We spend a greater part of our hours in a reclined position, cradled between sheets and blankets and pressed against plush pillows. We lose control of our positioning and our movements and give into the waves of REM sleep. Getting enough sleep is imperative to stress-reduction—key in minimizing the appearance of pesky lines and wrinkles. And there are plenty of beauty products on the market today lulling you into a more restorative and restful sleep, but could sleep be the actual problem?
Habitual movements on the skin are known to cause creasing that can lead to lines and wrinkles (a reason that latest facial yoga craze should maybe be avoided). During waking hours it’s easy to be conscious of reducing your squinting and frowning, but we have no idea what faces we’re pulling at night (unless of course your partner decides to photo document it!).
So beyond caking on the salves, here are some unexpected beauty tips to make sure your sleep quality and environment are ideal for true beauty rest.
1. Listen to your dentist
Stress can take a toll on the type of expressions you make while you sleep, and reducing stress is a big reason getting one’s zzz’s is so important. If you are a grinder, the effects of stress every time you drift away become a hard reality. Grinding can dramatically change the look of your face, causing stress in your facial features while also changing your jaw muscles.
“If you are grinding your teeth, your jaw muscle, which is in your cheeks, gets enlarged. So it’s like doing a workout for those muscles and it could cause your cheeks to look bigger even if you are a relatively thin person,” says Mark Weiss DMD, cosmetic and general dentist in North Miami. “You will eventually have more wrinkles in your skin because your mouth starts to collapse,” he adds.
So dust off that teeth-guard your dentist custom-made for you, or pick up a DIY kit, and start wearing it nightly.
2. Back is best
This phrase is often used as guidance for mothers of newborns, but it’s good advice for anyone aiming for the eternal (though maybe unreachable) goal of baby-soft skin. The truth is, when a person sleeps on their side or on their stomach, there is an increased risk of causing wrinkles to the skin.
Consider this: the adult human head can weigh anywhere between seven to eight pounds. Sleeping on the side or on the stomach is a lot of pressure for the skin on the face. That’s why the adage is actually true for young and old. It’s not easy to adjust, especially if you’ve been sleeping in a certain position your entire life. The truth is only 14 percent of people sleep on their backs. And just because you fall asleep on your back doesn’t guarantee you will stay there throughout the night.
That’s why it’s important to invest in a positioning pillow that elevates one’s head to alleviate strain on the neck. A buckwheat pillow is a good choice as it conforms to your body and provides natural support. Long used in Asia, buckwheat pillows allow your body to drift off into sleep without worrying about tossing or turning over the course of the night.
3. Material matters
While facial creasing has a lot to do with sleep positioning, a change in pillowcase might also be in order.
There are numerous benefits of silk for good sleep. Silk pillowcases are a wonderful way to wake up creaseless in the morning. This little luxury is worth the investment. The smooth texture of silk is gentler than cotton and may help prevent sleep wrinkles, as well as reduce skin irritation. Its tightly woven fibers also don’t draw out moisture and natural oils as cotton does, leaving your skin better hydrated. Lastly, silk pillowcases can also ease morning puffiness, giving the skin the ultimate “I woke up like this” look.
Just like cotton, there are many different types of silk counts and quality. Make sure to invest in one that is 100% silk and at least 25 momme for best results.
4. Moisture doesn’t only come in a jar
Moisture is key to keeping skin well-hydrated and looking plump. Dehydration is a major culprit in aging the skin. But beyond your face moisturizer, what else can you do to keep skin hydrated? The answer may be tucked away in your basement. Humidifiers are not only for when you are sick, but they are a great way to keep your environment moist, which can do wonders on your complexion.
Using a high-end humidifier in the bedroom is a great addition to a bedtime routine because it circulates water through the air, providing much needed hydration throughout the night. This is especially important for those that already tend towards dry skin. The added moisture in the air is bound to have you glowing by morning.
5. More than just water
Most of us already sleep with a glass of water bedside to stay hydrated. But what if that H20 could pack some added beauty benefits? Enter Dream Water Beauty, launching in September. “Sleep and beauty go hand in hand. If you’re not sleeping, it’s going to show in your efforts to beautify yourself,” says David Lekach, CEO of Dream Water.
Dream Water Beauty’s “sleep stat natural blend” is made up of gamma-aminobutyric acid, melatonin, and 5-hydroxytryptophan. These ingredients work together to help a person maintain a regular sleep cycle. Plus added beauty specific ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Bamboo, Biotin and Vitamin C are included to help support healthy skin.
Beyond getting the prescriptive seven to nine hours of sleep a night, these five painless and easy suggestions will hopefully help boost your skin game while fast asleep. And since we spend over a third of our day sleeping anyway, it seems only right to be multitasking. According to Lekach, “We can do more while our eyes are closed.”