9 Nighttime Habits That Are Ruining Your Skin
Whether your nightly routine consists of a spinning class followed by a long, hot shower, binge-watching The Fall while eating last weekend’s leftovers, or carrying out an intricate 10-step skincare system à la our counterparts in Korea, we have some unpleasant news: Even if your p.m. rituals are on the healthier side, there are still a few surprising habits that could be wreaking havoc on your most precious asset—your skin. Never ones to be the bearers of bad news without offering a solution, we now present to you these very nine skin-ruining habits, along with how to solve them. You’re welcome!
Keep flipping for nine habits that are ruining your skin while you sleep.
Nothing beats a warm, cozy, sleeping space—that is, until you consider the heat’s effect on your skin. There’s a reason Korean women sleep with the heat turned down and use hot packs during the winter time—high temps can dry out your skin and leave you with dull, thirsty skin in the a.m. Instead, keep the thermostat turned down and add a hot pack, or another blanket. And don’t forget the humidifier!
It’s great that you and your long-distance bf/bestie have a nightly phone date—what’s not great is the fact you are transferring bacteria from your phone onto your freshly-cleansed face while you’re chatting it up. Always opt for speakerphone (or FaceTime!), but keep phone-time before bed to a minimum, anyway. Why? Too much artificial light before bed interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone—you can read more about ideal sleep conditions here.
We’ve all been there—you told yourself you would unwind with an episode of [insert show here], and next thing you know it’s 3a.m. and you’re almost finished with the first season. Preach. Next time you’re tempted to select “Play next episode,” remember this: Getting enough sleep is vital to your skin’s health. You should be clocking in at least seven to eight hours each night to allow your skin ample time to recover, heal, and rejuvenate.
We all love a little night cap—some people even swear that a cocktail or glass of wine helps them sleep better. Reality check: Science says that’s not true. This study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that students who drank alcohol before bed showed more slow-wave sleep, but an increase in frontal alpha power, which is thought to be a sign of disturbed sleep. Disturbed sleep is bad news for your skin, which—like we mentioned earlier—needs uninterrupted sleep cycles to rest and recover from the day. We’re not saying you have to swear off your champagne-fueled nights for good—just keep them to a minimum.
Your favorite part of the day might be your long, steamy nightly hot shower—and we don’t blame you. What better way to unwind after a stress-filled day, right? But here’s the bad news: It’s drying out your skin in a major way. Extreme temperatures—hot and cold—can throw your skin off balance and leave it super-dehydrated. The cure? Limiting your shower to five minutes or less and turning down the heat. On those days you really need a long, run-the-water-until-its-cold session, use a moisturizer right after your dry off, or a rinse-off in-shower lotion, like Nivea’s In-Shower Body Lotion ($6).
Are you guilty of any of these nighttime mistakes? Sound off below!