We all want to turn back our biological clock. Who doesn’t want to have a bright skin tone, rested eyes, smooth skin and to be full of energy? You tried to optimize your health with organic whole food, lots of exercise, stress management techniques, and lots of creams and serums for your skin. Still, you wake up in the morning with the signs of dehydration, fatigue and poor micro circulation. It can seem that no matter what lifestyle improvements you have incorporated, when you wake up in the morning instead of feeling and looking rested, it can appear like you were out partying all night.
What if I told you that by following a simple healthy night time routine, you can wake up super refreshed after a good night of sleep, full of energy and with glowing radiant skin?
Let’s dig into some anti-aging tips and tricks that will give you the skin you have always strived for.
First, let’s start with sleep. Much has been written about sleep, but let’s see why it is so important not only for your health in general, but also for your skin. That’s why we call it beauty sleep.
Has lack of sleep become pandemic in the last few decades? One in three Canadians experience trouble falling or staying asleep. Almost half of Americans have insomnia at least occasionally, while 22% experience it almost every other night. Who benefits from it? The sleeping pills industry became a big one, worth 1.6 billion dollars.
Is sleep important? Without food you can survive around forty days, without water only three or four days, without sleep, the record has been established in 1965 to around eleven days. Why only that? What happens while we sleep?
There are four stages of sleep:
- The first phase: theta waves-4-8 Hz, if someone wakes you up during this phase, you will think you never actually slept.
- The second phase: sleep spindles-11-16 Hz. The brain is very active in this stage and your motor skills are improved. It is also the phase in which you can dream.
- The third, delta waves- 0-4 Hz, is also called deep sleep when your body is completely relaxed, with the lowest body temperature, pulse and blood pressure. All the regenerative mechanisms of the body start. Less blood to the brain will let the cerebrospinal fluid more space to carry out the toxins and waste products. Those with neurological problems get shorter and shorter delta waves while sleeping with a negative impact on their memory and brain health.
- The last of the sleep stages REM. During this phase the body is asleep and stimulates the areas of the brain that help with learning and is associated with increased production of proteins. It is extremely important for the regeneration nerves in the brain. When people don’t get enough REM sleep they often feel nervous and tired when they wake up.
As we just saw, deep sleep is essential for brain regeneration and DNA repair. Skin cells regenerate very fast during the night. The skin blood flow increases, boosting the production of collagen repairing damage from the UV exposure. While deep sleep increases the growth hormone production, the lack of it increases inflammation and stress hormones with a negative impact on the immune system. This will result in aggravation of any skin issues you could have: acne, rosacea or eczema.
Now, let’s look to some things you can do to increase your deep sleep:
First, body temperature. Ideally, your bedroom temperature is between 18-22 degrees Celsius. As body temperature drops during the night, properly adjusting the room temperature is essential. You should not feel neither too hot, nor too cold. The body gets a little colder during the evening to prepare for bed. That’s why you should not exercise intensively before going to sleep. The lowest temperature of the body is between 2 am and 6 am. A nice device called Chilipad supports this drop in body temperature.
Second, if you want to get undisturbed sleep, turn off your wifi during the night (you don’t need it anyway), keep your cell phone closed and far away from your bedroom. Your body is bio electric. All radiation coming from your wifi, cell phones and other modern technologies interferes with the natural electromagnetic field of your body.
Third, choose bed materials that let your body breath. Best will be a mattress made of organic cotton, or hemp with no chemicals that can induce allergies or irritations. Choose an oat, spelt or buckwheat pillow, that supports the neck curve. Your ergonomics count, too. While sleeping on your back can be comfortable, it also exposes your reproductive organs and heart, so the brain can get into a sort of protection mode. It also encourages breathing through the mouth and sleep apnea. The best position would be on your right side. If you suffer from heartburn, then, sleeping on your back or left side is a good option.
Fourth: Make sure your bedroom it completely dark. Moonlight, LEDs from electronics or any other lights can easily disturb your sleep. Use blackout curtains and eye masks to block out sleep disrupting light.
Fifth: The air quality in your bedroom is also important. Think how well you sleep while on holidays in the mountains or near the ocean. Improve the air quality while you sleep will benefit your respiratory organs. Use a humidifier during the dry winter season and an air purifier to remove allergens, pollutants and particles for the air.
Sixth: Some nutrients and supplements can support the body production of melatonin and help your body to relax. Magnesium citrate is a mild sedative; potassium citrate works synergistically with magnesium. Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin and melatonin.
Seventh: Dehydration, but also excess water intake disrupts the sleep. If you wake up between 1 am and 3 am, it means you are dehydrated. The liver is the most active between these hours. Eat more foods that keep you hydrated, like chia seeds. They absorb thirty times their weight in water and regulate body fluid levels and retain electrolytes, both key in the battle against dehydration.
Eight: Body tension are common at the end of the day. So, light stretching using a foam roller, for fifteen minutes before bed can help prepare you for a restful night sleep.
