Sleep and your Skin: Rest to Rejuvenate

While April is a time of spring awakening, don’t forget to mind your sleep. Ever wonder why sleep deprivation shows in your face? Much like the rest of your body systems, shut-eye is fundamental to maintaining a healthy complexion. Besides, with exposure to environmental stressors throughout the day, the nighttime represents a key opportunity to fortify and rejuvenate your skin. Make sure you maximize it this spring with a few simple guidelines:

Have a routine

Do you have an evening skincare routine? Having a plan to cleanse, hydrate, and rejuvenate your skin in the evening truly pays off. Practice it until it becomes just as second nature as brushing your teeth. Here are the fundamentals:

  • Rinse your face with a mild cleanser to remove dirt, excess oils, makeup and other unwanted debris from the day. This step always comes first and is most fundamental to the wellness of your skin!
  • Moisturize generously. Your skin loses water while you sleep, even if you aren’t particularly prone to dry skin. Dryness in the overnight hours can leave your skin looking less-than-vibrant in the morning. Avoid waking up with parched skin by keeping a moisturizer handy at bedtime.
  • When you’ve mastered the fundamentals above, build a personalized nighttime routine that works for your skin type by consulting your dermatologist. For example, retinoids for anti-aging are most effective when used at night. Eye creams containing caffeine, vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid may be suggested for those of us looking to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Mind how you sleep

Consider sleeping on your back to avoid having your face smooshed into your pillows overnight, or change up which side you sleep on. Over time, this may help you mitigate new wrinkles and will help prevent your skin from coming in contact with oils and dirt in your pillowcase or linens. Make your bed a skin-friendly environment by washing your bed linens regularly. In particular, changing your pillowcase regularly may help prevent facial breakouts, inflammation, and irritation.

While you’re at it, think critically about the bed linens you use. Smoother fabrics like satin, silk, or softer cotton sheets will not only increase your comfort while you sleep, but minimize abrasion to your skin as well.

Quantity and Quality

Getting sufficient, high quality sleep is key for your body and mind, and the skin is no exception. Sleep deprivation hampers your skin’s ability to fortify and rejuvenate itself. Without a full 7 to 9 hours of consistent shut-eye, your skin’s ability to respond to and recover from environmental stressors will take a hit. In the short term, a sleepless night may leave your skin looking visibly drab in the morning. It can also exacerbate stress, which may further aggravate existing skin conditions like acne and psoriasis. In the longer term, sleeplessness increases your likelihood of developing fine lines and premature aging.

Long story short: sleep for the sake of your skin! Our skin may face many challenges, but don’t let poor sleep be one of them. And remember, you can visit your dermatologist from anywhere online with SkyMD.