Asking around I see that this is a dividing issue. Firstly, a division between those that don’t use anything (usually blokes) who think it’s all a load of mumbo jumbo and sneer at the question, let alone the idea. However, their faces have an advantage (see the posts about men’s skin vs women’s skin) so I’ll ignore them (until later when they look like a rat catcher’s kit bag and then, oh then, how I will laugh…) The remaining group are those that do apply some kind of unguents to themselves but the amount, the dedication and the differing products is astounding. They do pretty much divide into two groups, however, the ones who sling a single or maybe two products on, and those of you to whom there can never be too many lotions and potions…oh that’s me too! But, of course, I do it for research purposes you understand…
There’s a cream for this and a cream for that…my bathroom cabinet looks like a low rent boutique! So, are these specific creams and potions really worth their price tag and marketing budget or is it all a load of old manufacturers hype?
During the day your face is subjected to UV, pollution, weather and perhaps make-up too (even your stress levels affect your skin), so day creams are designed to combat this, giving protection and support. They are light and easily absorbed and contain SPF, some kind of antioxidant usually, and then a host of possible extra items to add a host of possible extra benefits. It is this latter part that is the questionable one. There is no doubt that SPF and antioxidants (like vitamin C and E) are useful in these creams but beware the hype on the other stuff. It’s best, as ever, to look into the claims and cross check them as much as you can. A good example of this is the inclusion of AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acids) as this can, as with retinoids, make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Some would then recommend a sunscreen to counteract it, but the combination of these products with others makes them far less effective. A day cream loaded with things that you would be better off using at night isn’t really worth the extra cash is it?
When you’re asleep the body takes the opportunity to do some work it has not had time for whilst you’ve been awake and demanding it’s attention. Regeneration and repair is on the agenda and the night cream you use should reflect this. Night creams should be loaded with heavier, slow absorbing moisturisers and the additives that are unsuitable for daylight exposure like the glycolic acid and retinoids mentioned. Then these moisturising and anti-ageing compounds have the uninterrupted hours of sleep to get to work and do their thing.
What happens if you only use one? Or you get confused and use the wrong cream at the wrong time of the day (we’ve all been there…darn those work’s parties)? Well, not much actually. Night creams will make you feel greasier during the day (you can always wash it off and start again, right?) and day creams might not give your skin the full pampering during the night…maybe you have oilier skin and don’t need it…! The key thing is to be protected from the sun during the day (although read the post about vitamin D) and allow the weather, your skin type and your budget to decide the product.
I’d say the day cream is ultimately more important than the night cream if you don’t want, or can’t afford, both OR find an all-round product. This may not have SPF so you may need to use some sunscreen additionally, or perhaps it’s in the foundation you use etc. Factor all these elements in, research a bit (especially your skin type) and ask around your friends. Go to the local main purveyors of these dream creams and ask questions – anyone who follows my ramblings will know I’m a bugger for a department store and this is when they are most useful! Ask the lovelies on the counters and do not just go with the first pitch of rhetoric! Play them off and find the one that sounds right for you, but most importantly, get samples! Try stuff! It’s an important purchase so get the right one for you. Nothing worse than splashing out on something and then hating it…!
I think we had better look into eye creams too, huh? And the sticky question of creams vs serums…
That’s next…so see you soon.