Why the Best Time to Address Sun Damage Is While You Sleep

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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 subscription
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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.

Overnight Masks

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 Peel

goop Beauty
GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic
Acid Overnight Glow Peel

goop, $125/$112 with subscription
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Totally Moisturizing and
Great to Leave On All Night

Tammy Fender
Restorative Radiance Masque
goop, $195
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Clark’s Botanicals
Deep Moisture Mask
goop, $75
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Tata Harper
Hydrating Floral Mask
goop, $95
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Follain
Ultra Hydrating Mask
goop, $34
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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 subscription
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Made to Work with Your Circadian Rhythm

Furtuna Skin
Fior di Luna Nightly
Renewal Cream

goop, $285
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Antioxidant-Packed for Lift

Caudalie
Resveratrol-Lift
Firming Night Cream

goop, $69
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Smoothing and Moisturizing
for Fine Lines

Lavido
Age Away Night Cream
goop, $49
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Brilliant for Sensitive Skin

Augustinus Bader
The Ultimate Soothing Cream
goop, $280
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Overnight Face Oil

Balmyard Beauty
Moonlight Lover Facial Oil
goop, $95
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Superpowered Serums

Serums deliver a highly concentrated dose of ingredients, and while they hydrate, they’re never heavy or occlusive.

Made with
Time-Released
Actives

goop Beauty
GOOPGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk
goop, $98/$89 with subscription
SHOP NOW

Ultimate Hydration

Dr. Barbara Sturm
Night Serum
goop, $310
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For Collagen-Boosting and Nighttime Aromatherapy

De Mamiel
First Fix Serum
goop, $216
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For a Morning Glow

KORA Organics
Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum
goop, $74
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For Breakout-Prone Skin

True Botanicals
Clear Repair Serum
goop, $140
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Hero Cosmetics
Mighty Patch
goop, $13
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Lip Masks

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.

Super Hydrating

Alpyn Beauty
Willow & Sweet Agave
Plumping Lip Mask

goop, $28
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Ultrarich

ILIA
Lip Wrap Overnight
Treatment Mask

goop, $26
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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-Inducer

goop Beauty
GOOPGLOW Restore +
Shine Hair Serum

goop, $55/$44 with subscription
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Microfiber Hair Wrap

Aquis
Lisse Luxe Hair Turban
goop, $18
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*Based on an eight-week third-party clinical study of 30 women between the ages of 35 and 65.

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