Marián García Apothecary
Every time I have a look at the skin care products at the pharmacy, or even when I open my own bathroom cabinet, I’m amazed by the number of products we use for our face care routines: creams, gels, serums, toners, lotions, face masks, ampoules… Each format has its function and specific time to be applied, but if there are any basic products that are absolutely essential, which are always part of our daily routine, they’ve got to be the classic day and night creams.
But listen up, the fact that the day and night cream format is a classic one, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t moved forward. Fortunately, the textures, the cosmetic properties of the products, and of course the active principles that are available nowadays have improved beyond all recognition compared to what we used to make do with.
What should we look for in a day cream?
Day cream is our protective shield against all the potential external onslaughts, mainly atmospheric pollution or solar damage. That’s why we need to look for active principles that are antioxidants that can neutralise the effects of free radicals. Vitamin C is the best ingredient for this task, as it is a powerful antioxidant. It also makes skin look brighter and helps the synthesis of collagen, which gives elasticity. In my case, I’m especially keen on vitamin C because it can be useful for people with acne-prone skin. Yes, that’s right, even though in my teenage years I thought that one day I would be free of it, I have come to accept that acne and I are close enemies and I need to work hard to keep it at bay.
Another essential active principle that we need to look for in a day cream is the sun protection factor. The sun is the biggest cause of solar aging so we need to protect ourselves from it on a daily basis, and throughout the whole year! The sun protection factor also helps to maintain the stability of vitamin C.
What should we look for in a night cream?
Night-time is a key time in any facial skin care routine. Stop being lazy! After removing your makeup and cleansing your face thoroughly (this step is always essential), it’s time to nourish and repair your skin after a long day. Again, you need to choose the most effective active principles and vitamin C is still one of the best options. As well as the effects of vitamin C mentioned previously in the day cream section, it also has other benefits, like boosting the effect of other active principles that might form part of your night-time routine, like retinol.
Another useful active principle for a night cream is hyaluronic acid. This substance is characterised by its moistening effect, in other words, it retains water. That’s why it is so effective at moisturizing the epidermis.
My skin looks really dull, is it enough to just use day and night creams or should I use something else?
At certain times (especially during periods of stress, tiredness…) you might notice your skin looks less vital and duller than usual. In my case, if I’ve been sleeping less than usual I can see the effects immediately when I look in the mirror, and not just because of the oh-so-familiar bags under my eyes! To recover your skin’s brightness you could do with a little help from vitamin C ampoules. They can be used in the morning or at night and should be applied to clean, dry skin, with a light massage motion to help their absorption. If you use them in the morning, it is important to remember to always apply sunscreen afterwards. Personally, I prefer to save them to use at night and use the “beauty flash” vitamin C ampoules during the day, for those special occasions.
As we can see, vitamin C rules the day and night. How about you, ready to give it a go?