We spend around a third of our lives asleep so make the most of your slumber with these nocturnal nourishers and beauty sleep tips

Know your skin clock and get your beauty sleep ©iStock

Know your skin clock and get your beauty sleep ©iStock

Your beauty sleep skin clock

You may be fast asleep but your body is hard at work. Dr Anjali Mahto, expert dermatoligist for Vichy, reveals exactly what your skin gets up to overnight.

11pm – When we don’t sleep enough, your body clock, known as the circadian cycle, can be disrupted affecting the skin’s overall look and feel, so it’s vital to have some early nights.

This time marks the start of the critical time for re-establishing cellular metabolism, which refers to how much energy your cells have.

12pm-1am – Overnight your skin is constantly repairing itself but the highest level of regeneration occurs between midnight and 1am.

This critical hour coincides with your deepest sleep, known as REM (random eye movement) sleep. During this time blood flow increases to deliver nutrients to skin cells and eliminate toxins, and the outermost layer of your skin sheds.

1am-4am – Your skin will continue to carry out its repair process but at a slightly lower level of activity. By regenerating your cells, the barrier function of the skin is restored so it can perform its protective role more effectively during the day.

6am onwards – Like a natural light switch, studies have shown that during the day the sun stimulates the skin’s natural protective function towards the environment.

Your beauty sleep bedtime skin regime

Creams and serums should be part of your beauty sleep regime © iStock

Creams and serums should be part of your beauty sleep regime © iStock

To get the most out of your skin creams and make your products work even harder you should apply them in the right order. Generally speaking that means starting with the lightest formula, saving the heaviest, thickest creams until last.

1. Serum

How much? A 5p-sized blob

As the lightest, silkiest step in your skincare regime serum should be the first thing you apply as you slip between the sheets. Serums are often filled with the most potent ingredients in teeny-tiny molecules that can penetrate deep into the skin.

We like Formula Time Defy Age Replenish Calcium Super Sleep Serum, £15, M&S – apply to your hands and massage into clean, dry skin until it’s fully absorbed. This one targets age spots and wrinkles for a smoother, more radiant complexion.

2. Eye cream
How much? A grain of rice for each eye

The skin around your eyes is up to ten times thinner than the rest of your face, but hydration is vital as the area tends to be on the dry side. The problem though is loading the area with your regular moisturiser can be far too heavy and cause puffiness come morning.

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Eye Cream, £17, is a delicate formula that helps to minimise creases, and brightens under-eye shadows. Using your ring finger gently dab it around the eye socket, avoiding the tear duct, as this also leads to puffiness.

3. Night cream
How much? A 20p piece

Night creams tend to be thicker so always leave this step until last. If you rarely get eight hours sleep Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep, £26.50, is the bedtime buy for you. It helps trigger the skin’s deep sleep repair process so even if you have a rough night your cell turnover remains at its optimum level.

Cue glowing, even-toned skin that looks rested. Even cleverer is the green tea and jasmine scent, which is so calming and soothing. In fact, after four weeks 73 per cent of women felt more relaxed before going to sleep.

Soporific soothers

No need to count sheep – these wind-down wonders will help you to drift off.

  • A warm bath before bed is the easiest (and most pleasant) way to encourage restful slumber. Add a dash of Sanctuary Spa Calming Luxury Bath Float, £10, under running water to relax the mind and body.
  • Spritz your pillow with the lavender-scented Ragdale Hall Relax Pillow & Body Mist, £5, M&S, before bed and inhale the comforting fragrance all through the night.
  • Spend a few minutes massaging your skin from top to toe with L’Occitane Relaxing Body Cream, £28, a hydrating lotion with calming essential oils. The act of kneading your body before bed will help to ease any tension.
  • Pop on Aromatherapy Associates Relax Eye Mask, £22, aromatherapyassociates.com, as you get under the covers. It looks incredibly glamorous and soothes with its subtle lavender scent and soft velvet lining.