We all know that sleep is crucial to our skin and overall health. Our bodies go into regeneration mode while we doze off, replacing damaged cells and producing new ones. It also gives us energy the next day, as well as helps us focus better and think more clearly. But is it also true that the way we sleep (Sleeping Mistakes) can sabotage our skin?
Well, the answer depends on your sleeping habits. Lack of sleep hinders important processes from happening, causing you to feel tired or cranky the next day. The effects can also show up on your face, leading to puffiness and under-eye circles. Sleep deprivation, furthermore, is linked to aging skin and accelerates aging, study suggests.
Fortunately, you can tweak or change your sleeping habits in a way that benefits your skin. Below are the ways that can sabotage your skin while you’re sleeping and what to do to avoid them.
Sleeping on dirty pillowcases
On the surface, your pillowcases might look clean even after several nights of sleep. The truth is, however, dirt, oil, dead skin, sweat, saliva, and residue of your nighttime skincare products accumulate on the fabric. While it may not look so concerning on the surface, feel and compare them to the texture of a fresh pillowcase. You are sure to notice some differences.
Just change your pillowcases at least once a week. And if you have oily skin, change or wash them more often. When it comes to pillows, if you have those types that can be washed, wash them two to three times a year. If not, you can air or dry your pillows out in the sun. Replace them every one to two years.
Forgetting to wash face before sleeping
Your face can become clogged with oil, dirt, and other impurities throughout the day. These, along with makeup and other skincare product residues, can irritate your skin and contribute to acne or premature signs of aging. This is why no matter how tired you are, you need to wash your face before sleeping.
A single night of forgetting to wash your face won’t exactly lead to disaster, but don’t make it a habit. This is especially true if you wear lots of make-up or spend most of your days outdoors. Use a gentle cleanser or a formula that is right for your skin and wash your face at least twice a day (morning and night), or after sweating or working out.
Not applying moisturizer
While you don’t need a 10-step skincare routine at night, you should at least moisturize after cleansing or toning. Our skin also loses water when we sleep (transepidermal water loss), which can disrupt the moisture barrier. This only makes it important to use moisturizer at night or use a hydrating serum.
You can elevate your nighttime skincare routine by using an anti-aging serum or eye cream before moisturizer. This is particularly helpful if you are noticing lines and wrinkles. Dr. Sylvia’s Age Defying Serum with Tightening Helix helps lift and tighten the skin’s appearance. It can also help smooth the look of wrinkles and defend the skin against environmental exposure.
Sleeping on your side or stomach
Side sleeping is preferred by most adults and has a lot of health benefits. The only drawback is it causes unwanted creases on the sides of the face, as the skin is pressed against the pillowcase. With sleeping on your stomach, the face is also smashed or pressed against the pillowcase, which creates friction on the skin.
Sleeping on your back doesn’t put any pressure on either side of the face, but not everyone likes this position. In such cases, you may consider replacing cotton pillowcases with silk or satin ones. Both are gentler on the skin and allow it to glide smoothly against the fabric.
You may also be glad to know that silk and satin sheets are less drying on your hair and skin. They run smoothly across the hair with less friction or pulling and tugging when you toss and turn while you doze off. It is also less absorbent, which means it won’t soak up as much oil, dirt, sweat, and residual products as much as cotton.
Staying up all night
While staying up all hours of the night won’t age you right away, the cumulative effects can show up early. It is also easy to slip into the pattern of less sleep, or clocking in less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep at night. This, as mentioned before, can lead to dark circles, eye bags, and a tired-looking appearance.
You might also find it hard to fall asleep at night if you use electronic devices before bed. Phones, laptops, and tablets emit blue light that suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel drowsy and regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Make your bedroom sleep-friendly by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Reserve it for sleep and sex only and don’t bring your work into the bedroom. Investing in quality mattresses and bedding matters too. Also, don’t forget to limit your screen time at night or avoid using devices a few hours before bedtime.
Not using a humidifier at night
With high humidity, allergies, asthma, and other skin conditions are likely to get worse, as mold and dust mites thrive and high humid levels. This can then disrupt your sleep. Dry air, furthermore, can contribute to a host of skin issues, including dry skin, brittle hair, congestion, and coughing.
Sleeping with a humidifier on can help with these issues, allowing you to sleep better. What it does is increase moisture in the dry air, helping reduce symptoms associated with allergies, dryness in the throat or airway, sinus headaches, and others. It can also keep the skin and hair moist, helping prevent transepidermal water loss.
Check out our previous post to learn more about humidity and its effect on your skin.
How Cutis can help
If you’re already dealing with signs of aging and wish to treat or reduce their appearance, we can help. We have a number of non-surgical aesthetic procedures that can give you a more energized and refreshed look. These include:
- Botox – smooths facial wrinkles by temporarily weakening the muscles responsible for those lines and wrinkles.
- Dermal fillers – restore volume loss, fill in folds and hollows in the face, and help contour facial profile.
- Profhilo – is a skin bioremodeling injectable that can help restore hydration, improve laxity, and address other signs of aging. It can remodel the skin by improving its tone, texture, and overall quality.
- Hydra Dermabrasion (hydra facial) – gently exfoliates the skin, as well as nourishes it with formulated serums. Our Hydra-Clarifying facial helps with minimizing puffiness and dark circles, while our Hydra-Anti-Aging facial helps reduce the look of wrinkles and increase collagen.
- Crystal Carboxy CO2 gel mask – is a non-invasive, anti-aging skin correcting technology that increases the skin’s oxygen supply. It can help with cell restoration, while also providing brightening, anti-aging, moisturizing, and face slimming effects.
Book a consultation
We at Cutis are an advocate of getting quality and enough sleep for your skin and overall health. If you need help in counteracting the effects of aging or looking more youthful, contact us today. Schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors to find out which treatment or combination procedures are right for you.
- If you would like to be an informed patient, please contact us at +65-6801-4000 or
- Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, 9 Scotts Road Pacific Plaza, Scotts Medical Center #08-07, Singapore – 228210