How to Keep Your Skin from Drying Out Overnight

Choosing the Best Night Cream

To maintain adequate moisture while you sleep, slather on a richer, creamier moisturizer than the one you wear during the day, suggests dermatologist Doris Day. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which plumps the skin cells, and shea butter, a natural emollient, she says. Chances are you'll be out of the sun, so forego your lotion with SPF and invest in a thick, luscious night cream. These products tend to contain higher concentrations of moisture-retaining humectants than their daytime counterparts [source: Huffington Post].

If you'd rather not splurge on a pricey night cream, try one of the oldest balms in the book: Vaseline, otherwise known as petroleum jelly or petrolatum. Many people swear by the multipurpose substance, which keeps the skin hydrated by creating a barrier that prevents water from evaporating. Unlike moisturizing creams, however, it won't add any new moisture to parched skin [source: Stanell]. For another overnight treatment that won't break the bank, natural skin-care experts often recommend cocoa butter or coconut oil, both rich in fatty acids that are natural skin helpers.

Whether you choose night cream, petroleum jelly or a natural emollient, get the most out of your regime by prepping your face for maximum hydration. This means removing all traces of makeup and washing up thoroughly before you hit the hay. No matter how dry it is, your skin can't breathe and regenerate under a day's worth of cosmetics, sunscreen, bacteria, dirt, pollution and oil. Not only will you risk clogged pores, fine lines and dullness, but also any moisturizing products you use overnight won't be able to penetrate through the grime [source: Kitchens].

To avoid stripping away natural oils, wash with lukewarm water and a mild, non-foaming, soap-free cleanser that doesn't contain fragrance, alcohol or antibacterial chemicals such as triclosan [source: Donahue]. Then apply your cream or product while your skin is still damp, trapping any remaining moisture on the skin's surface [source: Schaefer].