I’ve spent a lot of time over the years perfecting my early-morning routine (read: figuring out how I can do my hair and makeup in under 10 minutes, so I can sleep as long as possible.) As a result, I’ve tried to do as much primping (serum!, moisturizer!) as possible before bed. And I’ve tested a lot of products in the process.
But alas, a product-filled vanity does not an expert make. So, I checked with Dr. Aurora DeJuliis, an anti-aging expert and owner of a New Jersey-based European medical spa, to get some of her best tips on how to slow the aging process while you sleep. Here’s an edited version of our Q&A:
I’ve heard that sleeping on your side or stomach can make you age faster. Is there any truth to claims that you should sleep on your back?
Dr. DeJuliis: Sleeping on your back makes sense since resting your face on a pillow — does not matter what type — creates unwanted creases on your face. Overtime those creases will turn into permanent wrinkles. Sleeping on your back can also help the moisturizer you just applied to your face to be absorbed more evenly into the skin instead of being engulfed by your pillow.
What type of creams or moisturizers should you use at bedtime?
Your bedtime routine does not have to be complicated. First of all, you need to understand your skin type. Do you break out easily? Is your skin oily or dry? Do you have mature skin? Are you having hormonal changes affecting your skin health? If you’re not sure, check with your dermatologist.
When it comes to cleansing and moisturizing your skin, try following these simple tips:
— Always remove any trace of makeup and dirt first, using a good cleanser. Do not use soap because it will strip your skin of the natural protective oils intended to keep the skin barrier intact. If you have sensitive and Rosacea prone skin, use a gentle chamomile cleanser. For an oily acne prone skin, choose a cleanser with mild exfoliating beads in it. Use lukewarm water to clean and rinse, never use hot water.
— The use of a soft washcloth is helpful in removing dirt and grime from your face and neck. It adds the benefit of a gentle exfoliation. If you have sensitive skin, use your fingertips in a gentle circular motion.
— If you have a normal skin, you can apply a moisturizer with humectants and natural oils to seal your skin while sleeping.
— For problem skin, after washing, apply skin-repair serum and a high-quality moisturizer (look for ingredients such as Vitamins C and A, soy and peptides).
Are there any other steps you can add to your nighttime routine to slow the aging process?
— Keep the temperature in your room on the low side. Too much heat makes your skin dry. If you are not able to control the temperature, use a humidifier to keep the moisture in the air at a healthy level.
— Give your skin and neck a gentle massage using your fingertips while applying your skin products. That not only helpS to relax your facial muscles, but will also improve blood supply to the surface of the skin helping the absorption of the products and improving your skin health.
— Do not exercise heavily before going to sleep. Exercise stimulates adrenaline and cortisol production and interferes with relaxation and skin cells repair.
To get more skincare tips from Dr. DeJuliis, visit www.auroradejuliismd.com.