ROAD TEST: The sleep cream that’ll make you look like you got eight hours when you didn’t.

Nivea sleep cream
NIVEA
Thanks to our brand partner, NIVEA

You look tired today. Didn’t sleep well last night? Have you been getting to bed early enough?

I’ve been hearing a fair bit of these phrases lately and I’m not thrilled about it.

While it’s true I could do with a few more ZZZs, I’d rather my face look more ‘I bounded out of bed this morning’ than ‘I snoozed through 12 alarms‘. It would appear it’s currently the latter.

We all go through phases in our lives when getting a solid eight hours every night isn’t our highest priority. Between killing it at work, handling your life admin and keeping up with family and friends, switching off and hitting the pillow at a reasonable hour can be a struggle.

Hence, my skin has been looking decidedly dull and lifeless. Thankfully I have a baby face so I don’t have to worry too much about wrinkles (well, just a little, I must admit) and ageing just yet, but I’ll concede it is a tired, cranky baby face at the moment.

So when I first heard about the new Q10 plus C Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Skin Sleep Cream by NIVEA, I was optimistic but also kind of mystified.

The product says it can refresh, brighten and energise your skin while you sleep, meaning all you have to do is slather it on and close your eyes. But what is a sleep cream and can it genuinely help make you look awake when you really, really don’t feel it?

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What is a sleep cream and how does it work?

Nivea-sleep-cream
NIVEA Q10 plus C Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Skin Sleep Cream. Image: NIVEA.

I asked NIVEA Skincare Expert Robyn Hutch to explain what a sleep cream is because it's a term I hadn't heard before.

"Essentially, a sleep cream helps to support the skin at night," she told Mamamia. "At night, when we switch off and head to sleep, the skin is able to work harder to regenerate. It has a much better capacity to take up moisture overnight and takes the biggest opportunity to repair skin damage, which is where a sleep cream comes in."

As for how the NIVEA sleep cream works, it's got to do with the combination of the product's two supercharged antioxidant ingredients - pure Vitamin C and CoEnzyme Q10.

Together these help skin breathe more deeply overnight so you wake up looking better rested, with an energised and smoother complexion.

Do I need to use a sleep cream?

Well, yes. Because while your everyday moisturiser might do a great job when the sun's up, it won't cut it at night if you're hoping to wake up with better skin than you went to bed with, Hutch told me.

"Daily moisturisers usually contain UV filters to help protect skin from UV damage. But at night, skin does not need these filters, nor does the skin need to fight the effects of UV. As such, sleep creams are filled with nourishing ingredients to hydrate and meet your skin's regeneration needs, " she said.

"Also, NIVEA's sleep cream contains pure Vitamin C so it's best used at night because it's a very sensitive ingredient and when exposed to light and air it can oxidise, turn brown and become less potent. Applying at night means you get all the wonderful benefits."

How do I use the NIVEA Sleep Cream?

nivea sleep cream
Me waking up after an average night's sleep. Only you wouldn't know it thanks to the NIVEA sleep cream. Image: Supplied.

The best thing about this sleep cream is it requires zero effort to incorporate it into your usual nighttime skincare routine.

Like you would your normal moisturiser, Hutch advised applying a pea-sized dollop of the product to your face after cleansing right before bed.

I found the cream fairly lightweight, but just enough so it felt like my skin was getting the drink it needed. A small amount went a long way - it has a fresh scent and felt cool on my skin.  As someone who loves trying new products but has sensitive skin, I was relieved the cream didn't burn or irritate my face.

Hutch made a point of mentioning it's important to wipe the nozzle after each use due to the potency of the pure Vitamin C, which can discolour when exposed to air. Don't worry if the product takes on a slight discolouration - the product inside the tube will still do its thing.

And that's it. Then all that's left to do is drift off to sleep.

That said, Hutch also recommended combining the sleep cream with the NIVEA's Q10 plus C Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Eye Cream if you need extra support around your eye area. If you're going to use an eye cream, apply it after cleansing but before your sleep cream.

Will I keep using the NIVEA Q10 plus C Anti-Wrinkle and Energy Skin Sleep Cream?

As a self-confessed newbie to the world of sleep creams, I noticed a difference in my skin after a few days of using NIVEA's Q10 plus C Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Skin Sleep Cream.

I've been using it for a week now and am happy with how my skin looks, particularly around my eyes, which normally give me away when I haven't gone to bed as early as I should.

It's also a nice feeling to have a bedtime routine to gently push me into the land of nod. I often find it hard to switch off and am one of those people who is living tomorrow before today has even finished. For me, a warm shower and a spritz of lavender on my chest makes a difference, but swapping out my post-shower moisturiser for sleep cream wasn't hard at all.

I'll keep using the product because, so far, the best thing about it is that it's completely low maintenance. I didn't need to add any steps or newfangled tools to my skincare routine before bed to start seeing results.

Now, if anyone can help me with my late night social media scrolling habit, that'd be great.

What's the most important pre-sleep ritual you do? Please, tell us your tips below, we need them!

Supercharge your skin

Tired, dull looking skin? Fight back and supercharge your skin with new NIVEA Q10 plus C sleep cream; its powerful combination of pure vitamin C and Q10 energises skin cells to regenerate overnight, fighting dullness & fine lines, so you wake up looking refreshed and healthy.

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