In a sea of tumultuous stress and activity, our nighttime ritual should be one to embrace. Now I used to indulge in a glass of red wine and wind down with a great movie, but as my evening routine became more all encompassing, I started replacing that vino with an evening sleepy time tea and an intense results-oriented ritual.
Although aging brings with it wisdom and intelligent decisions (mostly), the havoc it can reap upon our skin, bodies and hair can be alarming. Rather than buy into the constant onslaught of products out there that can fix just about anything (or at least it’s slogan claims to do so), I prefer to look at the science behind what should work and combine it into my research project of evening skin care. Amazingly enough, if you view the skin as the organ that it is and what is required to repair and heal it, anti-aging benefits can belong to all of us at a fraction of the cost.
I’m in no means an expert to the masses, but I can tell you what I’m doing and what works for me. Keep reading if you want to know more…
My journey into the science behind skin care happened a couple of years ago just after the Premiere of a comedy film I was the lead actress in, Who’s Jenna…? I was in New Jersey for a long weekend, followed by a couple of weeks in upstate New York. While I was in upstate New York, the unthinkable happened - a sizable zit.
Now zits in Los Angeles are a completely different story than in a smaller community - or so I found out. When something like this sprouts up when I’m home, there’s a multitude of avenues I can take to eradicate the unfriendly facial visitor in a day or two at best.
Going to the drug store, I was pretty appalled to find old fashioned zit creams and drying agents as the only recourse. Now sure, they can dry up and kill a zit in a few days to a week, but the resulting irritation and dryness can take two to three weeks to heal… this doesn’t work in my life!
The next step I took was to start calling facial spas and dermatologists… surely somebody could freeze this monster with liquid nitrogen, inject it with cortisone, or at the very least hit it with a blue light to kill the bacteria? Overwhelmingly, I was met with not just disbelief when I asked if any of these things were on their service menu, but at a couple of places, they outright laughed and proclaimed that it’s just a zit and would go away over time. Nobody would call me in a prescription for Doryx (a skin antibiotic) and when I had my doctor back home call it in, they didn’t even stock it. Laugh if you will, but I finally resorted to going to an urgent care (yes, we take zits very seriously as they do major damage to the cells), and was again met with head scratching. It seems that in a town of Auburn, New York, zits happen and people live with them. It was like being in a foreign country.
The “zit incident” combined with the recent onslaught of shooting films on 4K hit me with a sudden realization, my skin was going to have to be an even bigger priority - and I was going to have to research and learn to “do it myself” if I was going to continue to travel with work. Thus was the beginning of this journey…
As we all know, the skin is the largest organ in the body. It takes several products that all claim to be “the one” used in unison, as they all work in sync. Nighttime is the optimal time to focus on rejuvenating the skin as skin does the bulk of it’s repairing, restoring and regenerating while we sleep - while skin is in mitosis whether you’re actually sleeping or not.
Cleansing the skin and removing pollutants and debris (not to mention makeup) is always the first step. On days where I have the luxury of time, I use Intaglio Skin Care’s Therapeutic Cleanser as it removes all debris and dirt and feels gentle and nourishing. When in a hurry, Oil of Olay makes a Sensitive Skin Cleansing wipe that truly rocks... After using a toner to replace the PH balance in the skin (I love Intaglio Replenishing toner, but you can also try an affordable 50/50 mix of distilled water and apple cider vinegar), I believe in feeding the skin using either a luxurious Intaglio/Etiology Recovery Gel, or an affordable Hyaluronic Serum such as made by Advanced Clinicals. I personally don’t use creams, as serums feel more like feeding the skin - giving it nourishment.
