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Why Nighttime Is The Right Time For Skin Rejuvenation

By Alison McGill

The restorative powers of sleep are truly incredible. It helps our body repair and restore from the day it had, and helps the brain and mind rest and prepare for the day ahead. Research shows our brain’s drainage system—the glymphatic system—washes toxins from our brains primarily through the night which is why after a good night sleep you feel so refreshed.

The overnight sleep cycle is also a healing and restorative time for our skin. According to research done by Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, the skin’s peak rejuvenation cycle is between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am, with what they deem the golden hour of cellular activity occurring between 12:00 am and 1:00 am. This is when the highest intensity of cell regeneration occurs and the time when nighttime serums seriously get to work.

To learn more about the sleep cycle and its impact on our skin, we recently spoke to Caroline Nègre, the international scientific director and spokesperson for YSL Beaute. Read on for her thoughts about overnight skin transformations, what people are looking for most with skincare today, and how to layer your skincare potions and lotions to achieve maximum effectiveness.

How has the skincare game changed during the past year?
“It has become biggest beauty story. People have had time to invest in themselves, and more time to look after their skin. We observed this happening early in the pandemic with a dramatic increase and interest for our skincare products.”

Is there a product that has become a particular hit?
“We launched the YSL Pure Shots Collection last year which is a lineup of products designed to specifically and aggressively treat skin issues like fine lines, skin texture and fatigue. Pure Shots Night Reboot Serum quickly became a top seller. Applied before bedtime this serum literally transforms skin—it’s noticeably renewed, radiant and restored upon waking. Its efficacy is grounded in two key ingredients: glycolic acid and moonlight cactus which is grown in YSL’s Ourika Community Gardens in Marrakesh. The cactus has a flower which blooms for one night only between July and August and we harvest it’s powerful regenerating essence at that time.”

What is today’s top skin concern?
“Tiredness is far and away the most important issue. People want to look fresh, rested, renewed and have skin with an energized glow. Products like our night serum are designed to specifically address this problem.”

Do you recommend switching up your skincare products with the seasons?
“It is so important to do this. Your skin has different needs according to what your current climate is—products are not necessarily a fit for you all year long. Switch things up as needed. In the summer you will want to choose lighter creams and serums; in colder months you will need increased hydration.”

We love a multi-step skincare regime but would love your expertise to tell us what order to apply our products in.
“Of course I love the big product routine! After cleansing—or double cleansing if you have been wearing heavier makeup—apply lotion to awaken and plump skin. Follow with your serum, then apply an oil for extra nutrition. I like to mix my oil into my moisturizer, or you can apply them separately. On top of that goes your UV protection, then you are ready for makeup.”

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