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Better skin while you sleep: The best overnight skin care treatments for winter

It turns out, beauty sleep isn’t just a cliche. While we sleep, our body replaces dead cells and restores new ones, keeping our skin radiant, hydrated, and clear.

In the winter, it’s arguably even more important to log hours of quality sleep and give our skin some extra TLC. The chillier air outside and drier air inside due to heat can wreak havoc on our skin. In the winter, you may notice an increase in dry, flaky skin or even lip eczema. In addition to pulling out hats, scarves, and gloves, you will want to have some go-to skincare products and routines you take out of hibernation during the cooler months.

You can maximize your beauty sleep by finding products that get to work while you’re catching some Zzzs. These overnight treatments for skin will keep your skin soft and smooth, even when the temperatures are harsh.

a beauty shot of a woman who is touching her chin
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What are overnight treatments?

As the name implies, overnight treatments help soothe, repair, and rejuvenate your body as you sleep. For example, some people put on a deep conditioner and wrap their hair, so their mane looks silky and healthy in the morning.

Overnight treatments for skin can do the same. Experts share that these treatments are usually different than standard night creams or serums. Ingredients may be more concentrated than typical night creams. Formulators often design the products to work with the body’s circadian rhythm, delivering key components to the skin at the optimal time.

Overnight treatments can help with a variety of conditions, including dryness and acne. When shopping, you’ll want to know your goals, so you can choose a product that best meets your needs.

What can I put on my skin for acne overnight?

Your skin produces more sebum, an oily substance, in the winter. Experts say this boost in sebum production can increase breakouts. You can reduce the risk of an unwanted morning surprise by finding products with these acne-fighting ingredients:

  • Tea tree oil. You may have heard tea tree oil can help treat flakiness on the scalp, but the essential oil may also help with acne. A 2016 review showed that tea tree oil could decrease the number of pimples in people with mild-to-moderate acne.
  • Mineral-rich clays and muds. Clays and muds may be the last ingredients you think of when you want to get rid of acne overnight, but science suggests they may be useful. The same 2016 review that pointed to the tea tree oil’s efficacy also found that people could use masks with clay minerals to treat blackheads and acne.
  • Benzoyl peroxide. The American Academy of Dermatology shared that applying a spot treatment with at least 2% benzoyl peroxide can help banish a pimple by morning. First, you’ll want to gently wash and pat dry the skin with a clean towel. Then, reduce inflammation by applying ice to the pimple for 5-10 minutes. Take a break and repeat. Finally, use the treatment.a beauty product in a white bottle on a white counter

How can I lock in moisture?

Dry skin is a typical winter problem and one that you can treat overnight. Look for these ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid. When applied topically, experts say hyaluronic acid helps your body hold onto moisture.
  • Ceramides. Ceramides are essential in helping the skin absorb moisture and protect the skin’s barrier, which the elements break down more easily in the winter. A 2020 study said that using products with ceramides could assist people who need help managing dry skin.
  • Shea butter. Emollients like shea butter contain fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that can help hydrate the skin.

Overnight treatments for skin work overtime to help us feel confident when we roll out of bed in the morning. Unlike typical night creams, overnight products often sync up with our body’s circadian rhythm to distribute ingredients at the best time for repair and rejuvenation. When shopping, you’ll want to find products with ingredients that best treat the condition you have. For example, ceramides and hyaluronic acid serve as moisturizers for the skin, while tea tree oil may zap zits while you’re sleeping. Other features to consider are fragrance and texture. You may prefer something heavier or fragrance-free, or you may find scents like lavender soothing before bed. It may take some trial and error to find your ideal product. Always speak with a dermatologist before trying new ingredients.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
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