What we now know about the “good sleep, good skin” connection

February 14, 2024

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. When we don’t get enough rest, we’re cranky and foggy, and not performing at our best. Did you know that the same is true for your skin? We put our skin through a lot during the day, so nighttime is when your skin gets the chance to recover from everyday wear and tear. Here are 7 tips to help you wake up looking your best.

1. Wash your face (no matter how tired you are)

Forgetting (or in reality, just being too lazy) to wash your face before bedtime is a no-no. Even if you don’t wear makeup during the day, you still must wash your face. Cleansing removes dirt, oil and pollution that accumulate on the skin during the day. And always be sure to follow-up with your nighttime skincare toning, retinol serum, and moisturizing regimen.

2. Keep your hair off your face

Pull your hair back into a loose ponytail or wrap it in a scarf before going to bed. This will prevent your hair’s natural oils from rubbing off on your skin. This is especially important if you hair is unwashed.

3. Invest in nice pillowcases

It’s worth it to invest in some soft pillowcases, because friction from harsher cotton fibers can accelerate the development of permanent creases. Try a smooth silk or satin pillowcase. Both can help prevent trauma to the skin and reduce the probability of your skin forming lines and wrinkles while you sleep. And remember to wash your pillowcases at least once a week.

4. Switch up your sleeping position

If you sleep on your back, you’re in great shape. But stomach sleepers may want to consider flipping over. When you sleep lying face down, it will eventually add more permanent lines to your face. Sleeping on your back is ideal in terms of protecting skin and reducing wrinkle formations.

5. Eat your water

Staying hydrated throughout the day by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables is important for our health in general. But, not eating enough water is a huge offense when it comes to your skin, because dehydration will make your skin look either rough and sunken or puffy and pasty in the morning. Your body’s hydration levels rebalance while you sleep, which helps your skin recover moisture.

6. Watch your thermostat

Yes, it feels nice to turn up the heat and slip into a warm, cozy bed. But if your room is too hot, you will not sleep as well, and the hot, dry air will deplete your skin of its moisture. Wear light clothing, too (nothing bulky) and consider investing in a humidifier to help keep your skin hydrated and supple overnight.

7. Stay away from sugar and carbs

Eating sugar and/or carbohydrates right before bed triggers insulin release, which interferes with growth-hormone release, which can lead to inflammation. If you do want a snack before bed, choose melatonin-rich foods like tomatoes, cherries, grapes and walnuts.

While all these tips will certainly help keep your skin healthy and glowing, if you’re not getting enough sleep, your skin will never look its best. Ample, quality sleep will leave your skin looking smoother, more even, and radiant; while inadequate sleep can leave skin with more fine lines and accelerated loss of elasticity. Experts say between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night is what you need to look and feel your best.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered specific medical advice.  

About the Author

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Jacki Marzano is SoCal-based storyteller and head copywriter at Murad Skincare. She's shaped the voice of some of the most recognized beauty brands in the business, has a penchant for sharing homemade cookies, and believes SPF is the secret to getting carded well into your 40s.