[ SKIN SOLUTIONS ] The Golden Hour

Have you ever heard the term “beauty sleep” thrown around whenever people talk about getting some shut eye at night? Well, studies show that going to sleep can improve your physical appearance, as there are proven results showing that sleeping at a certain time can give you a boost in overall health and glow to your complexion the morning after. This time of the night, is called the Golden Hour, and here I’ll discuss how certain times of the night can affect your skin health for the following day. This was initially a Q&A question submitted in by one of my readers, and now has become a dedicated post. CONGRATULATIONS!

During the night, when you fall asleep, your skin undergoes a strong cycle of cell regeneration and repairing to recondition or reform the skin texture. It is noted that the longer you sleep, the more your skin can heal, but it is essential that we prepare our skin for repairing by tending to our skin’s needs through cleansing and nightly care. All dermatologists, no matter whether they focus their studies on Western beauty or Asian beauty, will tell you that cleansing and tending to your skin in the night is possibly the utmost important steps to take in order to achieve flawless looking skin.

By sleeping for 7 to 9 hours a night, you feel more beautiful, and you can actually look more beautiful too. During your most deepest sleep, your body produces growth hormones that increase the process of regeneration, boosts collagen levels in the skin for tighter and youthful skin and proteins for skin strengthening to boost your immunity to infections, acne problems and skin deterioration. However, tending to your skin should be applied during the hours of the golden hour to maximize your skin’s output of all the goodies to wake up the most beautiful.

Korean people in particular claim that between 10PM and 2AM every night are when your cells from head to toe are at it’s  peak to regenerate, so it’s advised that you start any care from the moment it hits 10PM and you should fall asleep no later than 12AM at night. With a minimum of 2 hours rest during the golden hour, it is shown that those who sleep during the golden hour have clearer, brighter and more supple skin apposed to those who disregard the golden hour.

So how exactly should you cleanse your skin to reap the benefits of the golden hour? Here are my little tips to wake up with more flawless skin.

1) Proper skin cleansing

The moment it reaches 10PM, start removing all your makeup in preparation for your usual cleanser. I advise in using oil based cleansers, or an oil &water hybrid cleanser to effectively break down all traces of makeup, and unclog pores for a cleaner face prior to using your cleanser. When you use oil based products, the oil molecules are able to cling to all the dirt, makeup residues and any pollutants inhabiting your skin surface and deep into the pores so when you go to wash your skin, your pores become unclogged, dirt free and enlarged before you wash your face. Simply massage your face with an oil cleanser, focusing on the areas with the most heaviest makeup and around your largest pores to rid yourself from all the toxins and waste matter that can damage the skin.

Once your skin is clean, follow with a cleanser of your choice depending on your skin type and needs. Make sure to leave your face damp after washing away the oil cleanser using warm water to ensure your pores have opened up. Lather the cleanser into a thick foam and gently buff at your skin, focusing on following your skin texture, and in small circles, focus the cleanser along your pores to effectively clean your skin. Wash with warm water, and follow with cold water to constrict your pores.

Depending on whether you need to or not, you can follow with a wash off mask to target specific skin problems. If you use a mask, don’t wash your face with cold water until the mask has been removed with warm water. If you use an exfoliator, it is best to use it at night to shed all the dead skin cells off your face to prevent clogged pores during the night. That way, when you sleep, your skin can repair and strengthen the new skin that is revealed after exfoliating.

2) Toning

While your face is damp (not soaking wet and not completely dry) apply your toner to your skin by using either your hands or a gentle cotton pad, and follow your skin texture. By leaving your face damp, the water acts as a catalyst to help lock in hydration into your skin, rather than drying out your face. If you have a First Treatment essence, use this before your toner. There are also two different types of toners, so keep in mind to use the type of toner catered for your skin. Cleansing toners are usually thinner in consistency and work to cleanse your skin from any residual waste matter that may be sitting on your skin’s surface even after double cleansing. Hydrating toners run a little bit thicker and really soak into your skin well with boosted hydration care than cleansing toners do.

Toners are also more than likely to be pH balanced and help to recalibrate your skin back to optimal pH levels to reduce irritations and skin troubles. Skipping toner may be okay for some people, but for people like me, pH plays a huge role in the health of your skin, and without a good toner, your skin can shift too far up or down the pH levels and affect your skin in many different ways.

3) Essences, serums and ampoules

This is where most of your night care comes from. Essences, serums or ampoules, depending on what you get (and depending on whatever your brand refers to the product as) have highly concentrated ingredients to effectively target your skin troubles, especially during the night when your skin regenerates. Again, while your face is slightly damp from the toner, apply your serum to your face and allow the product to saturate your skin well. There isn’t a limit to how many essences or serums you can use, but keep in mind that not everyone works well with multiple layers on their face. It took me probably a year and a half to get used to a 12 or 13 step skincare routine without feeling like I lathered on 50 layers of crap on my face.

