While You Were Sleeping … The Experts Tell Us How To Give Your Skin A Great Night’s Sleep

Beauty editor SARAH HALLIWELL asks three experts what they recommend as a NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE


What do you wear at night? On your skin, that is. Cosmetic counters are groaning with the weight of night oils, creams, serums and masks – but should we be piling on everything we can get our hands on, or leaving skin clean, bare and left to its own devices? Clearly, lots depends on your skin type and any issues – post-40 dry skin will need a different approach to oilier or troublesome skin prone to flare-ups. Get some expert advice on what your skin needs, and adjust it according to the seasons and your skin’s condition. We asked three skin experts their advice on what mature skin needs at night:


Tara O’Rourke, Saol Beo.

A head trainer for Dr Hauschka, O’Rourke offers a mix of therapies, training and yoga at her stylish salon in the centre of Dublin. She ran her first yoga retreat in Inistioge, Kilkenny, this summer, complete with a vegan chef (ex Cornucopia) on board: look out for more coming up. O’Rourke’s Classic Dr Hauschka facials (€110) are seriously sought-after; they’re an incredibly restoring way to spend two hours. Facials from €55.

AT NIGHT … “As we age, slowing metabolism can mean thinner skin and loss of elasticity and plumpness. But this does not mean our skin loses its ability to regenerate. When we view the skin, we look at its natural functions and support these: for example, by day the skin is the mediating organ between and a reflection of our inner and outer selves; diet, lifestyle and environment. Our skin’s natural function is to protect us by day and with the ever-changing demands in our lives we need to support it with oils and selected medicinal plants: this has been Dr Hauschka’s approach to skincare and skin health for 50 years.

At night our skin is doing something very different: skin regeneration is at its peak and skin cells are dividing approximately eight times more than at any other time. If we apply heavy oils to our skin at this regenerative time, we overburden its natural functions. I would compare this to having a heavy meal before you go to bed; think what that does to your digestive system. The skin is smart and does regenerate and renew at night, so it has always been our approach to use selected medicinal plants for night care.

Our Night Serum is designed specifically for mature skin: renewing qualities of antioxidant red clover, silica-rich horsetail and skin-firming quince seed extract are all selected for skin showing signs of ageing. I have many of my clients on the complete Dr Hauschka Regenerating range. Remember also that mature skin can become more sensitive to synthetic ingredients; Dr Hauschka is 100 per cent natural, free from artificial colours, dyes and fragrance, and Natrue certified.

Top Tip: lock yourself away once per week and immerse your feet in a soothing foot bath with Sage Bath Essence: this is grounding and takes the heat from the head following a long day. Then apply our Eye Revive, rich in Euphrasia [a herb used in eye drops and for allergies] black tea and chamomile – you will feel lighter and brighter.”

Saol Beo Holistic Therapies and Training, 43 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2; 087 4140718; www.saolbeo.ie.


Martha Tiernan, No.3 Herbert Street.

We’re big fans of Tiernan’s warm and informed approach to skin analysis. Her salon, tucked away near the “Pepper Canister” church, is an insider’s secret for pinpointing exactly what your skin needs, as well as tans, nails and everything in between. Tiernan offers everything from Phyt’s 100% organic treatments (from €40) to microdermabrasion and resurfacing peels.

AT NIGHT … “Cell turnover slows down dramatically in women by the age of 40, so it is really important to stimulate the skin to speed up cell rejuvenation and encourage turnover. There are certain active ingredients that can directly improve this rejuvenation, most notably vitamin A, which, since daylight depletes it, is best used at nighttime; the peak time for cell rejuvenation is between midnight and 2am. The reason we chose Pestle & Mortar’s Superstar Night Oil for No.3 Herbert Street is that, unlike some night oils, it doesn’t cause congestion and is suitable for all skin types, even those prone to breakouts. The high-grade retinol (vitamin A) and essential oils (used specifically for their anti-ageing and antioxidant properties) make it a perfect choice for stimulating cell turnover to provide anti-ageing benefits.

Retinol is suitable for all skin types – and everyone over the age of 40 should definitely have some sort of retinol in their routine. The main benefits are that it’s one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients available; it reduces pore size and resurfaces the skin, softening the appearance of scarring; and it reduces pigmentation damage, lightening and brightening the skin.

At No. 3 Herbert Street we tailor our treatments and homecare advice to the client’s individual needs. It is best to introduce retinol slowly to allow your skin to adapt, always following the advice of your skincare specialist. Apply to dry skin after cleansing/toning and avoid the eye and lip area. It is very important to protect your skin with an SPF of 30+ when using retinol, and to avoid using during pregnancy.”

No.3 Herbert Street, 01 538 8333; www.no3herbertstreet.com.


Olga Kochlewska of Skin by Olga. 

Kochlewska is a specialist in using the hard-to-find luxury French skincare range, Biologique Recherche, at her sleek Donnybrook base. She has a devoted following for her supremely thorough and expert facial treatments, which start from €105.

“In my opinion, skincare during the night should rely on regeneration. The most important thing is to cleanse the face properly at night. I recommend, firstly, using a cleansing milk (such as Biologique Recherche’s Lait VIP O2) then Lotion P50 (specific to your skin type), which will exfoliate and purify skin to help the products that follow to penetrate the skin. The final steps in the regime are a water-based serum and then cream, for example, Creme Masque Vernix or Masque VIP O2, or other creams suited to an individual’s skin type.

The very important point of our skincare is to not use an eye cream at night time, because the skin under the eyes is very thin. An eye cream may affect the delicate skin, resulting in puffy eyes next morning. I am not a fan of retinol products, because they can contribute to thin, reactive and dehydrated skin. And oils are not for everyone – I am not a fan of them. If skin is dehydrated, oil won’t give it hydration because it simply stays on the surface of the epidermis. Oils are heavy for skin and do not allow it to breathe properly. So in summary my three steps for nighttime skincare are: 1. Proper cleaning; 2. exfoliating and 3. regenerating.”

Skin by Olga, 34 Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4; 01 260 8846; www.skinbyolga.ie.

Sarah Halliwell

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