Our beauty editor Anna recommends six overnight products for some seriously effective beauty sleep
We spend around one-third of our lives asleep. You could call it a pure waste of time, or, to quote renowned German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, you could say: “I can sleep when I’m dead.”
What nonsense! Luckily, it has long been scientifically proven that a good night’s sleep is the most basic component to keeping our bodies healthy. Those who sleep well rarely get sick, have a better memory, and even keep weight gain at bay. For this reason, good sleep is now regarded as a luxury, something to be optimized with special sleep apps and invested in with a quality mattress and a thought-out evening beauty routine. Sleep begs to be utilized to the fullest.
My own personal goodnight ritual begins with a bath and a cup of tea to come down and ends with a few effective overnight products that help me wake up more refreshed the next morning. I see it this way: If there’s no time during the day for extensive home spa treatments, they can simply be shifted to the night (extra-long application time included).
The Nighttime Care Trio
Beauty sleep is no myth: Our body releases a growth hormone when we sleep that caters to skin regeneration. That’s why you can spot a bad night a mile off – and dark circles and an ashy complexion are only the least of your worries. A continual lack of sleep will lead to thinning of the skin, and that means premature aging.
In addition to getting in an adequate number of hours, a good evening care routine is essential and I recently discovered a serum that probably has the longest-running reputation in the world: Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II by Estée Lauder. As I found out later, a friend of mine has sworn by this serum for ages, the first version of which was launched in 1982. Nine bottles are sold worldwide per minute – that’s quite a blockbuster.
What makes the serum’s current formula so special is something they call “ChronoluxCB” technology. The active ingredient behind it is an amino acid sequence that supports nightly cell renewal and restores balance to the skin’s reparative mechanisms, which can get out of step due to environmental factors like UV radiation or emotional stress. In addition to algae and yeast extracts, the serum is also enriched with high-dose hyaluronic acid and a range of antioxidants.
I love the idea that such ingredients are working full blast on my skin long after I’ve fallen into a peaceful slumber. Now when I look at the unvarnished truth in the mirror early in the morning, my skin actually looks more even and a little bit firmer, too. What’s more, I like the scent, which isn’t typically “perfumed,” but rather smells a little tangy. It’s also oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores.
Why I didn’t try Advanced Night Repair earlier, I don’t know. My friend who uses it has the most perfect skin of anyone – I would love to offer photographic proof. But now we’ve found each other, the brown bottle and me. And if your skin is in need of some extra nourishment due to dry, heated winter air, I can recommend adding the Revitalizing Supreme Plus Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme by Estée Lauder, which contains moringa extract as well as various vitamins and minerals that give a boost to your skin’s nightly regeneration.
The last step in my care trio is currently the eye cream from the same line, the Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix. Unfortunately, I often neglected this area in the past – the fine skin around the eyes is where you’ll most quickly see the long hours on the computer, stress, and fatigue. So, the extra minute before bedtime is worth it!
Beautiful Hair, Overnight
The Overnight to Gorgeous Hair mask by Grow Gorgeous is a relatively new discovery. It repairs and strengthens the hair structure with moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, mushroom and tamarind extracts, as well as acai and palm oils. The gel-like mask is massaged into dry hair in the evening and washed out the next morning. To avoid a mess on your sheets, I highly recommended placing a towel over your pillow. My brittle hair has felt beautifully soft, healthy, and weightless ever since. Another plus point is the lavender scent, which makes you nice and sleepy right before bed.
Fall Asleep Better
I’ve never had problems falling asleep. Put me down, turn me on my side – I’m gone. But when I sprayed the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray by British cult brand This Works on my pillow for the first time, I understood why many people so appreciate this extra help: Essential oils of lavender, patchouli, and vetiver have an enormously calming effect. Now when I smell this scent in my bedroom before slipping under the covers, any thoughts of the next day’s to-do list are shooed straight off.
Sleep Better Through the Night
There are some things that encourage deep sleep: a cool, dark bedroom, for example, as well as a fixed bedtime. As you know, your laptop and smartphone should be banned from the bedroom, as the display’s blue light wavelength sends “wake up” signals to the brain and inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. I often have to get a hold of myself so that I don’t scroll through unanswered emails or Instagram. But my sleep is much better now that I read more in bed (currently: Sieben Nächte by Simon Strauss, which is great!).
What also helps is a sleep mask. For some people, this may sound a little weird – after all, we humans do possess two eyelids, both of which can be easily closed. But the extra darkness makes slipping into relaxation mode even quicker and also ensures a deeper sleep. My favorite is the Anti Ageing Eye Mask by Holistic Silk, which is filled with lavender and therefore also serves as aromatherapy. Another plus: Silk not only feels wonderfully cool and soft against the skin – it also prevents wrinkles because silk does not take any moisture away from the skin, as is the case with cotton.
For even better beauty sleep, the next logical step would be a pillowcase made of silk or satin. But I’m not ready for that yet. I love my linen sheets too much.
Anna Bok was born and raised in Berlin. After stops in Freiburg and Florence, she made her way to Hamburg in 2007 to study journalism and art history – where she stayed and worked as a freelance journalist with various publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Blonde. She’s now returned to Berlin after nearly 10 years in the Hanseatic City. When Anna isn’t writing about beauty, fashion, or traveling, you’ll often find her on her yoga mat (recommendations for studios in Berlin welcome!).