9 Nighttime Habits That Are Ruining Your Skin

Updated 04/16/19
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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 Korean counterparts, 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.

Habit #1: Your Simple Cleansing Routine

Banilo Co. Clean It Zero $16
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Banilo Co. Clean It Zero ($16) 

If you’ve ever swept a toner pad across your face after cleansing only to be surprised by the amount of makeup still left, this news won’t come as a surprise. Most times, a standard cleanser won’t rid your skin of all the makeup and dirt that’s accumulated throughout the day. Instead of just using your go-to cleanser, try double-cleansing with an oil-based cleanser, like Julep’s Bare Face Cleansing Oil ($28), or a makeup-dissolving cleansing balm, like Banilo Co.’s Clean It Zero ($16) (a cult-favorite in Korea) first. The oils in both of these formulas will gently dissolve mascara, foundation, dirt, and oil, prepping it for your everyday cleanser.

Habit #2: You're Using the Wrong Products

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Here’s the thing: Your skin cells regenerate and heal overnight, so it’s prime time to slather it with something that will help that process. Your daytime moisturizer with SPF? It might do the job in a pinch, but it won’t leave your skin looking glowy and Beyoncé-like in the morning like a glycolic serum will—we’re currently obsessed with Drunk Elephant’s non-toxic T.L.C. Framboos ($90) version.

Add products into your nightly routine with ingredients that exfoliate (glycolic acid, lactic acid, AHA/BHAs), nourish (hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, jojoba and other natural oils), and repair (retinol, antioxidants). You’ll wake up with better, brighter skin, we swear.

Habit #3: The Way You Sleep

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Your cotton pillowcase? Not cutting it. A silk or satin version will not only help your hair but will also keep sleep-creases and wrinkles at bay. Also, if you’re a stomach sleeper, it may be time to re-think your snooze. Sleeping on your back will prevent smushed-face syndrome in the morning, and prevent wrinkles from developing over time. If your side-sleeping habit is hard to break, try a sleep wrinkle pillow, like this one by Juverest ($195). Just maybe hide it when you have visitors?

Habit #4: Cranking Up the Heat

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—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!

Habit #5: Gabbing It Up Before Bed

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.

Habit #6: Your Night-Owl Tendencies

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 3 a.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.

Habit #7: Breaking Out the Bubbly Before Bed

We all love a little nightcap—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.

Habit #8: Not Pushing Your Hair Back

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Regina George thinks Aaron Samuels look sexy with his hair pushed back…and she had the right idea. If you put product in your hair before bed or style it at all, we recommend keeping it out of your face with a silk scarf. Why? Pore-clogging ingredients in hair products, as well as your hair’s natural oils, can transfer to your face while sleeping, leading to breakouts.

Habit #9: Your Long, Relaxing Shower

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-it’s-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!

This article was published at an earlier date. 

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