Beauty sleep isn’t just a myth parents tell their kids to convince them to go to bed (it’s handy for that too, though). Proper sleep is one of the most beneficial health habits you can practice, right up there with exercising and drinking water. It aids pretty much every part of your health, and that includes your skin.
There’s a bit more to it, though. The way you sleep can turn the hours you spend snoozing into the most productive hours for enhancing and restoring your skin. Follow these tips to make your sleep skin-friendly.
1. Use a Nighttime Retinol
Retinol is a powerhouse for anti-aging and overall skin health. It stimulates cell turnover, meaning your damaged skin cells are being replaced by fresh, healthy skin cells more regularly. With consistent use, retinol reduces fine lines and wrinkles while giving your skin a brighter, more even complexion. It’s about as close as we can get to a youth serum.
Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, though, so save it until the sun goes down. Choose a retinol product and apply it after cleansing your skin at night.
2. Set Up a Skin-Friendly Surface
Depending on how you sleep, your face is probably spending one-third of every day touching the same surface – your pillow. That’s a long time to allow dirt to transfer from the pillowcase to your pores and cause blemishes or irritation.
There are a few things you can do to make your pillowcase more skin-friendly. For starters, make sure you’re swapping out and washing your pillowcase routinely – at least once a week. Choose a pillowcase that’s made with a low-friction fabric like silk or high-thread-count cotton. This way, the pillowcase won’t pull so much on your skin so it won’t contribute to sagging and wrinkles. If your skin is sensitive, it doesn’t hurt to use a hypoallergenic pillow and pillowcase too.
3. Clock Those Hours
Truth be told, many of us don’t get enough sleep. Life is busy and there are countless reasons why you might not be getting as many Zs as you want. But if you need one more reason to try to get your hours in every night, do it for your skin.
Sleep is the time when your body works on healing and repairing, so this is its opportunity to repair environmental damage your skin accumulates throughout the day. Your sleep also affects your hormone production which has an impact on your skin’s health and appearance.
4. Seize the Opportunity for Hydration
Hydration is absolutely vital for your skin health and for maintaining a healthy glow on a daily basis. Unfortunately, your body tends to lose hydration while you sleep, so you need to be proactive.
Nighttime is the time to apply a really powerful, strong moisturizer. Most people want to avoid heavy moisturizers during the day because they leave a residue or a shiny look that isn’t on anyone’s wish list. At night, though, you don’t have to worry about appearances, so hydrate away. In fact, you could combine this step with your new retinol routine by using a night cream with retinol .
Another bedtime hydration tip is to operate a humidifier next to your bed. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water before you hit the hay too so you’re as hydrated as you can be when you drift off to dreamland.
5. Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Sorry to break the news to all the side sleepers but your sleeping position isn’t great for your skin. It’s ideal to sleep on your back for a few reasons.
First, when you sleep on your side, your face is pressed against your pillow all night. This can lead to tension and wrinkles on top of more debris transfer. Second, sleeping on your side compresses your chest in a way that contributes to chest wrinkles.
If you want bonus points, it’s even better to sleep with your head slightly elevated, whether you use a second pillow or a wedge pillow. This reduces blood pooling in your face so you’ll wake up with fewer dark circles and bags under your eyes.
With all that said, though, don’t sacrifice your sleep quality. If you try sleeping on your back at a slight elevation for a while and it’s making it so difficult to sleep that you’re not getting adequate nights of sleep, look for ways to make compromises. Your amount and quality of your sleep take precedence.
6. Be Mindful of Your Hair
Your hair accumulates debris and oil throughout the day. When you lay down to sleep, especially if you tend to shift around a lot, that debris transfers from your hair to your pillowcase to your face. That’s a recipe for clogged pores and facial irritation.
When possible, aim to hit the pillow with clean hair. If your hair isn’t at its freshest or if you’re using overnight products in your hair, wear a bonnet, shower cap, towel, or other cover over your hair as a barrier.
Sleeping Your Way to Better Skin
Who says great skin care has to be time-consuming? By just making a few adjustments to your routine or your bedtime setup, you can enhance your skin’s health and appearance while you’re snoozing away in dreamland. Use the tips above and sleep soundly!