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Beauty sleep tips: wake up looking and feeling better

Treat your skin while you sleep

Doctors always highlight the importance of sleep. Sleeping well plays a vital role in health and wellbeing throughout your life – when you get enough sleep, it protects your mental and physical health, quality of life and productivity. We don’t always get enough, though! Learn how to maximise yours and benefit your skin.

The way you feel when you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. Damage caused by sleep deficiency can occur in an instant, or can harm you over time. Sleep can also affect how you think, react, work, learn and live with other people.

Importance of sleep for the emotional well-being

Sleep helps your brain work. While you are sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day, and forming new ways to help you learn and remember information.

Importance of sleep for physical health

Sleep plays a crucial role in your physical health. For example, the importance of sleep for your body is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Sleep deficiency is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

Importance of sleep for your productivity

Getting enough sleep helps you stay alert during the day. People who have just a few hours sleep are far less productive at work and at school. They take longer to complete tasks, have slower reaction times and tend to make more mistakes.

As a result, sleep deprivation is an evil not only damaging you on a personal level, but can also cause large-scale damage. For example, lack of sleep has played a role in human errors linked to tragic accidents such as nuclear plant meltdowns, sinking large ships and aircraft accidents.

Beauty and sleep deprivation

To maintain skins beauty, a regular visit to the clinic is not enough. You need to make sure that your beauty sleep is in place. Lack of sleep can affect your skin immediately. The first symptom is the dreaded dark circles under the eyes.

The increasing levels of acidity due to lack of sleep will lead to spots and acne and also aggravate skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Lack of sleep leads to under the eyes puffiness, redness and irritation. Another side effect of sleep deprivation is hair loss, it can also result in dull hair and skin, a loss of your skins glow and luminosity.

Many of these beauty problems can be set straight with eight hours of sleep. Drinking lots of water and eating foods rich in antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body will also reduce these symptoms. Fruits and vegetables should be added into your daily diet and taking nutritional supplements will also help.

Vitamin B1, 6 and 12, together with cod liver oil capsules and vitamins E, C and A can keep you feel pretty inside and out. To keep your eyes from dryness and redness due to excessive computer use, try blinking often and do some eye exercises such as rolling your eyes in a circle.

Skin care before bed

A good night’s sleep is essential for recovery from fatigue accumulated throughout the day, as well as the restructuring of the skin happening when a higher cellular repair occurs during the night.

The first step before bed is to remove all the makeup.

A good recipe is to make cold compresses on the eyes as the low temperature causes vasoconstriction in the vessels of the face, eliminating the accumulation of blood in the tissues. The result is visible in the morning: dark circles reduced.

The next tip is pretty simple: use night creams. These cosmetics contain active ingredients in the highest concentration. Furthermore, such creams have photosensitizing agents, i.e they must not be used before sun exposure, such as retinoic acid, glycolic acid and hydroquinone. My advice here would be to use Skinceuticals Retinol (from 0.3 to 1% depending on the skin sensitivity) or the retexturizing Activator to improve fine lines and texture, for pigmentation problems, Obagi-C RX Night Cream or the new Obagi 360 with Retinol are great products.

Another great trick is pack on the antioxidants by using creams before sleeping, boosting skin repair and protection overnight. The latest “beauty molecule” is Resveratrol, and Skinceuticals Serum has excellent reviews.

During the night we can use richer moisturizers (on non-oily skins), leaving the skin plump and hydrated for the morning. Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 masque has hyaluronic acid which holds water inside the skin, a great non grease way to keep hydrated.

Speaking of hydration, here is another tip: it should not be only on the outside, make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, remember, collagen is about 70% water, so you do not want to look like a dry prune.

Finally, at bedtime, choose a higher pillow if you can, so we let gravity help us with lymphatic drainage. Choosing a higher pillow – while being comfortable not to cause stiff neck or other pains – helps the transport of lymph accumulated on the face, for the nodes located in the neck, where the liquid is filtered. What does this mean? A less puffy face in the morning.

Waterhouse Young is one of London’s first medical aesthetic clinics, founded by renowned cosmetic surgeon, Norman Waterhouse – former President of the BAAPS. Based in the Harley Street medical district, WY contributes regularly to the media, from Vogue, Tatler, Vanity Fair and Elle to The Times. WY’s longstanding team offers advice and  non-surgical treatments to maintain optimum skin and overall health. 

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