“Get your beauty sleep!” You have probably been told this before, but do you really know just how important sleep is for the health of your skin? In 2013, the idea that lack of sleep results in accelerated aging was actually proven by science. A team of researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center conducted a study that showed poor sleepers had increased signs of aging. Specifically, they found that the skin’s barrier was unable to replenish itself without sleep, resulting in higher levels of UV-damage and environmental stress. This makes sense since it is during sleep that our body recovers and replenishes itself, including the skin! Not getting enough sleep can be the culprit to hyperpigmentation, sagging, wrinkles, and even acne.
We all had a bedtime routine as a child, but when was the last time you focused on unwinding and getting into the mindset of sleep? Creating a routine at night and then repeating it can train your body to fall asleep faster and deeper. Here are our best tips and tricks for putting yourself to bed the right way.
Limit Snacking and Drink Water
Avoid snacking on sugary, caffeinated, and carb heavy foods as they can cause inflammation while you sleep. Instead, focus on eating a healthy dinner early in the evening and sticking to water until bed. If you do get hungry and need a snack, try limiting yourself to veggies and fruits with low sugar and high water content. Water is key to reducing inflammation and boosting cell regeneration.
Disconnect from Electronics
The short-wavelength, blue light coming off your screens is one of the biggest culprits to lack of sleep. The light delays your body’s internal clock, which suppresses the release of sleep-inducing Melatonin. This makes it harder to fall asleep and to get into REM sleep which is where we need to be to replenish our cells. Start your bedtime routine by setting aside your cellphone an hour (or two) before you want to fall asleep. Place it on the charger and begin your evening routine!
Optimize your Skin Care for Replenishment
Turn your skin care routine into the ultimate bedtime prep. Light a candle, turn on soothing music, and take the time to focus on yourself. There are certain skin care steps that we can take to aid our bodies natural process of recovery during sleep.
This is the MOST important step in your evening routine. Even if you don’t wear make-up, it is crucial to cleanse deeply and remove any environmental pollutants that have found their way onto your skin throughout the day. While you sleep your skin is busy producing natural antioxidants to fight off free-radicals and UV damage from the day before. You can help this process by removing any and all pollutants. Double cleansing is best with two cleansers. For a first cleanse use a cream cleanser such as Sorella Apothecary's Apricot Mango Cleansing Milk or Rhonda Alison's Foaming Peptide Cleanser, that removes makeup without disturbing the skin’s natural lipid base. Or many people like to use the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt and water as a first cleanse. The Magic Mitt removes makeup and surface dirt without disturbing the skin's acid mantle. We see a reduction in acne for our clients that use the Magic Mitt. For your second cleanse use a foamy cleanser like Le Mieux’s Brightening Cleanser or Sorella Apothecary’s Orange You Jelly Cleanser.
Serums for Increased Cell Turnover
As we age, our skin’s natural cycle slows from 28 days to up to 60 days. This is the rate that the cells are turning over and replenishing. Slow cell turnover leads to sagging, dryness, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. Sleeping is an important part of this cycle as it is when our bodies are repairing and producing new skin cells. It is important to feed your skin at night with ingredients that boost the natural cycle of collagen production and HGH. Vitamin A still stands as the #1 used product at night, and for good reason! It is food for your skin and aids in cellular regeneration like no other ingredient can. However, summer time can be a dangerous time to add vitamin A since it increases sensitivity to the sun. Avoid using Retinol forms of Vitamin A, and instead find products with Retinaldehyde. Retinaldehyde is the natural form of Vitamin A. It is extracted from plants that are naturally high in vitamin a, such as pumpkins and carrots making it gentle yet effective. Rhonda Allison’s Synergy A is one of our favorite Retinaldehyde serums because it also contains a powerful Chronopeptide that rebalances your skins circadian rhythm, making it optimal for those of us who do not get enough sleep.