A whole eight hours of sleep a night is a pipe dream for most Londoners - a fact which isn’t only reflected in our caffeine consumption but on our faces too.
We all know we should be getting it and we’d all like a little bit more of it. Fortunately for the time-poor and sleep-deprived, the beauty industry is providing powerhouse products aimed at making you look well-rested, even if you don’t feel it.
And most of the magic happens at midnight - beauty’s new power hour - thanks to a host of specialised products and services targeted towards ensuring your skin is in maximum rest-and-recovery mode during this key time in your sleep cycle.
“The circadian rhythm governs the skin’s behaviour over a 24-hour period,” says Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza, founder of the cult namesake luxury skincare brand from Budapest.
“It is the reason our skin is in a protective state during the day, defending against UV damage and environmental stress. At night our skin goes into repair mode, sloughing away dead skin cells, regenerating new cells and restoring any damage we have encountered during the day.”
In order to keep your circadian rhythm balanced - regardless of how many late nights you’ve clocked up - Omorovicza is due to launch its new Midnight Radiance Mask in conjunction with a Midnight Menu at the Spa at Four Seasons Park Lane which is designed to reset your sleep patterns.
“Sleep is essential for the body to detoxify and allows the nervous system to recuperate,” agrees renowned facialist and aromatherapist Alexandra Soveral.
“Undisturbed sleep is vital for the skin, as it is the last organ to be repaired overnight. We need, therefore, to sleep for long enough to give the body time to reach the skin.” But for times when an early night isn’t an option, there’s always her Midnight Oil - a favourite among the capital’s most dedicated night owls for its ability to boost the skin’s overnight regeneration process.
Here’s a four-step guide to turning the witching hour into your bewitching hour.
Book into the sleep spa
Omorovicza’s Midnight Menu at the Four Seasons spa is only available between 4pm and 9pm - when the body’s circadian rhythm begins to switch to night mode - and is designed to prepare the mind, body and skin for the best night’s sleep of your life.
Each treatment starts with a back massage, followed by one of five 30-minute facials - the deep cleansing Detoxifier, soothing Restorer, energising Revitaliser, nourishing Hydrator or the Brightener. You have the choice to add-on two 10-minute enhancers - an eye cooler, neck lift, face soother (using rose quartz wands), feet relaxer or a warm oil scalp massage.
A final application of its Midnight Radiance Mask is left on to work its magic overnight. All you have to do is try not to fall asleep on the Tube on your way home. (Available until Sept 14; £150 for 60 mins. To book, call 020 7319 5480)
Invest in a night-time SPF
No sooner had we wrapped our minds around the concept that we should be putting on sunscreen every day - even when it’s not sunny - along comes an SPF we have to put on at night as well.
Of course, this one doesn’t protect against UV rays but so-called “silent assaults” which attack the skin while you sleep.
NIOD’s new Survival 0 - dubbed an “APF” (Assault Protection Factor) - is a lightweight night serum containing a smorgasbord of advanced technologies which promise to target toxic radicals, including superoxide, nitrogen and carbonyl, as well as sugar-induced glycation and other ageing aggressors from the day such as pollution and stress.
It contains a fractionated melanin to protect against the HEV blue light omitted from your phone, if you’re having trouble switching off. (£20, niod.com)
Burn the midnight oil
“Bombarding the skin with synthetic chemical-based cosmetics is only going to make it harder for the skin to regenerate,” says Soveral. “Keep it simple - good vitamins, antioxidants and nourishment is all it needs.”
Case in point, her cult Midnight Oil (£41, alexandrasoveral.co.uk) contains nothing but the finest natural ingredients to support the skin’s regeneration process.
Lemon oil reinvigorates muscular tone and decongests toxins; fennel seed adds phytoestrogens to encourage collagen production; and evening primrose, rich in gamma linolenic acid, protects and strengthens.
This Works’s new No Wrinkles Midnight Moisture (£46, thisworks.com) also promises to accelerate the skin’s repair mechanisms and erase signs of tiredness, while other perfect sleeping partners include Kiehl’s botanical Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£38, kiehls.co.uk) and Sunday Riley’s retinol-rich Luna Sleeping Oil (£45, cultbeauty.co.uk).
The latter also offers a Blue Moon Tranquillity Cleansing Balm (£46) which contains blue tansy and sweet orange oils to help you wash away the day without upsetting your complexion’s equilibrium.
Have a night cap
…and I don’t mean a stiff whisky.
A world away from your average night cap, Moon Juice’s Sleep Dust is pegged as “organic and wildcrafted edible rest”, containing an adaptogenic blend of calming superherbs and chamomile flower to help alleviate the effects of stress and tension and fast-track you to the land of nod.
Stir a spoonful into warm golden milk (with turmeric) before bed and double the dose after a particularly taxing day. (£25, cultbeauty.co.uk)
The Article was published on https://www.standard.co.uk/