The thought of an overnight mask or treatment can be daunting for skincare newbies. How will you look in the morning? Will you actually see a visible difference?  And the main question, “I’m supposed to put what on my face?!?” Well fret no more, there are numerous overnight facial treatments, masks and DIY concoctions to choose from.

Overnight treatments are popular and effective because skin rests during sleep and the body performs its biological repair during these wee hours. Being inside your bed, warm and cozy away from environmental stressor such as the sun, wind, high temps or low temps, is also very beneficial. Choosing the correct treatment is important too. The first step is figure out what problem you want to target. Most people have similar concerns, brightening, hydration and anti-aging. Brightening and lightening are good issues to target at night because your skin is not in sunlight, which can stimulate melanin and also causes issues for retinoid users.

When deciding on an overnight cream or treatment look for ingredients like avocado, yogurt, retinol or vitamin c. Avocado(in a DIY mask) or avocado oil are some of the most effective and hydrating natural ingredients around. Retinol, found in WAKE UP CALL is also a favorite ingredient in overnight treatments. Yogurt as an ingredient in a cream or just applied directly on the face is beneficial for lightening and brightening due to it’s high levels of lactic acid. Yogurt is also antibacterial and anti-fungal(both fight acne). Because of the high levels of zinc in yogurt, it offers a cooing effect and is good for sunburns, rashes and some irritation.Then of course there are the anti-aging must haves-Alpha Lipoic Acid, CoQ10 and Glucosamine. When combined these anti-aging powerhouses improve skin’s texture, plump sagging loose skin and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Who doesn’t want to wake up looking 10 years younger?

When venturing into DIY, the more natural the better. You always want to do a spot test on your skin when making your treatments and masks just in case there is something that doesn’t agree with your skin. Our favorite DIY masks are the avocado/honey, all over coconut and yogurt and lemon. All over coconut is really an overnight treatment that consists on put raw coconut oil all over your face and sleeping in it. Since coconut oil is anti-microbial, ant-bacterial and anti-viral it will leave your skin clear, supple and hydrated not to mention smelling like a cookie! A yogurt and lemon mask is made to be worn for 10 mins and then removed. Just mix some plain unsweetened greek yogurt with just a tiny squeeze of lemon and mix. The yogurt will brighten and the lemon will help to lighten any existing dark spots or uneven skin tone areas.

The most important thing about overnight treatments and masks is to use them. Ensuring your skin gets enough hydration at night is imperative to waking up with a refreshed glow in the morning.


Retinoids are not the newest kids on the block, but have recently become more mainstream as the skincare consumer becomes more savvy. Below is a look at what you need to know when considering starting Retinoids/Retinol. While I do use Retinol based products, I have not jumped onto Retinoids yet. Please let us know if you have and what your overall experience has been.


What are they?

Retinoids are a derivative of Vitamin A.  Retinol is the non-prescription, more gentle version of a retinoid. Retinoids are prescription only and you need to see your dermatologist or plastic surgeon to start on one. These are the favorite anti aging ingredient because so much research has proven them to help turn back the hands of time.

What do they do?

Retinoids were originally for Acne treatment when doctors noticed a side effect of less wrinkles/lined skin in patients. Retinoids work by preventing the rise of an enzyme called collagenase and boosting collagen already present in the skin. Retiniods and Retinol speed up cell turnover, which causes skin to look younger and smoother. They also reverse signs of sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and even out pigmentation.You can expect improvement in overall skin tone and brightness. You can expect to see the benefits of Retinoids within 4 weeks of starting. Retinol, due to its more gentle makeup takes around 12 weeks to start noticing a difference, but continual long term usage is very beneficial.

What are the side effects?

There is no such thing as a free lunch, but the side effects are not that bad. Some people will experience redness, peeling, dryness or skin irritation. The best way to start using a Retinoid is every three days. This will allow your skin to ease into it. If you are having no irritation try every other day and eventually graduate into every day use. There has always been a myth about Retinoids/Retinols causing sensitivity to the skin when exposed to sun. This has been shown to not be true. Yes, retinoids are light sensitive(and susceptible to breaking down) but they do not make skin susceptible to increased UV damage or sunburn. Studies have shown that Retinoids do not lower the MED—or minimal erythemal dose, which is the amount of UV skin can tolerate before burning and showing signs of burning. So, yes you can take them on a tropical vacation.

Who needs them?

Some doctors and skincare experts say it is never to soon to start using Retinoids, but a safe rule of thumb is to start in your mid 30’s to early 40’s, depending on your skin. If you’re nearing 40 and deciding between peels and Retinoids, use Retinoids. But the sooner you start the fewer signs of aging you will develop. Overuse of Retinoids can cause skin to look red, taught and dehydrated, so ease in slowly. Always remember to moisturizer over the top, especially if in dry or cold climates.


Deciding between a peel vs. physical exfoliator and what may be best for you? As we have more and more options in the world of acids we wanted to outline the treatment benefits of the at-home peel ingredients to look out for. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which is right for you.


So why peel you ask? Peels can be a nice addition to your regimen because they are not physical exfoliants, which can, if over used cause redness, dryness and irritated skin. A peel is a gentler way to exfoliate during the winter. Peels work by dissolving the top layer/layers of skin, depending on the type of acid, to get the ‘repair’ started. Certain acids such as Lactic, are safe for sensitive skin as they pull moisture to the surface.

Peels are more effective during your 20’s and 30’s, whereas retinoids are better after 40. Acids are different than retinoids. Retinoids cause inflammation to get the skin to regenerate, whereas acids dissolve dead skin cells on the top layers of skin.

A few things to now about peels are :

  • Peels are good for sensitive skin instead of physical scrubs because there is no abrasion.
  • Lower strength acids are less aggravating.
  • Most store bought peels only go up to 10-20% acid, while aggressive in-office peels can be up to 70%.
  • A good peel should tingle but not burn-not. It should not cause redness or dusting(unless in-office)
  • Skin will glow after a peel.

The Acids

Glycolic Acid

  • regenerates collagen
  • smallest molecule-penetrates the deepest
  • thickens epidermis
  • evens out skin tone
  • can be very aggressive
  • derived from sugar

Our favorite Glycolic Acid peel: Sunday Riley’s Good Genes


Lactic Acid

  • derived from sour milk
  • 2nd smallest molecular
  • more gentle than glycolic
  • removes dead skin cells
  • hydrating (pulls moisture up to top layer of skin)

Our favorite Lactic Acid peel: Goldfaden MD’s Fresh A Peel 

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The Fruit Acids

  • can be citric acid- derived from lemon or grapefruit
  • can be malic acid- derived from apples
  • peels upper surface layer of skin
  • usually combined with glycolic or lactic to be more intense/effective


  • beta hydroxy
  • treats acne
  • unclogs pores

 TCA (Trichoroacetic acid)

  • can be very intense
  • can days to recover
  • actual peeling skin
  • SPF needed for months after
  • usually performed in office
  • recommended for darker skin individuals
  • helps with pigmentation issues

There are so many wonderful options for peels today! Think about what your skin concerns are and then try a few different types of peels. For a few weeks try pads and then switch to a liquid, one step peel. Sometimes discovering what is best for your skin can be trial and error, so go easy if it is strong acid, as you do not want to overdo.

Happy peeling!