We’ve all heard of the term “get your beauty sleep” and based on scientific studies, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth.
Sleep reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), which is responsible for thinning skin, stretch marks, and discoloration. It also increases melatonin (the sleep hormone), which acts like an antioxidant to fight age spots; fine lines, or in the worst case scenario, skin cancer. If we don’t get a good night’s sleep, we are more likely to suffer from dehydrated skin, puffy eyes, dark circles, and a sallow complexion.
We know. Early nights and a lot of sleep isn’t always an option in our busy lifestyles so what can we do to achieve healthy looking skin? Before going to bed, take a few minutes to follow these steps, even if you are tired.
WASH YOUR FACE AT NIGHT
With or without makeup, your skin endures makeup, oil build up, weather and pollution throughout day, so it’s important to wash your face at night before going to bed. If you don’t the daily dirt and excess oil on your skin will clog your pores whilst you sleep. This may lead to inflammation and acne. Leftover makeup is the worse culprit and if not removed daily, it grinds into your skin all night, causing breakouts and even stretching out the pores, which makes your skin look older.
APPLY HYDRATING SKINCARE
Any products that you use at night will be that much more effective at hydrating, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and brightening. Moisture-attracting ingredients are very important because we lose moisture during the sleep process. Applying a thin layer of moisturizer or night cream before going to bed helps maintain healthy levels of cellular hydration. Products that include hyaluronic acid or shea butter lock in hydration and attract moisture to the surface of the skin.
WEAR A NIGHT MASK
While you sleep, the skin is working its hardest to repair itself. It’s also the best time to apply leave-on masks (or sleep packs, as they are known abroad) to give the ingredients time to absorb into the skin and correct daily damage caused by UV exposure and environmental aggressors. Night masks are designed to go on top of your evening skin treatments as the final step, then rinsed off in the morning. Purifying masks are popular because they help with milia (whiteheads caused by clogged pores).
APPLY EYE CREAM
The skin around the eye area is thinner than elsewhere on your body, and it thins even more as you age. That can lead to under eye circles and hollowing.
Your most comfortable sleeping state may not be the best for your beauty. Did you know that the single biggest reason for accelerated ageing of the skin is sleeping on your face or continually on the same side of your face? Sleeping in the same position night after night can compress the skin and without receiving enough circulation, the skin breaks down and creases, forming wrinkles. Try sleeping on your back or switch to the other side to allow more circulation to the skin.
The older we get the less melatonin our bodies produce. This affects our skin’s ability to repair itself at night but can be remedied by taking melatonin supplements or applying topical products with melatonin before bed to help combat decreased hormone levels. It also helps to improve the quality and duration of restorative sleep to optimize the skin’s repair cycle.
While topical products are necessary to prevent dehydrated skin while we sleep, increasing intracellular water levels before going to bed is just as vital. Try snacking on water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, watermelon and apples. Your skin will thank you for the hydration and release powerful free-radical fighting antioxidants.