Do You Need An Overnight Moisturizer?

Dr. Hal Simeroth Answers Your Questions

After the launch of our new Hydro-Plus Overnight Moisturizer, I was inundated with questions about what makes an overnight moisturizer unique and whether or not it’s truly necessary to use a specific moisturizer for nighttime. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to use a product that takes advantage of that specific time at night when the body renews and regenerates. Here are some of the most common questions I get – and the answers to them – about overnight moisturizers.

Why should I use an overnight moisturizer?

Scientific research has shown that new skin cells grow faster while you sleep, so a good evening facial routine should be a high priority to take advantage of this renewing cycle. At night, the goal is to repair damage caused by the day’s pollution, sun and stress. Additionally your skin loses more water during the night’s sleep (especially if you have had a glass of wine or two). Using a good night moisturizer will take advantage of this time of repair and renewal, plus provide the needed hydration to keep your facial skin from drying out during the night.

What is special about an overnight moisturizer versus a daytime moisturizer?

As you sleep, skin, like the rest of the body, does the majority of its repairing, restoring and regenerating. A good night cream should be designed to focus on repair, recovery and hydration. Overnight moisturizers will contain the most powerful emollients and humectants, which are known to penetrate into the skin more slowly than a daytime moisturizer. Thus night moisturizers usually have more occlusive, thicker emollients than daytime moisturizers. This does not mean, however, that a good nighttime moisturizer has to be greasy. Since exfoliation is important while sleeping, a nighttime moisturizer should have a rich concentration of good natural exfoliants, while daytime moisturizers usually have less. Since there is no sun exposure at night, a nighttime moisturizer has no need for sunscreen. But to properly take advantage of the repair and renew cycle of sleep, a nighttime moisturizer should have a richer concentration of anti-aging ingredients than a daytime moisturizer.

What are 1 – 3 key ingredients that people should look for in an overnight moisturizer?

Obviously an overnight moisturizer should have outstanding emollients and humectants that work over a long period of time. Look for ingredients like shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, argan oil, carrot oil, squalane, plus amino acids, plant glycoproteins and saccharides, and the natural moisturizing factors (NMF) in the skin of time-released hyaluronic acid, sodium lactate and PCA. Additionally, it should have outstanding effective, but gentle, exfoliants such as multiple fruit enzymes and natural retinol. It should have a rich suite of antioxidants and other pollution removing actives to repair the day’s environmental exposure, and a broad complex of renewing anti-aging actives to take advantage of the sleep renewal cycle. Look for ingredients like Niacinamide, peptides for collagen building, plant stem cell derivatives for enhanced epidermal production and natural human stem cell derivatives (growth factors, cytokines and helping peptides) for increased epidermal cell production and collagen growth. An added bonus are actives that tighten and firm the skin, such as sea algae extract, green, black and white tea extracts and gotu kola extract.

What is the optimal way to apply an overnight moisturizer?

As you prepare for bed, gently cleanse your face with a good hydrating cleanser or facial wash. Twice a week, use a natural facial scrub in place of your normal cleanser for mechanical exfoliation. Follow cleansing with a toner to help balance pH levels, and a treatment product that is specific to your skin concerns. After this, apply the overnight moisturizer to your face and neck. If you use eye serum, apply that after the moisturizer.

What makes Stemology’s Hydro-Plus Overnight Moisturizer different than other overnight moisturizers on the market?

For Stemology products, moisturizing the skin means:
  1. Increasing water holding capacity,
  2. Increasing lipids in the Stratum Corneum (SC),
  3. Preventing water loss to the external environment, and
  4. A recently discovered process which, unlike traditional humectants that draw moisture from the environment, adds hydration directly to the skin cells through the use glycoproteins and saccharides, which act to maintain intracellular water levels and help prevent damage do to environmental stressors such as UV radiation and oxidation.
Each of these four tactics play a part in maintaining the proper water and lipid balance for healthy skin. And each of these four functions is provided in Stemology’s Hydro-Plus Overnight Moisturizer. Have a question about overnight moisturizers that I didn’t cover here? Leave it in the comments, and I’ll get back to you with an answer.