How To Take Care Of Your Skin Before You Sleep

Written by Arshiya Syeda

There is a reason why you are always advised to get at least 8 hours of sleep, or it will show on your face. Sleep is deeply associated with the way your skin behaves and its overall health and look.
Taking care of your skin before you sleep is not unknown to most people, but what exactly should be done in terms of skin care while sleeping is still a mystery to many. This guide answers all your skin care questions and explores how sleep and acne are associated with each other.

Things You Don’t Realize Are Happening To Your Skin While You Sleep

Have you ever wondered what the connection is between sleep and skin? Let’s explore the various processes to understand how lack of sleep can cause acne and other related problems.

1. The Skin Cells Regenerate

While you catch your beauty sleep, your skin is regenerating its cells. Your skin goes into repair mode at night and creates newer cells. This is when your skin can really use an extra boost of nutrients, making a nighttime skin care routine all the more important.

2. Your Skin Becomes More Permeable

As stated earlier, your skin is known to become more permeable at night. This makes it an excellent time to apply ingredients like glycolic acid or retinol for maximum benefit. The lack of sunlight also prevents the breakdown of these ingredients, thereby preventing irritation.

3. Your Skin Loses Moisture

Sebum production tends to be lower when you are asleep, making your skin dry and more prone to dehydration. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) may also increase during the evening and night, further drying out your skin out.

4. It Is Free From Stress

When you sleep, your mind takes a break from all the stress of your waking life. As a result, there is a change in the levels of cortisol and other hormones in the body, which energizes your skin for repair.
But lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of cortisol, which, in turn, may result in a pro-inflammatory state. For some people, this can cause puffed-up eyes and a swollen face in the morning.

5. May Become More Prone To Acne

If you want to learn the actual relationship between sleep and acne, you must first figure out the true cause of your acne. It is said that if you have dry skin, lack of proper nighttime moisturization may cause breakouts. However, there is not enough scientific research to prove that there is a link between sleep and acne.
Now that you know what happens to your skin while you sleep, let’s check out the best skin care routine you can follow before going to bed.

Best Skin Care Routine Before Bed

After a long day at work, you just want to dive into bed and go straight to sleep. However, sleeping with makeup on or not washing the dirt off your face can cause long-term skin issues like acne and clogged pores.
Sleeping with a clean face is important, but you may not know exactly how to care for your skin before going to bed. Take a look at some easy beauty tips before bed to care for your skin:

1. Double Cleanse Your Face

If you apply any amount of makeup, double cleansing will be the game changer in your nighttime skin care routine. This is a common method in Korean skin care in which you cleanse your face twice with different types of cleansers.

First, use an oil-based cleanser that will help break down the makeup pigments and polymers and remove every last bit of your makeup. This is especially useful for getting rid of waterproof eyeliner or mascara, which cannot be removed with soap and water.

Next, use a water-based cleanser to wash your face and remove the excess oil. This has the double advantage of removing every bit of dirt and simultaneously moisturizing your skin.

2. Steam, Shower, Or Use Warm Water

The next step is to treat your face to a little bit of warmth with either steam, a hot shower, or using warm water to clean your face. This helps open up your skin pores, enabling better removal of impurities and also better absorption of your skin care products.

If you do not have the time to steam your face, just take a nice hot shower and let your face soak in the steam before you let it get wet. Another easy way to open the pores is to soak a towel in water and microwave it to make it warm. Now place this warm towel over your face for similar results.

3. Exfoliate Every Few Days

Another easy night beauty tip is to exfoliate once every few days. Exfoliating your skin will get rid of any dead skin cells that make it look dull. It can also remove blackheads and whiteheads and keep your skin free from excess oil.

You may use a mechanical or chemical exfoliant, depending on your skin type and concerns.

4. Apply Night Creams And Serums

Night creams and serums are specially formulated with more potent ingredients that are best applied before going to sleep. Your skin absorbs these products better at night due to increased permeability.

The lack of sunlight also makes it a good idea to apply serums with potent ingredients like retinol that help in faster cell regeneration before going to bed. These serums may otherwise cause photodamage to your skin if you apply them during the day and step out into the sun. While your skin is rejuvenating at night, the nutrients from your moisturizers, serums, and face oils can help you achieve healthy skin.

5. Hydrate Before Sleep

Your skin looks and feels healthy when it is properly hydrated. Keeping your skin hydrated not only affects its texture and appearance but also makes it more resilient to damage.

Make sure you drink at least a glass of water before going to bed. This will keep you from getting dehydrated during the night when your skin loses moisture while sleeping. You can also use a humidifier to maintain optimum levels of humidity in the room. This will prevent excess dehydration, especially in dry climates and winters.
One of the most important things to do when taking care of your skin is to be consistent. If you diligently follow a simple routine, your skin stays healthy and recuperates from any damage.

While following a dedicated nighttime routine is recommended, you can develop some other simple habits to take care of your skin. Read on to know more.

Ways to Care for Your Skin Before Bedtime

These easy-to-follow habits will make all the difference in your skin care routine, giving you healthier skin that you will absolutely love:

1. A study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal has shown that there is a clear link between sleep and wrinkles. Bad sleeping positions can cause certain specific wrinkles on your face. By developing a habit of sleeping on your back, you can prevent the formation of wrinkles.

2. Change your pillowcases regularly. Over time, your pillowcase can collect dust and bacteria, resulting in clogged pores and acne.

3. Do not mix acids and retinol in your nighttime skin care regimen. They must be used on separate days and only at night.

4. Stay away from blue light (from TV, laptop, phone, and tablet screens) before going to sleep. Anecdotal evidence suggests that blue light exposure can cause hyperpigmentation and redness.

5. Use a silk pillowcase, especially if you have sensitive skin. It can eliminate the chances of irritation or abrasion caused by harsh fabrics. A silk pillowcase will also prevent any sleep marks on the face.

6. If you have dry skin, use a herbal or gentle sleep mask to provide extra nourishment and hydration to your skin, especially in the dry winter months.

7. Sleep and skin health are related closely to each other. Therefore, it is best to get at least 8 hours of restful sleep every day for improved skin.

The Bottom Line

Skin and sleep are interconnected. If you have frequent inexplicable breakouts, wrinkles, or dull skin, you probably need to improve your sleeping habits.
Caring for your skin should not necessarily be a time-consuming process. By following some simple steps, you can take good care of your skin and improve its overall health. A few minutes of your time every night can make your skin glow throughout the year!


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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).