Some people, like me are too lazy to use these, but Asian skincare has taken serums into mask format, so using serum enriched sheet masks can help your skin absorb a huge quantity of serum in one go for a boost to your skin’s health and appearance. Leave it on for 15 or so minutes before ripping the mask off and patting your skin almost dry. It’s up to you if you want to follow up with other serums at your disposal but otherwise, these sheet masks are enough to skip serums out of your skincare whenever you use them.

4) Emulsions and moisturizers

Whatever you want to call them, it’s vitally important you moisturize after you apply your serums to lock in hydration, which prevents your pores from filling up with unneeded sebum. Moisturizing keeps your water to oil balance in check so by adding a huge dosage of hydration, you’re essentially cutting down on sebum levels in your skin. Keeping your skin hydrated can also reduce the likelihood of premature aging, and prevent scaly skin as you get older.

5) Eye and lip creams

Other than your neck, your eyes generally age faster than any other part of your body, so take note in keeping those areas well hydrated as well. Since we often miss out on hydrating our three O areas (eyes and lips, where we generally don’t cleanse or apply products) using an eye cream during the night will prevent crows feet, oily or parched eye areas and reduces the appearance of dark circles or swelling. Your lips also need some care too, as our lips will regenerate during the night. Apply lip balm or lip masks before you sleep for supple, soft and more plump looking lips whilst tackling any aging damages caused through environmental means.

6) Creams and sleeping masks

This isn’t vital, but some people will go the extra step in hydrating by using night creams and sleeping packs to boost the hydration levels even more. Most of the time, they work to add an extra level of moisturizing to your skin care, but also give your skin the added boost to make your skin elastic, promote the acid mantle function and fend off aging factors. Sleeping masks are more heavier than creams are and should be used every few days in conduction with night creams. Sleeping packs sometimes also work by using aromatherapy to help calm you whilst you sleep, in order to reduce stress levels that can inhibit the repairing state of your body whilst in deep sleep.

Did you know that your mind is also connected to your body function? Your skin won’t become any more beautiful when you’re not sleeping. It is known that sleeping a good amount every night reduces stress; sleep can relax you. Things like rosacea, eczema and acne tend to flare up when you’re stressed, particularly if your mind is not in a good state, so sleeping shuts off the emotional part of the brain which relaxes you, and in turn, improves your skin condition over the resting period. Think of it as a bodily reset for the day, to reboot and improve by the morning.

There are three extra tips I wanted to share with you that can help improve your skin over night. When you have completed your skincare, you should try and go to sleep before 12AM so you get at least 2 hours of golden hour in your resting time.

1) Sleep on your back

Sleeping on your side can actually promote fine lines and wrinkles to form on your face, since gravity can play a huge role in how your skin appears over time. By sleeping on your back, your body weight is shifted evenly so the effects of gravity aren’t as apparent. There is an old wives tale saying that “sleeping on silk pillows make your skin more beautiful” however there is no proof that silk pillows help in any way whatsoever. Sleeping on your side using a silk pillow will still force your body weight to shift unevenly, thus increasing the likelihood of premature aging.

2) Massage your extremities

Your hands and feet are probably the most impotent areas of your body to tend to. Your hands and feet are the extremities of your body that are most affected by heat and cold, so tending to your hands and feet will keep your skin looking better during the golden hour. By massaging your hands in particular, you’re shifting heat evenly through your body, which can help you to either warm up (which improves hydration care) or cool down (which improves pore size and sebum output). Don’t forget to moisturize your hands and feet as well.

3) Keep your hair loose

Some people swear by tying their hair up whilst sleeping to keep their hair healthier, but studies show that tying your hair up can actually affect the hair follicles. Your hair follicles become stressed when your hair is tied, clipped or pulled back for long periods of time, which makes your hair thinner, more brittle and prone to falling out. Not only that, but tying your hair up can have adverse results in your skin, forcing your face to stretch which can ultimately lead to sagging in the future.

I’m thinking of new ways to end my posts because I find my endings very boring. Do I link  my social networking sites to my posts like my Facebook Page or my other SNS sites? Do I ask you questions like how your skin reacts during the night, or whether you sleep at certain times of the night to maximize your skin’s appearance the morning after? I’ll think of a good ending soon enough, that’ll become somewhat like a signature for all my future posts. If you’re reading this, shouldn’t you be asleep now? I’ll end it here so you can get some shut eye.

Anthony signing out.


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