Forget super serums and skin boosters – the latest trend and must have in your anti ageing routine is an overnight ‘miracle’ cream.
Designed to mimic the look of a good night’s sleep, so you wake up looking years younger these new night time products are specially formulated to heal and improve the skin while you sleep. Called sleep creams, overnight masks or just simply night creams, they all sound a dream – but can these sleep in a jar skin innovations actually deliver better skin overnight?
The beauty industry thinks so with everyone from designer brands to high street stores launching overnight treatment products to help you make the most of your beauty sleep.
And there is good science behind them. During sleep, growth hormones are released as skin cells regenerate and undo any damage caused by environmental stressors encountered during the day. In fact between midnight and 4am our skin is in a constant state of repair.
Whilst there is little published data on exactly how skin repairs itself as we sleep we know that skin temperature rises when you sleep, allowing these new topical treatments to penetrate the skin more effectively than they do during the day. We also know from research that inadequate sleep can reduce the skin’s ability to retain water and regenerate causing premature ageing.
Whilst there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep, if you want to give your anti ageing routine a boost forget the Ovaltine and join the night shift, here’s how.


The main difference between a day cream and a night cream is the ingredients they contain. Day creams are lighter in texture and will generally moisturise and protect the skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays (with SPF 15 or higher), have anti ageing benefits and will form a good base under make up. Night creams on the other hand are designed to work specifically at night working overtime to deliver the essentials skin needs to make the most of your sleeping hours.
Thicker in texture, they usually contain more nourishing and active ingredients to stimulate cell renewal, restore skin’s elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A good night creams should include ingredients like retinol to reverse photo aging, hydrating ingredients to nourish the face, hyaluronic acid to plump out the skin, peptides to fight aging and antioxidants to protect the skin from damage. The bottom line – if you are happy with your daily moisturiser there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still use it at night but if you aren’t getting enough good quality sleep, and you skin suffers, it is worth investing in one of the new sleeping beauties. Here’s our pick of the new overnight sensations;

*Marks and Spencer new Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream (£22) promises to give your skin eight hours or sleep every night – or at least look like it did.
Packed with active ingredients, including anti-wrinkle peptides, moisture –boosting hyaluronic acid and skin-brightening actives, this overnight cocktail works by slowly releasing ingredients while you sleep making skin look revived and radiant by the morning, Bold claims but during tests, 71 per cent agreed that skin appeared less tired after two weeks of use. Our tester agreed. After having a restless night, she said she still woke up glowing!

*Elemis Biotec Skin Energising Night Cream £85 contains zinc and copper and helps maintain energy levels in skin cells leaving skin refreshed, glowing and deeply hydrated.

*Origins Limited Edition BCA Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (£23 origins available 1st October), regenerating and replenishing this ultra rich sleeping mask contains Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oil to repair skin’s barrier plus it has a feel good factor, too – £4 from the purchase price of every mask sold is donated to Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)

To get the best out of your night cream;
*Focus on your skin concern – whether it’s acne or wrinkles there’s a product to suit you.
* Cleanse skin thoroughly so your skin is ready to absorb the maximum benefits from the ingredients.
* Massage your cream into your skin and allow at least five minutes before you jump into bed – you want it on your face not the pillow.

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