Ninth: If your blood sugar levels drop during the night, it releases hormones like adrenaline, glucagon and growth hormone. This can wake you up. 1 or 2 tbsp. of MCT oil will control your blood sugar levels during sleep. Collagen, whey protein and honey can also regulate your blood sugar levels.
Tenth: Use blue light blocking glasses at least 1h-2h before going to sleep, so as to reduce the blue light exposure that will impact your body production of melatonin.
Eleventh: Use night time skin formulas that contain ingredients that will promote sleep, like melatonin.
Melatonin is secreted by pineal gland, is directly influenced by light and regulates the wake-sleep cycle. Influences primarily deep sleep. Your brain starts to produce melatonin around 9-10 pm. It has many roles in the body. Improving sleeping is just one of them. It also acts as an antioxidant, boosts your immune system and reduces inflammation.
An interesting study published by Dermato Endocrinology journal mentioned that melatonin reduces the free radicals and overcomes the oxidative stress. Additionally, melatonin protects against the UV- induced skin aging. An important aspect should be considered when we talk about melatonin and skin: the same article states: “ Regarding the chemical structure, melatonin as well as all metabolites are strongly lipophilic, an important fact which would render them able to diffuse easily in every skin and cell compartment, therefore extending the MAS beyond the epidermis, namely to the dermis and the hair follicle where it represents a defense mechanism against the multifaceted threats of environmental stress, especially UV Rays, to which the skin is life-long exposed.”
Ideal for dull and tired complexions, melatonin will stimulate the natural antioxidant defenses of the skin during the night and repair the cellular damage caused by everyday aggressions such as UVs.
When looking for a topical product that contains melatonin, pay attention to the type of oil it is combined with as different carriers can either inhibit or enhance the penetration of this key active ingredient. Radiance Oil from Nelly De Vuyst, for example, contains melatonin that is vectorized using Olive oil to enhance its penetration. Its unique formula is developed with natural lightening, antioxidant and regenerating oils designed to ensure the health and vitality of the skin. It is an effective formula to revitalize the skin with visible signs of aging associated with hormonal fluctuations such as during menopause, periods of high stress or sleep deprivation.
Take a look closer look at the benefits of the Radiance Oil synergy
- “Sleep hormone” naturally synthesized by the body and involved in the regulation of the circadian rhythm
- Powerful antioxidant, cyto-protective and anti-aging mitochondrial molecule
- Improves clinical signs of skin aging, cutaneous elastosis and roughness caused by stress and pollution
- Increases the natural production of antioxidant enzymes during the night and encourages the skin to trigger its antioxidant mechanisms.
- Helps repair cellular damage caused by UV rays
- Penetrates into the outer layer of skin, reinforcing the skin’s ability to repair, renew and revitalize itself during the night
Extra virgin Olive oil
- Organic natural vector
- Rich in oleic acid and omega 3
- Emollient and softening, it helps improve the texture of the skin
- Moisturizing and nourishing
- *Clinical studies have demonstrated that the olive oil-based vector system part of the Radiance Oil has the ability to optimize the absorption of melatonin in the deeper layers of the skin which allow for optimal results.
- Extracted from the fruit of the Argan Tree also named Iron Tree
- Its richness in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E and minerals give it soothing and antioxidant properties
- Moisturizing and calming, it helps to relieve and protect itching and irritation caused by dryness
- Particularly recommended for very dry and sensitive skin
- Nourishing and restructuring, it helps restore the suppleness and radiance of the skin
- Recognized for its powerful moisturizing, antioxidant and anti-aging properties
Evening Primrose oil
- Revitalizing anti-aging active
- Rich source of GLAs linoleic and linolenic essential fatty acids
- Antioxidant properties, it helps to delay the signs of aging
- Emollient, nourishing and moisturizing, it helps soften the skin and improve its elasticity
- Particularly suitable for atopic and mature skin especially for menopausal or pre-menopausal women
- Patented polysaccharide
- Anti-UVB effect
- Inhibits the accumulation of free radical induced by UVB
- Boosts ATP production in the mitochondria
- Promotes the natural production of ceramides and hyaluronic acid
- Improves hydration and elasticity of the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
To get all the benefits of the Radiance oil, simply apply a few drops on perfectly cleansed skin in the evening. Massage gently until completely absorbed. Can also be used in the morning layered under a moisturizing cream and/or SPF. For external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes.
To conclude, what are the secrets of beauty sleep?
- Control your body and room temperature
- Reduce the electromagnetic pollution in your house
and especially in your bedroom
- Choose a good quality bed and breathable fabrics for your linens
and check your sleeping position
- Keep your room completely dark
- Have good air quality in your bedroom
- Take nutrients and/or supplements that promote sleep
- Maintain proper hydration through out the day
- Schedule a few minutes before bed to stretch and to reduce
your muscle tension before going to sleep
- Control your blood sugar levels
- Avoid excessive blue light in the evening
- Choose an optimized night-time skin care routine that will
promote beauty sleep and restore a healthy glow to your skin