A couple of times a week I use a Derma Roller, easily affordable from Amazon. Start off gently and increase pressure and intensity as your skin becomes accustomed to it. The two drawbacks of a derma roller (micro needling) I will get into in a minute, but these minor perforations in the skin work very similarly to going to the gym for your muscles… When we exercise we are pushing our muscles to the limit which creates tiny tears in the muscles and as they heal they become stronger (that’s really the philosophy in a nutshell). When you stamp (I started out by using Nurse Jamie’s Beauty Stamper, which I will also bookmark in my Amazon list - a much gentler approach and a good way to start), or roll, you are creating tiny tears too small for the naked eye to see - which as they repair themselves and heal increase collagen production, repair minor scarring and fine wrinkles. Stimulating the skin to increase its collagen production can help repair aging and sun damaged skin, reduce the appearance of scarring, and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The results from Derma Rolling and stamping during the last couple of years have far outweighed the over 60 expensive photo-facials I had many years prior - but there were two drawbacks. First, I oftentimes had a minor breakout following rolling - which I’m guessing was due to the same thing that created the results - minor tears in the skin which would also allow bacteria to grow on the skin no matter how well you cleaned the implements. Secondly, there was some burning and tenderness for a couple of days following the treatment. Both of these problems I’ve solved through trial and error…
Many companies make a light therapy mask to kill bacteria on the skin and to fight aging. One of these companies, Neutrogena, makes a very affordable version called their Light Therapy Acne Mask for a mere $29.97 available on Amazon. Light therapy uses blue light to target acne-causing bacteria and red light to reduce inflammation… Using this mask for 10 minutes after stamping or rolling was exactly what I needed to avoid the breakouts and the redness/inflammation.
The final product that is my current rave is the one thing that I hear so little about, even though it’s made the biggest difference in my skin: medical grade silicone. I started out by sampling a dozen or so of the silicone chest pads made for sleeping (I settled on the Decollete one made by Apricot, although I will warn you that the neck one does not stay in place…) This pad was a true game-changer as I watched the healing abilities before my very eyes. The hydration and collagen production along with the perfect healing environment created such a difference that I had to experiment with medical grade silicone on my face.
After weeks of experimentation involving pads that fell off, slipped off, and got stuck in my hair and sheets, I’ve come up with a medical grade silicone that you trim to fit where you want to use it, it stays put, and the results are amazing! It’s called Scar Out!, and it’s totally revolutionized the skin on my cheeks in under 2 months. It actually creates such a perfect environment for healing that when a small zit tried to sneak up on my nose the other night (Auburn nightmares come to mind) that I snipped a small piece of it and wore it on my nose overnight. Amazingly enough, the zit was gone by morning… enough said.
Lastly, in case you’re sipping your Sleepytime Tea and prepping your face for a nighttime of healing, anti-aging, and bliss, there’s a few other things that you might want to try for the rest of the body and skin.
Reserve makes a collagen replenishing powder that you can stir into a glass of water and it supports youthful skin from the inside out with Bioavailable collagen peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C. Seeing as nighttime is where you’re going to get the most rejuvenation of the skin, it’s best to ingest it before bedtime.
Castor oil is known not only for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it’s known due to it’s richness in omega 3 fatty acids to nourish the skin and stimulate healthy skin regeneration. It evens out skin tone, reduces the appearance of pigmentation spots and marks, softens and hydrates, and promotes the production of elastin and collagen. Bathe your entire body in castor oil for a night all the way down to your feet (socks will keep it from messing up the carpet while you get to your final resting place for the evening). I sleep drenched in this goodness every chance that I get.
Just in case you haven’t spent enough time in the bathroom preparing for your evening of beauty sleep, have you ever slept in what I call a sleeping corset?! Made of neoprene, these cinch in the waist area while you sleep not only enhancing your core temperature, but also supporting your back and core muscles while you sleep. Marketed as a Waist Trainer Corset, my favorite currently is made by Nebility on Amazon due to it’s availability in smaller sizes and it’s terrific bust support from the sides for a good nights sleep.
Now I realize that not everyone is on 4K cameras all the time, and I realize that not everyone wants to look like a siliconed/corseted up castor oiled human while they sleep. All that I can say is that if you try it once in a while, you will notice a huge difference. I think that I can now travel to Auburn once again without fear.
Thanks so much for spending time with me again, and I’ll be back in a few weeks to share more insights!