get the skin you always dreamed of

How to get the skin you always dreamed of – while you sleep

Winter time can pose big problems for our skin. After the excesses of Christmas, the cold and wind outside, the central heating inside, and the lack of sun and fresh food, our skin can become dehydrated, blotchy, irritated and flaky. But there’s no need to suffer in silence. We’ve asked both beauty experts and real mums for their top tips to get the skin you always dreamed of – while you sleep! And the best part – most of it can be done in our sleep!

So what’s the big secret?

It all comes down to rehydrating the skin at the optimal time, as Aisling Keenan, Editor and beauty expert at Xpose Magazine explains.

“There’s a lot to be said for getting a good night’s sleep, for both your general wellbeing but also for the appearance and health of your body’s largest organ–your skin. Sleep enables the body to reverse the damage done in the daytime by free radicals, and it renews itself at a cellular level. Helping your skin do its best work at night is one of the most valuable things you can do–that and making sure you wear SPF during the day. In both instances, you don’t have to break the bank to achieve great results.”

So here are our top five things you can do to make that beauty sleep really count!


Drinking a glass of water before you go to bed and again first thing in the morning will do wonders to rehydrate your skin.

tackling dry skin in winter

“Dehydrated skin will always look older so to keep your skin looking plump and youthful you need to keep it hydrated. Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day will do more for your skin then most skincare products, it will help plump up the skin and also minimise the appearance of fine lines. A good hydrating face mask is a good quick fix also, I like the Image Skincare Vital C Masque.”

  • Make up artist and Instagram star – Tara O’Farrell


A newer discovery for skin luminosity comes in the form of a humidifier. Switch it on when you go to bed and let it work it’s magic while you sleep.

“My skin started feeling rough and scaly and uncontrollably itchy in parts. I would wake up incredibly thirsty. What was causing all of this? Winter. I tried to rectify my dryness by drinking more water, using different products and it seemed there was very little difference. However keeping a humidifier by my bedside has made a world of difference for my winter hair and skin issues. Humidifiers provide essential external moisture when it’s in short supply in the atmosphere.”

  • Beauty writer – Afrobella

(No) Alcohol


Cutting out (or down on) alcohol will not only do wonders for your skin dryness, it will also help you sleep much better – meaning you are getting double benefits!

tackling dry skin in winter

“I know it sounds extreme, but cutting out alcohol has made the biggest difference to my skin ever. Dry skin comes from dehydration and as alcohol is a diuretic its impact on your skin is obvious. After one month of alcohol free living my skin began to glow and I started getting compliments and queries about what products I was using. I also found I drifted off to sleep more easily and slept more soundly – well, when the kids let me anyway!”

  • Blogger and mum of three – Kate Gunn

Night serums


A little night time luxury massaged into the skin before you go to bed can also work wonders.

tackling dry skin in winter

“As we know, night time is when our skin regenerates, so using a great night serum is key to waking up looking radiant and refreshed. Something with retinol in it tends to work miracles at night, targeting fine lines and visibly increasing skin plumpness. The right serum can really have a transformational effect on the skin.”

  • Editor of Xpose Magazine – Aisling Keenan

Eight hours


Of course one of the best but most elusive skin saviours is an uninterrupted eight hours sleep. If only us mums could go out and buy that one!

More like this:

Protecting skin in winter
Quick beauty fixes
Make up tips for busy mums


Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.


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Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.