I’m not a good sleeper. I’m pretty sure I get it from my father who, at some point in adulthood, resigned himself to the fact that he can function just fine on only four hours a night. I’m clocking a bit more than that at the moment, but I know I’m not getting the much ballyhooed eight. When we welcomed our youngest daughter three years ago (12 years after her sister!), my husband was exhausted when she would wake us up at 2 a.m. Me? I was oddly…fine. Besides the long-term health effects of sleep deprivation, I do know after all of these years working in the beauty industry: beauty sleep is very real. When you’re in a deep slumber, your body and skin repair themselves. So being in a constant deficit of shut-eye can deprive your body of necessary growth hormones that help cells rebuild, leaving your skin dull, droopy, and well, looking tired. And I could see it in the mirror.
Over the past few months, I’ve been working on better sleep hygiene—blackout curtains, less screen time before bed and/or changing screens to night mode to reduce blue light exposure, no caffeine after 2pm—and I think it’s made a difference. But I also look at those nighttime hours as a vital time in my skin care regimen, knowing how much work those cells are doing before the sun comes up.
My typical P.M. routine involves hydrating serums, a buffet of actives for fading dark spots, a thick moisturizer, topped off with a face oil (since air conditioning or forced hot air in colder months) can really dry out my skin if I don’t have a moisture-retaining, occlusive layer over everything). But this month, I did the MRC Challenge—I used RéVive’s Moisturizing Renewal Cream (MRC) Nightly Retexturizer every night for 30 days.
I had been dabbling with prescription tretinoin for a few months prior so I took a break before starting this, since MRC has glycolic acid, which doesn’t play well with tret. So, for 30 nights, I applied a hydrating serum or essence, then MRC, and topped it off with RéVive’s Moisturizing Renewal Oil or Rescue Elixir to seal everything in. Even after the first night, my skin looked more plump and glowy (and I’m not the only one. In clinical studies, 91 percent of testers said their skin responded the very first night, it looked “much better,” and felt softer.) And certainly within the past month, my complexion looks smoother, more radiant, and some of my dark spots have faded.
In my younger years, my early experiences with glycolic acid didn’t end well. I used products that were far too harsh on my skin. In comparison, the gentle dose of retexturizing acid in MRC is balanced with hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and sunflower seed oil, so your skin never feels tight and parched (that “squeaky clean” feeling that a lot of us sought back in the day is actually not good at all!).
At the end of the day, the quantity and quality of my beauty sleep is still a work in progress. But it’s good to know that at least my skin has a good head start.