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Why Is Face Moisturizer So Important at Night?

Target overnight skin dryness and create an overnight skincare routine.

If, like clockwork, you wake up in the morning to skin that appears dry and dull, it’s not just your imagination: Skin dryness really can happen as you’re sleeping. Your skin naturally loses some of its moisture overnight, which is why a strategic nighttime skincare routine, including a good face moisturizer, is essential.

While you’re asleep, there’s a lot going on with your skin. We’ll start with the good news: Skin cells go into repair mode at night, recovering from the damage incurred during the daytime. At the same time, though, skin also loses moisture, which may lead to skin dryness in the morning.

Everyone experiences this overnight moisture loss, regardless of skin type; it’s just your body’s circadian rhythm at work. Based on the conducted study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, at night, your skin barrier tends to have reduced function, meaning it’s more permeable — and therefore it’s easier for molecules to pass in and out. It’s so permeable, in fact, that evidence shows that trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL, tends to be higher in the evening than during the daytime.

TEWL means that the moisture within your skin evaporates, which not only leaves skin dry but has other effects too. Moisture loss through the skin barrier can also have an impact on the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

With that in mind, the best nighttime skincare routine is one that includes multiple moisturizing products with ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Hyaluronic acid, for the uninitiated, is known as a humectant naturally produced by the body that draws in and retains water. Ceramides, meanwhile, are lipids that are naturally found within the skin barrier, where they help keep it fortified. An ideal moisturizer for dry skin will have some combination of lipids and humectants.

Source: Lancôme