Applying Moisturizer Before Bed Is A Must - Here's Why You Should Never Skip It

Beauty fatigue is real. With all of the hair and nail and general hygiene maintenance women are expected to do, at the end of a long day a full-fledged skincare regimen can seem oh-so-cumbersome. So it can seem all too tempting to skip some of the steps that seem more optional in nature. Often, the nightly dose of facial moisturizer is the step that's sacrificed, but it turns out that this measure is far too important to miss — no matter what reason you might have. 

Most of us know in general terms — because of its name — that the purpose of a moisturizing product (applied correctly) is to hydrate the skin while trapping the good stuff inside, per Harvard Health. Skin cells rely on moisture to help the skin look its best. Without adequate hydration, skin can rapidly degenerate and become red, irritated, and even extra-sensitive, says skincare expert Renée Rouleau. According to Mayo Clinic, many moisturizers also include anti-aging ingredients like retinol and Vitamin C that plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. No matter which variety of facial moisturizer you're using, however, it's absolutely critical that it be applied nightly for the very best results. 

The skin needs a lot of help at night

Certain things simply have to happen before bedtime for your own good, like brushing and flossing those pearly white teeth. Applying facial moisturizer is right up there in importance because of a few biological reasons. You probably know that the skin takes a lot of abuse during the day, including exposure to sun, wind, dirt, and so on. When you lie down to catch some zzz's at night, the skin starts to repair itself (per skincare giant Lancôme), but this is harder for skin to do if it's already dehydrated, especially since the skin's oil production goes way down overnight, according to dermatologist Sonoa Au in The Healthy

The issue is compounded by the fact that everyone's skin loses moisture overnight, according to CeraVe, due to an unavoidable twist known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Since oil and water are key to maintaining supple skin, people with dehydrated skin start to notice that their fine lines and wrinkles stand out even more so in the morning. The easiest fix to that phenomenon is — you guessed it — putting on moisturizer before bed.  

Nighttime moisturizers are more effective

The skin is actually primed for moisturizing success in the overnight hours, so those who are consistent with the habit will reap some pretty great benefits. This is because the skin is more permeable in the evening, per Renée Rouleau, which means that the moisturizer will be able to burrow even deeper at night than during the daytime hours. This also allows those all-important active ingredients the time and access they need to help repair the skin. 

All of that will be rendered useless, however, if you fail to properly wash your face before applying the moisturizer. "You have a day's worth of oil, dirt, bacteria, and makeup (and who knows what else) on your face. Removing it all before applying your moisturizer is essential," Rouleau explains. That's not to say that the skincare regimen has to be super labor-intensive, however. In fact, simply washing and moisturizing should take only a few minutes, tops, but can literally wipe years away from the skin if done consistently.