How to Exfoliate in Your Sleep

How to Exfoliate in Your Sleep
by Truly Beauty

Come closer...we want to share a secret with you.

You know how you long for clear, smooth, radiant skin? Well, you just might be able to achieve it -- while you sleep! That's because exfoliation can happen without you needing to be draped over a sink. All you need is a formula powered by alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).

Alpha hydroxy acids are one of the most reliable exfoliating ingredients in modern skin care thanks to their brightening, fine line-fading abilities. Unlike regular face scrubs which need to be applied and then rinsed off, AHA-powered skincare products -- particularly serums and masks -- simply stay put and work their wonders.

Here's what you need to know about using glycolic acid, lactic acid, or another member of the AHA family while you snooze.


Why PM Exfoliation Matters 

There's a reason dermatologists urge you to exfoliate regularly. It's because it's essential for keeping pores clear, blemishes away, dullness diminished, and products working optimally. 

Through the day, your skin is bombarded with environmental stressors and impurities like dirt, oil, and free radicals. Exfoliating your skin at night ensures that you remove all that dirt, oil, and grime for a thorough cleanse. It's even more important if you're wearing sunscreen or makeup, which can clog your pores if you don't remove them properly before going to bed.

Not only that, exfoliating in the evening can make your skincare products work better. From your antioxidant-loaded serums to your collagen-infused lotions, products penetrate more effectively when your skin is freshly cleansed and exfoliated. That's because exfoliating dissolves dead skin cells on the surface, enabling other products to sink in deeper and ultimately, perform better.

And finally, skin rejuvenates the most during sleep. That means you can soak up all the benefits of your oils, masks, and night creams in your slumber.


How Alpha Hydroxy Acids Help

Alpha hydroxy acids are great for removing the outer layer of dead skin to reveal brighter, smoother, and clearer skin. For sensitive skin types, they're a gentler alternative to scrubs which can irritate the skin. 

According to the derms, AHAs help even skin tone, reduce discoloration, and boost the skin's natural production of collagen to diminish fine lines and increase firmness. 

Glycolic acid is one of the most popular AHAs and praised for its ability to deeply penetrate the skin and provide effective exfoliation. You'll usually find this ingredient in anti-aging products and in-office chemical peels. 

Another great exfoliator that's slightly gentler than glycolic acid is lactic acid. In addition to spurring cell turnover, lactic acid can help decongest clogged pores as well as hydrate and support the skin barrier. That means it can be helpful in preventing breakouts and treating dry skin. 

Other AHAs include citric acid and malic acid, which are considered the gentlest of the family due to their larger molecular size. These acids work their best when combined with their stronger family members such as lactic and glycolic acid.


Can All Skin Types Benefit?

Most people can use alpha hydroxy acids -- even people with sensitive skin. Unlike active ingredients like retinol which repair skin by triggering inflammation, AHAs dissolve the top layer of skin cells to kick-start repair. Saying that, avoid rushing in and using too much or too many at once. It can take several days for irritation to show up, so it's a good idea to approach them wisely to save yourself from redness, itching, and possible peeling.

All in all, AHAs are definitely worthy of a place in your beauty routine. However, start by using them 2-3 times a week and then upping it to once every couple of days. Some people see great benefits from using AHAs nightly, while others see the best results when they use them once every 2-3 nights.

Experts say the only skin type that might want to steer clear of AHAs is dry skin. Surprisingly, it's due to their humectant abilities. AHAs hydrate the skin by removing moisture from within which can create a drier skin environment over time in dry skin types. You can use them, but sparingly.


A Skincare Routine for Overnight Exfoliation

Want to try exfoliating in your sleep? Here's a night time skincare regimen to prep and exfoliate skin so you can wake up with a dewy, glowing complexion. 


#1: Cleanse

To achieve true beauty sleep, cleanse away the day's dirt and product buildup so your exfoliating serum can absorb better into your skin. You can use your daily face wash or a vitamin C formulated cleanser like Truly's Super Matcha Facial Cleanser. This cleanser dissolves dirt and oil without removing your skin's natural oils for a refreshing cleanse. You can also follow up with a gentle toner if you like.


#2: Apply an AHA-Infused Serum, Oil, or Face Mask

Choose a formula that addresses your skin concerns and is suitable for your skin type. 

Want to target fine lines and wrinkles? Choose our Purple Rain Facial Oil, an anti-aging oil made with glycolic acid and retinol to speed cell turnover and plump out wrinkles and fine lines.

Want something to hydrate and brighten your complexion? Choose our Blueberry Kush CBD Oil, an illuminating face oil made with lactic acid, citric acid, and vegan collagen to rejuvenate the skin.

Alternatively, try an AHA-powered face mask like our Starface Jelly Sleep Mask. This overnight mask is powered with glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid to delete dullness so skin looks renewed. Thanks to retinol and vitamin C, this mask can also decrease the appearance of dark circles, ward off blemishes, and wake up tired skin.


#3: Finish with a Thin Layer of Moisturizer

Seal in all those active ingredients and nutrients with a thin layer of our hyaluronic acid-infused Cream Skin Face Moisturizer. Feel free to apply a thin layer of eye cream too if that's usually part of your routine. 

Now your skin's all done, crawl under your covers, drop a little lavender oil onto your pillow, and fall into a dreamy slumber while your skin starts the process of exfoliation. Sweet dreams! Sweet skin!



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