National Sleep Awareness Week: Your Best Sleep Tips for Healthy Skin
This week is National Sleep Awareness week. You may be wondering what sleep has to do with your skin. The truth is, a lot. Healthy skin is directly related to how much–and quality–of sleep you get. Dr. Helen Flamenbaum, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group’s New Hyde Park dermatology office in Long Island, gives the scoop on why getting a good night’s sleep is so essential to your skin’s health. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing!
How Sleep Affects Your Skin
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. This is not a good thing for many reasons. Increased levels of cortisol can have all sorts of negative impacts on your body. Too much cortisol leads to obesity and diabetes and it can also lead to a bad complexion. Cortisol can break down skin cells, causing premature aging, and can also lead to acne breakouts. Furthermore, skin cell turnover happens eight times faster at night than it does during the day. Skin cell turnover is a key factor in erasing wrinkles and making the skin look younger and healthier.
Your Best Sleeping Tips for Healthy Skin Sleep on Your Back
Bad news for all you side and stomach sleepers. Believe it or no, the position you sleep in may actually cause wrinkles. Regardless if you have the softest pillow on the planet, the pressure of sleeping on your face every night can permanently etch creases and lines onto cheeks, forehead and chin. Try placing a pillow underneath your knees to make back sleeping more comfortable. If that still doesn’t work, then switch out your cotton pillowcase for a satin one. Your face will slide agains the satin pillowcase and the lines won’t form. Dr. Flamenbaum also recommends beauty sleep pillows, which are made with a unique foam to help alleviate the pressure on your face during sleep.
Monitor the Room Temperature
A room that’s too hot will interfere with your beauty sleep. Not only is forced hot air a complexion ruiner, but cooler air helps induce sleep. In the winter time, if you are sleeping with forced hot air on, it’s key to use a humidifier in the room to replenish essential moisture to the air and your skin.
Apply a Retinoid Cream at Night
Retinoids might be the best topical ingredient ever created. In addition to minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, they increase the thickness and elasticity of the skin, slows the breakdown of collagen and lightens sun spots. The way Retinoids work are by speeding up the turnover of skin cells on the surface and helping to make way for new cell growth underneath. Use a retinoid at nighttime, as they make your skin more sensitive to the sunlight and more likely to get a sunburn.