Why the Best Time to Address Sun Damage Is While You Sleep
Written by: Matigan King
Published on: August 4, 2022
It makes a certain sort of sense that the best time to address sun damage is at night, when the sun itself is taking a breather. Of course, the smartest sun-damage strategy is to prevent it in the first place—avoid overexposure to the sun, wear a hat, and smooth on mineral sunscreen every day (and take vitamin D3 while you’re at it). But when, despite our best efforts, the signs of sun damage—from dark spots and uneven skin tone to wrinkles, rough texture, dullness, and oversize pores—show up on skin more than we’d like, the science points to the benefits of overnight treatments.
Our newest sun-damage superweapon is designed to work at night, while you sleep, for a number of reasons: Just as our muscles repair themselves while we rest, so, too, does our skin, and we were excited to take advantage of that natural skin-repair function. Cell division and protein synthesis (vital for healthy skin) peak during sleep, as does the rate of healing damaged tissues. Blood pressure and body temperature may be lower, creating an ideal environment for increased cell renewal. Molecules that control the sleep-wake cycle, like melatonin and adenosine, are also thought to help with inflammation and regeneration.
We designed GOOPGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk with a time-released AHA to work with the natural skin-repair functions already going on overnight; we also boosted the formula with moisturizers and skin-soothing ingredients that further treat the skin at night. There’s even a new ingredient that helps tamp down irritated-looking skin—a remarkable feature in such an active serum.
goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk goop, $98/$89 with subscriptionSHOP NOW
The results are dramatic: Sleep Milk is clinically proven to improve the look of dark spots (including age spots, sun spots, and surface spots), skin tone, and skin brightness without irritation. And while the results are noticeable right away—you wake up with dewy-fresh, plumped, soft, totally hydrated-looking skin after one use—they build visibly over time, too.*
While the time-released AHA is pretty unique (and allows for a high-acid serum to feel much gentler and more moisturizing on skin), the notion that the best time to treat skin is just before going to bed applies to some of our all-time favorite products.
You can leave on a nourishing face mask all night for concentrated, targeted treatment, or once a week, just before bed, swipe on a super active peel pad.
Powerful Acid Peelgoop Beauty GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic
Acid Overnight Glow Peel goop, $125/$112 with subscriptionSHOP NOW
Totally Moisturizing and
Great to Leave On All NightTammy Fender Restorative Radiance Masque goop, $195SHOP NOW
Night Creams and Oils
Lock in moisture while you sleep with a rich, nutrient-dense face cream or oil.
We Use This Supercream as Night Cream (and on the Plane, Too)goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One
Nourishing Face Cream goop, $98/$86 with subscriptionSHOP NOW
Made to Work with Your Circadian RhythmFurtuna Skin Fior di Luna Nightly
Renewal Cream goop, $285SHOP NOW
Antioxidant-Packed for LiftCaudalie Resveratrol-Lift
Firming Night Cream goop, $69SHOP NOW
Smoothing and Moisturizing
for Fine LinesLavido Age Away Night Cream goop, $49SHOP NOW
Brilliant for Sensitive SkinAugustinus Bader The Ultimate Soothing Cream goop, $280SHOP NOW
Overnight Face OilBalmyard Beauty Moonlight Lover Facial Oil goop, $95SHOP NOW
Serums deliver a highly concentrated dose of ingredients, and while they hydrate, they’re never heavy or occlusive.
Activesgoop Beauty GOOPGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk goop, $98/$89 with subscriptionSHOP NOW
Ultimate HydrationDr. Barbara Sturm Night Serum goop, $310SHOP NOW
For Collagen-Boosting and Nighttime AromatherapyDe Mamiel First Fix Serum goop, $216SHOP NOW
For a Morning GlowKORA Organics Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum goop, $74SHOP NOW
True Botanicals Clear Repair Serum goop, $140SHOP NOW
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch goop, $13SHOP NOW
For Breakout-Prone Skin
Steeping lips in nourishing ingredients and deep moisturizers leaves them plump and smooth by morning. Both of these formulas are made with a bit of exfoliant, too.
Consider an overnight hair treatment, too
Smooth GOOPGLOW hair serum on before bed and wrap your hair in a towel and your hair will shine like you can’t believe after being washed the next morning.
Nourishing Shine-Inducergoop Beauty GOOPGLOW Restore +
Shine Hair Serum goop, $55/$44 with subscriptionSHOP NOW
Microfiber Hair WrapAquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban goop, $18SHOP NOW
*Based on an eight-week third-party clinical study of 30 women between the ages of 35 and 65.