You might think you’re off the clock when it comes to your beauty routine while you sleep, but your slumber hours play an important role in how you look. “Beauty sleep is essential for repairing the skin,” says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a New York City dermatologist and author of Skin Rules.
If you want your skin and hair to look younger and healthier during the day, it’s time to adopt these nighttime habits.
1. Sleep on a silk pillowcase
Silk pillowcase will keep you from waking up with a bird’s nest on top of your head, and it softens wrinkles and sleep lines because it causes less friction between your skin and the pillowcase. “Silk is easier on hair — it helps avoid tangles and breakage,” says Jesleen Ahluwalia, M.D., a physician from Spring Street Dermatologyin New York City. “It’s also better for the skin because the material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles.”
2. Sleep on your back
Speaking of wrinkles, sleeping on your back can help nip them in the bud before they even start to form. “Repeated pressure on the skin, causing creasing, can eventually lead to set-in lines,” says Ahluwalia. “A person who sleeps on one side may even have more set-in wrinkles on that particular side compared to the other.” If you tend to have puffy eyes in the morning, try sleeping with an extra pillow. “When you lie flat, fluid can gather around your eyes,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., a dermatologist in Washington, D.C.
3. Stay away from super salty foods and booze around bedtime
“When you consume a lot of alcohol, your body becomes dehydrated,” says Dr. Fusco. “To compensate, it starts collecting natural fluids around the eyes, among other places.” A similar thing happens with salt, leading to that dreaded puffy-eye look. If you indulged in some chips and a glass of Chardonnay anyway, try the above extra-pillow trick to help drain fluids.
It’s a good idea to keep your hair out of your face while you’re sleeping to keep its natural oils from wreaking havoc on your complexion. But avoid pulling it into a really tight bun or ponytail because that can cause hair breakage, especially around the hairline. Connell suggests wrapping it up in a silk sleep cap is a great way to keep your most recent blowout intact.
5. Go to bed with a clean face
“So many people sleep with their makeup on and wonder why they wake up with funky eye gunk in the morning,” says Emily Kate Warren, a New York City makeup artist. “That’s why.” Aside from funky eye gunk, not taking off your makeup before sleep causes pore-clogging, which can lead to breakouts.