We do so much to make our skin look great in the morning. Our bathroom counters are cluttered with everything from 10 step skin care routines to make up galore.

So, what if I was to tell you that one of the key secrets to better skin was as simple as laying down and taking a nap?

Your body never stops working, even when you’re asleep.  Sleep is when some of the most important internal and epidermal recovery takes place!

What am I talking about?

Of course I am not telling you to abandon your daytime skin care routine in favour of getting more sleep.  I am, however, wanting to share some tips to get better sleep and look at how it can help your skin and maybe even save you time in a morning too. 

How good does that sound?

How sleep affects your skin

You can almost immediately tell when you or someone else is getting a poor night of sleep.  Poor sleep can cause:

  • hanging eyelids
  • swollen eyes
  • darker undereye circles
  • paler skin
  • more wrinkles and fine lines
  • more droopy corners of the mouth

So, what seems like an overnight issue could transform into something more permanent.

Our body repairs itself

First and foremost, you should understand that sleep is the time when your body repairs itself.  This is true for your epidermis (outer layer of skin) as much as it is for your brain or muscles.

During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases and the organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.

Second, sleep is when your face inevitably comes into contact with the elements directly around it for a long time, especially if you’re getting the recommended seven to nine hours each night.

Here’s what you can do to help give your skin a rest.

Get a full night of sleep

The best place to start for your skin and overall health is to get the recommended amount of rest each night.

The results of poor sleep for your skin include:

  • skin that ages faster
  • skin that doesn’t recover as well from environmental stressors like sun exposure
  • less satisfaction with your skin quality

Sometimes you might have an off day, but you should average seven to nine hours of sleep. 

Wash your face before turning in

We’ve established how sleeping is a sure fire way to help your skin repair itself: blood flow increases, collagen is rebuilt, and the muscles in your face relax after a long day.

But going to sleep with a dirty face can also harm the appearance of your skin.

Cleansing your face each night is arguably more important than in the morning.  You don’t need to use fancy products or scrub too hard.

A gentle cleanser to remove dirt, makeup and extra oil will do the trick.

You don’t want to give the day’s pore clogging irritants the chance to sink in and cause damage overnight. This can cause:

  • large pores
  • dry skin
  • rashes
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • acne outbreaks

Use an overnight moisturiser and stay hydrated

Washing your face can dry it out and sleeping can also dehydrate skin, especially if you snooze in a low-humidity environment.

While staying hydrated by drinking water can help to some extent, what your skin really needs at night is a topical moisturiser.

Again, you don’t need the fanciest product on the market.  You just need a thicker cream or oil that can help your skin as you sleep. 

Another option is to use your day moisturiser and layer extra serum on top to lock in the moisturiser.

Sleep on your back or use a special pillowcase

It makes sense that the position your face is in while you sleep (for one-third of your day!) matters to your skin.

Sleeping on a rough cotton surface can irritate your skin and compress your face for long hours at a time, resulting in wrinkles.

While most wrinkles are caused by the expressions we make while we’re awake, wrinkles on the face and chest can result from sleeping on our stomachs or sides.

An easy solution to this is sleeping on your back.  If you prefer to sleep on your side, get a skin-friendly pillow.

A satin or silk pillow minimises skin irritation and compression, while copper-oxide pillowcases may reduce crow’s feet and other fine lines.

Elevate your head

Elevating your head has been proven to help with snoring, acid reflux, and nasal drip — all issues that can disturb the quality of your sleep and, therefore, your skin.

In addition, it can help reduce bags and circles under your eyes by improving blood flow and preventing blood from pooling.

Elevating your head while you sleep can be as simple as adding an extra pillow, a wedge to your mattress, or even propping the head of your bed by a few inches.

Stay away from sun while you snooze

While we do most of our sleeping in the dark, sleeping with your skin directly exposed to the sun in the morning, or during naps, can have a damaging effect on your skin’s health and appearance.

This is not to mention that sleeping in a lighted room can disturb sleep and sleep rhythms.

Getting blackout curtains or making sure that your bed is out of the sun’s direct line can help.

While we often spend a lot of our time layering and lasering our skin, paying attention to how we treat our skin during sleeping hours shouldn’t be overlooked.

It’s not just for a glow or looking youthful; it’s about maintaining your health in body, mind, and skin for years to come.

A few wrinkles never hurt anyone, in fact, they’re usually a sign of happy years lived.

Lots of love