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Get Better Skin While you Sleep

Updated on February 13, 2013

Better Skin While You Sleep

We all want great skin, but who has time??? There are great products to use in the shower, self messages to do, body wrapping. I know I don't have time (or money) for a trip to the spa each month....

So what if I told you that you could get better skin while you sleep??? I definitely listened up when I heard about this, I hope you do to!

Nighttime gives you an 8-hour opportunity to hydrate skin with formulations that don't mix well with foundation or that might give you a sheen you'd rather not show in the light of day. These superhydrators not only attract moisture to the skin but also prevent it from evaporating from the skin's surface. There's some evidence, too, that skin may be more receptive to active ingredients when you're sleeping, because "they don't have to compete with the sun, pollution, or makeup; the product just gets to do its work," says Cristina Carlino, CEO of Philosophy, a line of skin care products.

Researchers are learning that skin works harder to rejuvenate itself on the night shift, says Alex Khadavi, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California. "Skin cell regeneration is slightly faster at night than during the day," he says. Sheldon Pinnell, MD, whose research at Duke University more than a decade ago put vitamin C products on many women's nightstands, agrees: "Sleep hours are a potent time for your body to repair itself, skin included."

Here are tips for adding more beauty to your sleep:

  • Sleep flat on your back: Smashing your face into a pillow creates fold lines that eventually become permanent if they're repeated every night. Spending time on your back also helps counter the effects of gravity that accumulate during the day. In a recent study of 38 women and men, Japanese researchers found there was greater wrinkling in the afternoon than in the morning; they concluded that the face literally falls with gravity

    as the day progresses. At night, you get a chance to reverse that.

  • Stay hydrated: "Keeping skin moist from the inside out is a simple, relatively inexpensive, and quite effective moisturizer," says Pinnell. Drink six to eight glasses of plain water throughout the day and include omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and nuts) in your diet, says Dale Prokupek, MD, a Beverly Hills internist and an associate professor of gastroenterology and nutrition at UCLA. To help avoid moisture loss from the skin while sleeping, turn on a humidifier. "I used one in my bedroom for a dry throat problem and soon realized my skin never looked better," he says. (Be sure to clean the humidifier often, especially if you're prone to allergies.)
  • Use a moisturizer after bathing: Seal in the moisture that the topmost layer of your skin has absorbed with a hydrating body lotion or cream. Because you're going to bed--not pulling on a silk blouse or cashmere sweater--you can try a body cream that's richer than you would feel comfortable wearing during the day, such as Nivea Body Renewal Night Cream ($10; drugstores). Just before bed is a perfect time to slather your feet--especially dry heels--with a healing, hydrating cream such as Aveeno Intense Relief Foot Cream ($6; drugstores). And a sweep of Sally Hansen Beyond Perfect Healing Cuticle Oil ($5; drugstores) on your nails will keep the cuticles soft and prevent tears. For a final moisturizing touch, massage your hands with Dove Regenerating Hand Cream ($6; drugstores).

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