You may have the best anti-aging products by your side — but did you know that your sleeping habits could be sabotaging your skincare routine?
Here are the top factors that could be aging you in your sleep. But don’t fret — these problems are easy to correct!
Check out some quick tips about sleeping habits that may be aging you:
Not Enough Sleep
Our body needs sleep to repair and restore itself, and that means aiming for at least 7-9 hours a night. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t getting nearly enough sleep — which doesn’t just affect your cognitive skills, it may also be aging your skin.
In fact, several clinical trials have found that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of aging, such as saggy eyelids, red eyes, swollen eyes, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles, droopy mouth corners, and even a diminished skin barrier. 1,2,3
Solution: If you know you have to wake up early, work backwards to determine exactly what time is “lights out” in order to get a solid night of sleep. Also allow time for your pre-bedtime routine, as this can cut into your precious sleeptime. Once you develop a habit of getting into bed earlier, it will truly become second nature.
Sleeping On Your Face
Most of us are side-sleepers or stomach-sleepers and have been our entire lives. The bad news? Sleeping on your face can age skin faster. Just as repeated facial expressions can cause face wrinkles, so can the compression and friction of your skin on a pillowcase, which can stretch collagen fibers.
Solution: It can be hard to switch to becoming a back sleeper — and if you find it near impossible, invest in a silk pillowcase instead. Silk won’t zap moisture from your face like cotton can. Plus, the smooth surface creates less friction between the skin and fabric, leaving your face crease-free.
Not Removing Makeup
We know it’s not the best habit for our skin — but most of us are guilty of sleeping in our makeup from time to time. However, keep in mind that oil, pollutants and free radicals build up on your skin throughout the day — and makeup helps to hold onto them. Free radicals cause the breakdown of collagen, and collagen is the difference between youthful and “older-looking” skin. On its own, makeup can also clog pores, which can cause acne and inflammation.
Solution: No matter how tired you are, make it a habit to spend at least two minutes removing your makeup before bed. If it helps, invest in cleansing wipes to make the process quicker and easier. If you often wear eye makeup, purchase a specific eye makeup removing product that will remove stubborn eyeliner and mascara much easier. This will also prevent you from tugging on the delicate eye area while trying to remove it.
No Skincare Routine Before Bed
When it comes to keeping your skin looking youthful, a good skin care routine before bed is essential. This is the perfect time for your skin to suck up nutrients and target those fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, nighttime-specific formulas contain higher concentrations of deeply moisturizing ingredients — so you wake up with skin that looks healthy and refreshed.
Solution: Invest in a good cleanser, toner, night serum, night cream, and eye cream. Look for key anti-aging and collagen-boosting ingredients like retinol, retinyl palmitate (a gentler retinol derivative), hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and glycolic acid.
Not Washing Sheets Often
We spend up to eight hours every night on our sheets, which means we leave dead skin cells, oils and dirt in our wake every single day. After a week, that’s seven days’ worth of grime on your sheets and your pillowcase. This buildup can lead to breakouts, inflammation and dull, older-looking skin.
Solution: Aim to wash your sheets at least once a week — especially your pillowcase.
Not Enough Moisture
The body is made up of around 60% water, and our skin is at least 64% water — so staying hydrated is an absolute must. 4 When our body is dehydrated, it can really show on our skin, leading to flakiness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Solution: Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day (about 90-120 ounces, depending on your body). And to ensure your skin stays moisturized overnight, invest in a good humidifier for your bedroom. Humidifiers are a great way to get moisture back into the air – and straight into your skin.
Sleeping Beauty…It’s For Real
They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing — and as you can see, beauty sleep doesn’t just come from clocking in your eight hours. We may not be able to stop the aging process, but we can do everything in our power to slow it down by protecting our skin every day (and night!).