Nightly nourishment


How to pick a night-time anti-ageing, hydrating creams for the face and neck

Of late, due to non-availability of my regular brand of night cream, I have been experimenting a lot. I’ve looked at other brands, all with natural ingredients, and even apricot and extra virgin coconut oil. That is when I got thinking, how do you zero in on a night cream that works for you? The one I was using regularly did give me results because I could see my skin look fresher than it did the night before. So I asked around and read up on it.

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How to choose the right cream

From women who use night creams regularly, I learnt these facts:

  • A night cream must be hypoallergenic, no matter what else goes into it. You want the night cream to nourish the skin, not cause additional problems.
  • It must include Vitamin E or Vitamin A and C. All these are known to have beneficial effects on the skin. Especially Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which helps to fight the damage caused by free radicals and boost collagen production.
  • It must include retinols and retinoids. They are derivatives of Vitamin A and are known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles with prolonged use.
  • It must include AHAs, essential oils such as apricot, olive or jojoba oils. These nourish the skin and provide it with nutrients that keep the skin supple and moist.
  • It must include peptides. These proteins are vital to stimulate the growth of new cells and shed the dead cells which makes the skin look dull. They work while you sleep and are also known to boost collagen production.  
  • A good night cream should be fragrance free.
  • It should suit your skin type. There are different types available for dry, oily and combination skin types.

If you can’t see a visible improvement in the texture of your skin in a few weeks, then the cream is probably not working for you. So a bit of trial and error is okay so long as you get to the right one. Or, go for the really expensive, known brands that show results almost within 24 hours.

Why night creams help

Some people actually do not follow the practice of using night creams and make do with just a sunscreen or day moisturiser. But it is vital to undo the damage caused by the sun and other factors by providing the skin with sufficient nourishment at night.

Essentially, night creams are vital to nourish the skin and boost collagen; improve blood circulation to the face and neck while you sleep; reduce fine lines and reverse the ageing process to a certain degree. They also hydrate the skin and keep it moist through the night. Plus, the active ingredients in the creams work better while your mind is relaxed and absorption is better.

How to apply

For maximum benefits from your night cream, wash your face before applying. If your skin is slightly damp, even better, as that aids absorption.
Dot the cream all over your face and gently massage in an upward direction.

Try not to rub too hard and if you are using an under eye cream, leave that area. Otherwise, between the night cream and the under eye gel, you will be overdoing it and might end up with puffy eyes.

One fact to keep in mind is that to see results and know if the cream is working for you, give it at least eight weeks. If your skin is visibly better then continue using it for maximum benefits.

Minnal is a senior writer and editor. Her forte is lifestyle journalism, art, food, beauty and travel writing
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