Do you ever think about how much time you spend sleeping? The average person sleeps around eight hours a day, which can add up to practically one third of your life! If you're not putting all those hours to good use — say, by applying an overnight face mask or sleeping on skin-loving silk — you should be. It is called beauty sleep, after all. Your body needs sufficient rest in order for you to look and feel your best, so first and foremost you should make sure that you're getting enough sleep every night. Turn off all your screens, put your damn phone away, go to sleep at the same time every night, yada yada yada. You know the drill.
Now that the obvious advice is out of the way, let's talk about how you can really go the extra mile to squeeze every bit of rejuvenation from your nightly snooze. There's actually tons of tricks — big and small — that you can employ before going to bed at night and that will have you looking better than you did before you when to sleep. Some of these ideas are best if you do them every night, while others are ideal for once or twice a week. For those of you sharing a bed with their significant other, don't worry: Some of these hacks are either unnoticeable or will actually make you more alluring as you sleep. Um, not all of them though — you've been warned.
1. Apply Dry Shampoo Before Bed
If you know you're not going to have time to wash your hair in the morning, use dry shampoo before going to bed. Sure, it'll work fine in the morning too, but if you put it in before bed then the dry shampoo will have the entire night to soak up greasiness. You'll wake up in the morning with great hair that smells really nice, and you'll save so much time. My favorite-smelling dry shampoo is Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo.
2. Invest In A Silk Pillowcase
This is probably my #1 recommendation for improving one's beauty sleep. Once you sleep with a silk pillowcase, you'll never want to go back (my dog agrees — as you can see in the picture above with his butt, he's always sneaking closer and closer to my silk pillow). It helps avoid hair breakage and damage, keeping your hair soft and frizz-free. There are also claims that it helps to minimize wrinkles. I can't vouch for that, but I will say it eliminates harsh pillow lines all over your face. Plus, it just feels extremely luxurious, and who doesn't deserve a luxurious night's rest?
3. Try A Nourishing Hair Mask
This hack can get a little messy but it's completely worth it if you have dry, damaged, or frizzy hair. Actually, even if your hair has no issues and is doing great, this treatment will make it look even better. Coconut oil is the best oil to use on hair because it can actually penetrate the hair shaft to work its magic. It's incredibly nourishing for both your hair and your scalp (and a healthy scalp leads to healthier hair). It can be a little heavy for some hair types, so start small until you know how your hair reacts.
Once you know your hair likes it, just slather on as much coconut oil as you like before bed and then cover it with a shower cap (or at least put a towel over your pillow — silk pillowcases can be pricey). In the morning, rinse it out with shampoo; use a clarifying shampoo if you feel like you're having a hard time removing the coconut oil. You'll have shiny, hydrated hair with basically zero effort on your part. Do this a few times a month or even once a week if your hair is extremely thirsty. Also, if you really want to amp things up, I love My Mane Care Hydrating Mask ($15, mymanecare.com) which contains coconut oil in addition to avocado, grape seed, jojoba, olive, and castor oils.
4. Dabble In Overnight Face Masks
Nobody wants to wear a sheet mask to bed, but luckily that's not the kind of face mask that I'm talking about. Overnight face masks are basically just very hydrating moisturizers that are meant to nourish your skin all night long. These have become quite popular so you should have no problem finding one that suits your budget and your skin type. If you need some recommendations, however, check out this review of seven excellent overnight masks. Once you've found one that you like, use it nightly or as needed and you'll wake up with soft, moisturized skin.
5. Give Your Lips Some TLC
Lips need hydration too, and the best time to wear an ultra-hydrating lip balm is overnight so that it has plenty of time to absorb without annoying you with the feeling of something heavy on your lips. This Fresh Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm is extremely thick and emollient, so you'll wake up with smooth, flake-free lips. Plus it smells amazing.
6. Find Your Ideal Serum
Serums are ideal for nighttime use because a lot of them contain powerful ingredients that don't mix well with sunlight. You can choose one that's formulated with your specific skincare issues in mind, whether that's dark spots, wrinkles, dryness, uneven tone, dullness... you get the idea. Serums with retinol are great for aging concerns, while vitamin C serums can do a lot for brightening dark spots and uneven skin tone, and the majority of serums help with hydration as well. My personal favorite overnight serum is Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, which helps with dead cell turnover and collagen, leaving your skin radiant and glowing.
7. Sprinkle Your Sheets With Powder
This is an excellent bedtime beauty hack for the hot summer months. If you hate waking up all sweaty and smelly, you need Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder. It's primarily meant to relieve chafing, but lots of people like to sprinkle it on their sheets for a sexy jasmine scent and to keep their skin comfortably dry and silky while they sleep. Of course, plain old baby powder will work in a pinch too. I'm partial to the lavender and chamomile scent because it's very relaxing.
8. Go Crazy With Zit Cream
This isn't the sexiest nighttime beauty hack, but it's a hell of a lot better than walking around all day covered in strategically-placed zit cream. You can experiment with a few different zit-zappers if you like — plenty of people rave about tea tree oil as well as Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. My personal favorite for quickly banishing zits is just plain old benzoyl peroxide. It doesn't even seem to matter which brand, and it's cheap and effective.
9. Wear Hydrating Gloves
This is kind of a weird one, but it works so well that it's worth sleeping with gloves on. I was skeptical when I first tried this Karuna Hydrating+ Hand Mask. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it. It felt a little weird on, but I quickly got used to it and best of all, I could still do things like typing while wearing the gloves. The next morning when I removed the gloves, my cuticles were visibly improved. I didn't even realize how rough and dry my hands had gotten until I tried a hand mask and saw how much better they looked the next morning. If you're about to get engaged or make your big debut as a hand model, or you just think your hands could use some TLC, I highly recommend giving this a shot.
10. Mask Your Feet Too
Luckily for those of us with rough feet, Karuna also makes an Exfoliating+ Foot Mask. However, if you're on a tight budget then just do it the old-school DIY way: take an old pair of socks (how cute are my corgi socks?) and put them on top of lotion-slathered feet before going to bed at night. Either way, you'll wake up in the morning with the softest feet of your life, just in time for sandal season.
Images: Kelly Dougher