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Day and Night, Night and Day

By Amalah

This is the last of the half-assed short columns, I swear. But I am leaving for Austin in like, 10 minutes and am trying to get all these entries written ahead of time. Oh! Woe is me! My writing gig is going to cut into my drinking time! Noooo!
Dear Great One Who Has Been Designated As Knowing Many Things By The Internet (And Who I Totally Look Up To Because You Get Paid To Give Advice!):
I live in Chicago and this winter my skin just sort of freaked the hell out. What with the heat indoors. The arctic outdoors. And always with the switching between the heat and the arctic. After much angst I managed to find a cleanser that is gentle and effective but I still noticed that my skin was way too dry at night. I wash my face in the morning and evening, because otherwise? Gross. I’ve started moisturizing in the evening as well and miraculously this seems to have mostly solved my problems. However, I have just been using my regular morning moisturizing (Olay with SPF 15) and my question is should I be using something different at night on my skin? Some kind of magical night moisturizer?

Yes, in your case, I’d say you should be using a different moisturizer at night, if only because you don’t need that second helping of SPF. Nobody needs that. But for really dry or aging skin, yes! They do make magical night moisturizers. Made of enchanted fairy dust and unicorn tears.
Okay, maybe not that magical. But a lot of dermatologists recommend night creams for everybody over 30. Since my complexion tends to be pretty oily, they’re a total no-no for me. I’ve yet to try one that didn’t clog my pores. I think pretty much every product line offers at least one moisturizer designated as a “night” or “overnight” cream these days: Olay makes several, as does Burt’s Bees and even Philosophy offers one. These are hardcore moisturizers for seriously dry or older skin. (Which again…gah…is pretty much considered anyone over 30.)
So: if you have concerns about breakouts, and since your morning cream seems to work, you could probably get away with just using a regular moisturizer with the SPF at night. (Although I’d guess that the SPF would be just as likely to anger your pores as a night cream, so if you don’t have problems, you’d be okay with them.)
If the winter freakouts continue, as they probably will as you get older, I’d highly recommend you start playing around with night creams before the months of dryness start taking a permanent toll on your pretty skin.
Readers? Anybody got a specific suggestion for Abby?
I left you a comment a couple of weeks ago on your Smackdown post about mascara and eyelashes, wondering about Laura Bennett sleeping in her eyelashes. Well, curiosity got the better me, so I did some research on my own…
Here are the results, if you are interested.

Thank you for doing what you do–I can’t tell you how many times you have helped keep me sane in these sleepless months since I had my own turtle boy.

Awesome! And thank YOU, Paige, for writing this section of the column for me, because I am totally counting this as a question. Ka-CHING!
And I am also sooooo getting myself some falsies. And I will be one step closer to my dream of waking up every morning and looking like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys.
And only about…oh, 4,294,245 more steps to go. Sigh.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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The Muse

Abby, I completely understand the skin-freaking-out of the winter. Add to that, a little rosacea, and you have a right-combination for yucky skin. I don’t know if you would have those same problems, but I do know that Murad has some WONDER products out there, and their Redness Calming Line has a very gentle cleanser (non-foamy, but amazing) that would probably work well for you. I’ve used their 3-step program (in a very Rosacea-Skin Anonymous kind of way) for about 3 weeks now, and with the exception of a minor PMS-induced blemish, I’ve seen major improvement. Cleanser, repair serum and… Read more »

American Wife

Hi Amalah. About the moisturizer: the skin has different functions for day and night. To get optimum results from your products and your $ use a night specific cream at night. Another option is to use a smoothing or exfoliating cream while you sleep which will remove layers of surface dryness, helping your day time moisturizer work better. Also, for oiler skins, the same types of products are offered in an oil-free formulation making them no longer a “no-no”.


I use Hope in a Jar for dry skin as I also use Retin-A for adult acne (awesome) and it makes my skin flake something awful. The flaking has gone down considerably since using the Hope in a Jar – I highly recommend it. Your regular drugstore moisturizer, like Oil of Olay, has never been powerful enough for me. I have also used the Hydrating Face Cream from Bobbi Brown with great success. Also, I sleep with a humidifier on all night long because I can’t control the heat in my apartment and it is approximately a million degrees in… Read more »

Hallie Fae
Hallie Fae

Hey! Try using aveeno baby lotion!!! No joke it works like magic! And your skin will feel like, well a baby! It is targeted towords newborn babies but works for any other age too!!! Hope I helped!