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The best time of day to apply your skincare products

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Ever wondered why that cream everyone’s swearing by isn’t working for you? You just might not be applying it at the right time! Knowing what products suit your skin is only half the battle. When you apply them is equally important to get your best skin ever. Why? Because your skin follows a natural circadian 24-hour cycle that’s influenced by your hormone levels, environmental factors, exposure to sunlight and nightly regeneration of skin cells. Dermatologist and Cosmetologist, Dr. Anju Methil agrees. “Studies show that skin repairs itself most effectively between 10 p.m.-midnight so you should apply night creams just before that. Our bodies repair themselves at a cellular level when we sleep so you want to save your high-powered anti-aging products and retinoids for night times since they weaken in the sun.” Let’s follow the hourly cycle to find the best times to apply your serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, eye cream and more, to get your skin care routine back on track.
6 AM
Your skin is most sensitive first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up. Hormonal activity at this time is highest and can trigger an allergic reaction that could manifest as sensitivity, itching, redness or inflammation. This is the best time to use a soothing face wash like O3+ Hydrating & Soothing Face Wash or apply a calming formula like Fabindia Aloe Vera Soothing Gel.
8 AM - 9 AM
It’s common practice to go through the whole CTM routine, layering on multiple products including serums, moisturizers and hydrating sunscreens. In fact, your skin doesn’t need all this mositure—unless you have unusually dry skin. “Your skin produces sebum in the morning which naturally moisturizes it so you normally don’t need additional moisture,” says Methil. Instead, it’s more important to focus on slathering on a topical antioxidant to ward off free radical damage (Age Lock Vitamin C Booster Serum) and a sunscreen like Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+. This combination, says Dr. Methyl will protect skin from environmental stressors, pollution and sunlight.
This is when dreaded shine makes its appearance because the skin produces oil around midday as part of its protective cycle against UV rays. What you need to keep handy is facial blotting paper like NYX Professional Makeup Matte Blotting Paper. Remember not to rub at skin but dab lightly and firmly.
4 PM
If you work in an air conditioned office chances are your skin feels tight and dull because your moisturizer isn’t hydrating enough. “If you have dry skin, it’s a good idea to apply a light, non-oily but hydrating moisturizer or serum,” she says. Nykaa recommends The Face Shop White Seed Brightening Lotion and The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Serum. Don’t worry about shine because dry skin quickly absorbs the formula to look matte in no time.
This is the perfect time to apply your strongest, most powerful anti-aging ingredients because you don’t have to worry about protecting your skin from the sun, pollution, or harsh temperatures. “This means you can focus all your skin regenerating and wrinkle-fighting efforts on repair,” says Dr. Methil. Look for products that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Hyaluronic Acid, Antioxidants, Retinol, melanin controlling Kojic Acid or Vitamin C, and Peptides. Take you pick of Kaya Replenishing Night Cream, L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser X3 Night Cream Mask or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Of course it goes without saying that this must be preceded by proper cleansing and toning to allow your night cream to work its magic without any interference.
So what’s your daily skin care routine like? Write in and let us know!
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