How to Improve Your Beauty Sleep

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and enjoying good health is the biggest contributor to achieving natural beauty. Some even say that routinely enjoying plenty of sleep can turn back the clock. While there are many alternative remedies which promise to replenish dull and tired skin, there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. So why are so many of us sleeping less, and what damage are we doing to ourselves to as a result? We take a look at why beauty sleep is so important and how to get a good night’s rest every night of the week. 

Sleep really does play an important role in healthy skin

We all know that leading a balanced lifestyle is essential to maintaining a happy and healthy life, but we often overlook the benefits for our skin. Healthy, clear skin requires a good PH balance and cutting back on essential sleep can disrupt your skin’s natural PH levels. When you’re running low on sleep your skin becomes more alkaline and often has a harder job maintaining moisture levels. For anyone who has experienced dry skin, you will know how uncomfortable dry and irritated skin can be. Continually subjecting your skin to these alkaline conditions can leave you with an uneven appearance and can even stimulate breakouts. 

The best thing we can do to wind back time is to give ourselves between 7 and 9 hours sleep each night. A proper night’s sleep is the best anti-ageing ‘product’ available to us, not only vital to our health but also vital to the way we look. Sleep is essential to many of our vital functions, including our natural cell regeneration process. Throughout a typical day, we expose our bodies frequently to damaging elements. Sunlight, processed food and drink, household products, personal care products and even stress or simply negative emotions can all be sources of harsh toxins. As we damage different cells throughout the day, our bodies constantly work to repair and replace damaged cells with healthy new ones. Skin cell regeneration becomes more active throughout our sleep. By reducing the amount of sleep we give ourselves, we, in turn, reduce the time we are giving our bodies to replace all those damaged skin cells.

Top tips for getting quality beauty sleep

If you’ve ever hit the pillow only to lie awake tossing and turning, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help improve your bedtime routine. Getting regular exercise can work wonders on the mind and the body. Cortisol prepares us for physical action. Incorporating a regular exercise routine can utilise this stress hormone and stimulate the release of endorphins and dopamine, giving you a natural high.

Reducing the amount of caffeine you consume can have a positive effect on your sleep. Have you ever wondered what wakes you up in the morning? It is the elevation in cortisol levels which occurs naturally every day. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to release more cortisol, giving us that wide awake feeling. Excessive cortisol is not optimal and to add to the problem, both caffeine and cortisol dehydrate the skin creating a double whammy for skin health.  

Putting down your gadgets down an hour before bedtime is crucial for a good night’s sleep. The self-luminous light emitted from electronic devices stimulates brain activity and suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin. These factors prevent tiredness from taking you off to sleep. Try turning your bedroom into your sanctuary. Low lighting, relaxing music, a good book and a luxuriously comfortable bed will help your body relax and ready it’s self for a restful night.

Any level of discomfort at night will disturb your sleep cycle and prevent you from getting the rest you need. There are many different types of mattresses, all with different support systems and feels. Researching and understanding the different technologies available can help you in selecting the best mattress for you. Does the movement of your partner at night cause you disturbance? Do you suffer from aches and pains when you wake in the morning? Do you find yourself waking up too warm in the middle of the night? Fortunately, Sleepyhead has developed a mattress to overcome these nightly disturbances with its Sanctuary range of beds. You can learn more about Sleepyhead’s range of Sanctuary beds here and see how luxury and technology could benefit you every night.

To discover your perfect mattress and find more tips for getting a great night’s sleep visit Sleepyhead

The 5 Skincare Ingredients You Should be Using for Healthy Skin

It’s no easy task working out which skincare ingredients you really need to be using and which you don’t need to bother with. Because it’s no fun spending hours agonising over the labels on skincare, we’ve rounded up our five favourite skincare ingredients that are shaking up the future of beauty and revolutionising our beauty routines.

Beautiful Bacteria

Squeaky clean is the last thing you want your skin to feel like, and that’s not just because over-cleansing can sap moisture from your complexion. Beauty experts believe we’re also washing away good bacteria that’s essential for well-balanced, healthy skin. While bad bacteria can cause acne, anti-inflammatory properties of good bacteria are thought to have the opposite effect. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Cosmetic Science found that containing 5% lactobacillus (a bacteria commonly found in yoghurt) was effective at treating acne. 

Fermented ingredients that have been trending in the food world for the last few years could become a prominent force in skincare if expert predictions are correct. Geoff Genesky, head of the Kiehl’s laboratory agrees that fermented foods that bolster the microbiome hold potential. “The microbiome is interesting for the skin. Our skin has its own bacteria, so a healthy balance of those little critters in our skin is an interesting area to explore. It’s definitely an area of interest for the medical and dermatological community,” he says.

Magic Magnesium

Miracle mineral magnesium plays a crucial role in a number of biochemical reactions in the body – aiding digestion, improving sleep and regulating blood pressure are just a few. It comes as no surprise that magnesium is also vital for healthy skin; according to dermatologists ensuring you’re getting the recommended daily intake of magnesium will help improve your skin’s appearance and could even fight acne by stabilising hormonal imbalances and reducing cortisol levels.

Vitamin A

A great deal of innovation will occur with ingredients we’re already using in our beauty regimens according to leading Australian dermatologist and director of Brisbane Skin, Dr Shobhan Manoharan. “We’ll see refinements of previous products. Retinol, vitamin a, is already a cornerstone of dermatology and skin health –  they’re proven to remodel, tighten and reduce sun spots. The problem is that they’ve often been irritating, particularly those with sensitised skin,” Manoharan explains. “But we’re going to see more retinols coming through that are nano-encapsulated; they’ll be much better tolerated and longer lasting. They penetrate really well, and the results are better.”

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has garnered a lot of attention in the beauty world over the last few years – and for good reason. “Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis and also acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralise free radical damage on the skin,” explains Dr Des Fernandes, founder of Environ. And for those who after skin that really glows, vitamin C should be an essential in your routine. “It can also brighten your complexion and help even out skin tone and discolouration,” says Dr Ellen Selkon of Clinic 42. Ensuring you invest in the right type of vitamin C-based skincare is important. “Not all vitamin C is created equal,” adds Selkon. “It’s not as simple as selecting any old product with vitamin C on the label and smothering your face in it,” she adds. Both Selkon and Fernandes agree that to get the most out of vitamin C, you need to be using skin care formulated with L-ascorbic acid. “This is the form of vitamin C that the cells recognise,” says Selkon.

Next-Generation Exfoliators

While mechanical exfoliators – those scrub-like formulations made with the likes of jojoba beads and natural grains – definitely have their place in our beauty regimen, at-home peels and chemical exfoliators are essential for helping our skin regenerate itself. Alpha (glycolic, lactic) and beta hydroxy (salicylic) acids both work in a similar way to gently unglue bonds holding dead skin together. The result: dull, dead skin is sloughed away to reveal a smooth, even complexion. Incorporate into your regular skincare routine two to three times a week to get your skin really glowing.