holistic approach to beauty. She explains that our cell turnover begins to slow down as we enter our 30s, "[which] can result in a dull, lackluster complexion and even congestion and blemishes."
She continues to explain that "sun damage from our childhood begins to surface as brown patches and spots, as well as diffused redness, broken capillaries, and larger pores." Our skin also starts to lose its firmness due to the decrease in collagen, which may be most noticeable in our eye area, lower face, and jawline.
Thankfully, we can manage these concerns with a good night cream. "Our skin repairs and rejuvenates as we sleep," explains Grant, "so nighttime is ideal to get the most benefit out of your active ingredients."
Here, she shares the key things to remember when looking for the right night cream for your skin, along with her top dos and don'ts:
Use retinol at night. "Some ingredients, such as retinol, are unstable in sunlight," says Grant, which is why night is the ideal time to apply products that contain it. "Keeping the skin moist and supple throughout the night is essential to waking with a plump, dewy complexion."
How to use it in your routine. After cleansing, Grant recommends layering your night cream over your serum.
Where to use it. Don't forget to apply cream to your neck and décolletage. "Remember your face ends at your bust," she adds.
When to switch night creams. "Try adjusting your night cream seasonally, so use a heavier balm or cream in winter and a lightweight lotion or gel in summer," she suggests.
Choose the best ingredients for your skin type and concerns.
- Fine line and crease prevention: Use antioxidants like resveratrol, green tea, idebenone, vitamin E, and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to "neutralize free radicals and prevent new creases and lines from forming."
- Brighten and unify skin: Use vitamin C, which also helps firm the skin by boosting collagen.
- Moisturise and repair skin: "Ceramides and essential fatty acids will lock in moisture and repair the skin's protective barrier," she says.
- Inflamed or irritated skin: Use niacinamide, aloe vera, and salicylic acid to soothe and calm irritated complexions.
- Refine large pores, smooth coarse texture, and firm/brighten skin: Use retinol, "probably the most highly regarded skincare ingredient [to] treat existing fine lines and creases," Grant notes.
- Restore aging skin: Peptides can also help firm and tighten skin that's beginning to show signs of aging.
"Remember that to yield good results, a cream must have sufficient concentrations of these actives, with a sophisticated formula that's able to penetrate the skin," Grant says. "Be discerning when choosing your skincare."
Ready to make the most of your bedtime beauty routine? Read on for Grant's top night cream picks for every skincare concern.