Wake up to good skin
Examples of these include “crow’s feet” around the eyes, or the horizontal lines known as glabellar lines on the forehead which furrow when we frown.
As our skin ages and loses elasticity, these dynamic wrinkles start to become more permanent.
Dr Sutina explains that as our skin begins to age and lose elasticity (starting from the 30s), we have to be more mindful of how we sleep so as not to worsen our wrinkles.
“As we age, our faces become slightly less symmetrical and always sleeping on one side may exacerbate that.”
On the other hand, sleeping face-up on your back can reduce pressure on the skin folds and maximise the gravitational effect, slowing down the formation of wrinkles and also reducing morning puffiness and bags under the eyes.
Sleeping face-up on your back can reduce pressure on the skin folds and maximise the gravitational effect, slowing down the formation of wrinkles and also reducing morning puffiness.
Dr Sutina Nordin
The appearance of puffiness around the eyes (sometimes called eye bags) is a major concern for many women because it makes them look tired, haggard and aged.
Dr Sutina says puffiness around the eyes is caused almost exclusively by fluid build-up around the eyes.
The eye bags or puffiness are usually most noticeable immediately after waking up due to fluid not being able to drain away when one has been in a horizontal position.
Sleeping with your head slightly elevated may assist in draining some of the fluid away but if your eye bags persist, then it’s likely there might be other underlying causes such as hormonal fluctuations or diet and lifestyle habits.
Besides sleeping positions, our bedtime routines also play a role in determining how skin looks and feels in the morning.
Avoiding alcohol or foods that are high in salt just before turning in for the night is a wise decision as these can cause fluid retention and puffy swelling around the eyes.
In addition to adversely affecting the quality of sleep, consumption of alcohol also dehydrates skin.
“Often, if you compare two women of the same age — one who has been drinking alcohol every night and one who has not been drinking - you are likely to see a massive difference in skin quality. There will be more wrinkles from dehydration damage on the woman who drinks regularly.”
Dr Sutina says one should not eat just before bedtime either.
Ideally, there should be a space of at least two hours and preferably four or five hours between your last meal of the day and bedtime.
This enables the body time to digest food as well as to wind down for bed. A full stomach can be uncomfortable to sleep with and this affects the quality of your sleep.
And sleeping with make-up on is a big mistake. No matter how tired you are, make the effort to cleanse your face before bedtime.
Dr Sutina stresses that not only can make-up clog pores and cause acne, it can also trigger unpleasant reactions such as a rash (allergic contact dermatitis).
If you have dry skin and sleep in an airconditioned room, it is also advisable to hydrate your skin before bed with a good hypoallergenic moisturiser.
Regular hydration of the skin can help slow down the signs of ageing. If you set your bedroom air conditioner at a low setting (too cold), you might actually cause your skin to dry out and lose moisture, which can encourage the formation of wrinkles.
For individuals with sensitive skin, this lack of moisture in the skin can also trigger unpleasant skin conditions such as eczema.
A humid room, on the other hand, can help maintain and perhaps even increase moisture levels in your skin. Unfortunately, it can be uncomfortable to sleep in.
Dr Sutina says to balance things out, it’s best to apply a good moisturiser before bed and drink sufficient water so skin does not dry out at night regardless of the temperature you prefer in the bedroom.
Bedding and pillowcases should be changed regularly and room temperature shouldn’t dry out the skin.
All women want to look fresh and rejuvenated when they wake up.