Sleeping beauties

Naomi Jones shares more secrets from the salon... the benefits of beauty sleep

Woman sleeping1.jpeg

What a beautiful time of the year with the changing colours of the trees and crisp autumn air taking us through to the next season. But the cooler weather means taking a different approach to your skincare. During the autumn and winter months, the air becomes drier and harsh breezes and indoor heat can really dry out your skin. Your best defence is good hydration: try herbal teas or hot water with a slice of lemon or lime if you can’t face cold water.

At this time of year it’s worth opting for creamier more nourishing products but the biggest beauty buzz right now is the importance of sleep! When it comes to your beauty routine, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you snooze and that leads to a long list of benefits for your looks. The key is to get enough shut-eye: around seven to nine quality hours each night are recommended. Scientists have discovered that even getting one hour more sleep per night can improve the look of your skin in as little as one day with a marked improvement in the way you look if you keep it up for a few weeks!

While we sleep, the skin is busy making new collagen which prevents sagging and gives us a more youthful appearance. More collagen means skin is plumper and less likely to look wrinkled. It’s really important to maintain your night time skincare routine with cleansing and moisturising; that way you are hydrating from the outside while the skin is busy repairing from the inside.

As skin ages, it loses elasticity and lines which are known as sleep creases can appear overnight. We’ve all seen them when we look in the mirror and although they appear rather deep in the morning, they tend to disappear throughout the day. These ‘creases’ are caused by friction and pressure on the facial skin from our bedding. Good skincare can help but have you tried a silk pillow case? It may sound extravagant but it is actually recommended by dermatologists as an anti-ageing tool.

Now this is my kind of anti-ageing. Just put a silk pillowcase on and go to bed. Can this really be true? Well according to the experts, yes! Silk lets the skin retain its natural moisture while you sleep keeping it soft and supple which in turn helps to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles. Cotton, by contrast, is a very absorbent fabric which draws moisture from your face.

The science bit shows some convincing benefits: it turns out silk is made of strings of amino acids with the same ph level as our skin. It is naturally hypoallergenic and mulberry silk contains a protein that reduces the possibility of an allergic reaction making it beneficial for those who suffer from sensitive and itchy skin conditions, such as rosacea and eczema. Silk pillowcases are not cheap but translate into a good buy when compared to the cost of our general beauty regime and, given that they are surprisingly tough, washable and durable, the price seems a worthwhile investment over time.

Although beauty is my subject, my hairdresser tells me that silk is also excellent for the hair: “Sleeping on silk is beneficial for your hair. Ordinary pillowcases can cause hair to pull and tangle throughout the night, leading to bed head in the morning and potentially damaging hair, whereas silk can help to reduce friction. Sleeping on gentle, hair-friendly silk is a great way to help preserve your blow dry.”
So let’s embrace this beautiful new season. While it’s unlikely that any OVL readers will be hibernating with the hedgehogs, I’m sure we can all become sleeping beauties. Sweet dreams to you all.

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