Beauty Sleep – the Truth about Healthy Skin and Sleep

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They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. Until we’re allowed to open our salon doors and offer our treatments safely again, a good night’s sleep is one of the most rejuvenating treatments available to you…and if you lack it night after night, it will show. Sadly, there’s only so much a double shot in your latte or advanced rejuvenating cream can do to conceal it.

The Truth About Sleep

With lockdown in full swing, for many of us, our normal sleeping habits have gone out the window. Both chronic lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep not only has a negative effect on how we feel – it also triggers premature ageing, puffiness and skin discolouration. Why? Well, when we are asleep our cells heal and eliminate toxins as well as stimulate cell and tissue repair…so if you don’t sleep, these key functions are weakened and the repair function is slowed, resulting in ageing.

Similarly poor sleep affects the flow of nutrients to the skin and scalp causing both to look dull and lacklustre – and us feeling sluggish. There is also an increased oxidative stress at a cellular level which can lead to poor skin quality and premature ageing. Poor lymphatic drainage and fluid accumulation adds to the puffiness and dark circle. Furthermore, as we age even a night of bad sleep can show on your skin which quickly dulls and sags.

Sleep for Healthy Skin

Sleep is just as important as a good, balanced diet and exercise. As a working mum, I am the first to admit that I can suffer from too little sleep and when I’m knackered my skin looks dull and drawn. I’ve been lucky enough to get some good advice over the years on maximising my sleep time so here are my five top tips:

• Switch off all screens, including the mobile, one hour before bedtime. And make sure your bedroom is dark.

• Go to bed at a reasonable time and set the alarm for the same time each day to develop a regular sleep-wake pattern.

• Clear your mind. I often write out my To Do List early evening to help compartmentalise work and home, then relax in the bath with Perfect Night’s Sleep Bath Foam (£22) from Neom’s Scent to Sleep range followed by their Perfect Night’s Sleep candle (from £32) in my room as I get ready for bed. I also love their Pillow Mist (£20). Having a cup of Chamomile tea also helps.

• To maximise beauty sleep, lie on your back to avoid increasing more fine lines (that pillow face in your 20’s will soon stop bouncing back) – also prevent fluid accumulation by keeping your head raised above your body with a good pillow.

• When it comes to applying your night cream, do it early evening before bedtime to ensure your skin maximises the absorption of nutrients. I always prefer a cream that’s nourishing but not too thick as it can cut the skin’s oxygen supply and slow down the renewal process. My favourite is: PRIORI DNA Intense Recovery Creme (£93).

Fiona Fowley of zen

Fiona Fowley - Founder and Director of Zen Lifestyle

Fiona Fowley is the beauty expert and entrepreneur behind the Zen Lifestyle salons. Originally a beauty therapist, Fiona realised there was a gap in the market to create a unique kind of customer experience in the UK beauty and spa industry. She created Zen Lifestyle to provide discerning clients with an exceptionally high standard of therapies in luxurious, beautifully designed surroundings. she has led the business to 18 national beauty awards, as well as being voted UK Salon of the Year 5 times.

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