Style + Beauty

Sleeping Beauty: Make the Most of Time Between the Sheets

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While it's no secret that getting more quality sleep is good for your health, those hours of shut-eye can impact your appearance, too.

If you're hoping to wake up looking more refreshed and less puffy, gray and drawn, experts point to a number of factors that can improve your looks come sunrise.

For starters, what position you sleep in can help you avoid wrinkles says sleep specialist Dr. Carol Ash.

“Positions that put continuous pressure on thinner facial skin can compromise blood flow and pull on delicate facial tissue, aging your skin,” says Ash. Spending six to ten hours a night with your face pressed against a pillow can result in wrinkles over time. According to Ash, the best sleep position to avoid wrinkles is on your back.

Not everyone is comfortable like that, and for those of you that can only sleep face down, a satin pillowcase can make a big difference says skin specialist Melanie Vasseur.

Taking care of the skin around the eyes at night is also vital to keep a youthful look.  "There are no oil or sweat glands around the eyes, so they can’t hydrate themselves," explains Vasseur.  "Use a thick hydrating cream or eye serum before bed to wake with eyes that are less wrinkled.”

Vasseur suggests an eye cream or serum containing hyaluronic acid, which helps fill soft tissue, like facial wrinkles.  Avoid using moisturizers containing water around the eyes.  These products plump up the skin temporarily, trapping water in the cells and making eyes look puffy in the morning.

“Satin pillowcases help prevent the skin from wrinkling and it won’t absorb those expensive skin care products you put on your face at night,” Vasseur says.  In addition, cotton pillowcases tend to attract dust mites and bacteria, which can cause acne.

If you're acne-prone, considering changing your pillowcase frequently, advises beauty expert Lora Condon. This can "prevent dead skin cells and excess oil from being pressed into the pores while sleeping." When it comes to washing your bedding, choose your detergent carefully. Dr. Ash advises choosing one that is sulfate-free.

And of course, make sure you always wash your face before bed.  If you bring all the dirt from the day to your pillowcase at night, you’re more likely to wake up with blemishes.  The absolute least you can do is a quick cleanse with wipes or toner, says Vasseur.