Botanical face serums and sleep make wonderful bed fellows. But while you’ll have come across the serum trend for a long while now, you may not know the reasoning behind why they work so hard for mature skin, and why they’ve replaced the heavy night creams of yesteryear. This post aims to give you a taster of the skin science behind their efficacy and also introduce you to some amazing active ingredients to look out for in a face serum.
Sleep is something we all need, but many of us may crave it more than we actually get it. In this era of technology and given the constant hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be a little hard to unwind. When your brain is still active at night, you may find yourself counting sheep more often than you’d care to. Tip: no screen time for at least an hour before you head to bed can help us relax and rewind.
Unfortunately, a poor sleep routine can not only have an impact on your health and energy levels, but it can also take a real toll on your skin too. The result is lacklustre skin that just won’t cooperate no matter what excellent products you may apply to it.
Here, at Alchemy Du Corps, we rely on natural, plant botanicals to not only treat your skin, but also feed it with nutrients that sink deep into your pores, delivering powerful active ingredients to provide noticeable results. However, for a product such as a botanical serum to truly work its magic on your skin, you need to be in la la land. When your skin is going through a renewal process at night, it will work in synergy with your serum to plump, firm and hydrate your skin so that you can wake up looking refreshed to face the day.
Keep reading to find out how some quality beauty sleep can help enhance the benefits of botanical face serums, as well as to discover some excellent and perhaps more unusual ingredients to look out for.
What Happens To My Skin When I Sleep?
During the day, when you are awake, your body operates under the sympathetic nervous system. This state ensures that blood flow is concentrated towards your core. When you sleep, your body enters into a parasympathetic state known as peripheral vasodilation. This state encourages blood flow closer to the skin, which helps to keep your skin cells nourished and functioning as they should.
When your blood flow is closer to your dermis and epidermis, your blood will carry oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells, as well as carry away free radicals and toxins. This is therefore the ideal time to have applied a serum that works at a cellular level; for example, antioxidants in your serum will sink into pores that have been cleared from any waste products, allowing your serum to truly get to work.
A consistent lack of sleep or even poor quality sleep means that fluids that remain near the skin, as well as any toxins, are not able to be properly transported out of the body, resulting in fluid retention, which shows up as puffy skin and under-eye circles.
Our skin cells are constantly regenerating, however, this process is at its best during the “golden hours” of sleep between 11pm and 4am, peaking around 2am. Important structural proteins such as collagen, necessary for skin repair, may not surge as they should, if you don’t get a proper night’s rest.
Botanical Face Serum Ingredients That Work Overtime At Night
The following are especially beneficial restorative and anti-aging ingredients that will ensure your skin matures gracefully, and is more likely to retain a natural, healthy glow. Many of our choice night skincare active botanicals are natural seed oils; some that have been known in skincare since ancient times; and others, that are new to ingredients lists:
Hibiscus Seed Oil – an on-trend skin care treat
This exotic flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) is much loved in our part of the world – the Mediterranean. It is not only brimming with free-radical fighting antioxidants, it’s often referred to as the ‘botox plant’ due to its ability to enhance the skin’s elasticity. It does this by retarding activity of the enzyme elastase which is responsible for breaking down elastin in our skin. This makes it an excellent anti-aging ingredient for a restorative nighttime face serum. Its rather ‘on trend’ now but has been a favourite of ours for some time as we look primarily at Mediterranean region botanicals for our ingredients.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil – liquid gold for mature skin
This one may sound a bit strange, but there’s nothing strange about what it can do for your skin! Opuntia oil, extracted from the seeds of the prickly pear fruit, has an array of anti-aging benefits. It aids in skin regeneration, adds hydration and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles. What makes this one a standout among botanical face serum ingredients is its ability to penetrate deep into the epidermis, where it nourishes the cells, and promotes cellular turnover.
Sweet Orange – vitamin vitality to brighten dull skin
Vitamin C is known as the beauty vitamin, and sweet orange oil will ensure your skin receives its daily dose of brightening beauty for the day. Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation in the skin, as well as promote the formation of collagen, ensuring your skin stays taut, plump and youthful with a radiant glow.
Most citrus offer skin brightening properties thanks to their various properties; these include ascorbic acid which acts as a mild exfoliator; their ability to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase converts tyrosine into melanin – and so slow the skin’s melanin products thereby keeping it lighter in appearance; and thanks also to their antioxidant elements which scavenge free radicals that damage the skin and accelerate aging.
This is but the start of the benefits of citrus, of which sweet orange is one of our favourite for its fragrance. We source ours almost from sun-kissed grove to skincare formulation from our neighbours in Sicily. And then, of course, there’s the wellness benefits of that heady citrus scent.
Pistachio Seed Oil – a newcomer with age-old skincare properties
Pistacchio isn’t just for accompanying drinks or flavouring ice cream. Next time you find yourself munching on this distinctive green nut, take a moment to appreciate the benefits its raw state provides for your skin. Pistachio seed oil is jam-packed with essential fatty acids to provide deeply hydrating and emollient properties for your skin. It’s also a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin that neutralizes free radicals, thus preventing premature aging. Wonderfully for us at Alchemy du Corps, the most prized pistacchios are grown in Sicily from where we source our oil – another case of low airmiles and supporting local artisan suppliers.
Next time you find yourself scrolling on your phone late at night, you may want to think about our tips and how Facebook won’t give you great skin, but a good botanical face serum and that beauty sleep will!