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

Ask Allison

Q My sister-in-law and I both work three-day weeks and we help each
other out with child minding on our working days, which up until recently has worked out really well. Between us, our kids are aged between five and nine years – the problem is that it’s now become quite apparent that we have very different parenting styles. I prefer my two daughters (seven and nine) to have a structured day. For example, in my house, we have allocated times for television and iPads, etc. My sister-in-law, however, lets the kids run loose after school – homework is ignored and my kids end up wired after eating sugary treats all afternoon. I am considering looking at after-school childcare for the kids, but I’m worried that this is going to cause a family argument. Is there a diplomatic way that I can ask my sister-in-law to introduce some discipline into her child-minding days? It certainly doesn’t do her two kids any harm when I am minding them in my own house!

In a word, no, there is no diplomatic way to do this as it may very likely seem like your saying that your parenting style is better than
hers. As L’Óreal says, ‘now here comes the science bit.’ Dr. Kaylene
Henderson, a child psychiatrist, wrote a very interesting blog about ‘the
science behind the Mummy Wars’. She explains that before she had
children of her own she hadn’t been aware of how parents have a
very specific sense of the right parenting style. She also found that parents could be very definite in defending their chosen parenting style. Dr. Henderson, who describes herself as a curious, scientific, open-minded person, was surprised at how defensive parents could be and, at times, of their judgemental attitude towards each other. She explained the neurology of the Mummy Wars; okay, I’ll need you to bear with me for a second. Warning; I’m about to use some neuro-techie language.

Why do we judge each other?
As we have all had different experiences, this means that we all have very different memories stored in our brains. Most of our memories are ‘explicit’ memories – these are ones that we can recall easily such as important dates that mean something to us; important birthdays, special events or stories of and about our lives.
There is another type of memory called ‘implicit’ memory that plays a
key role in our parenting. This type of memory is the stuff that you do on autopilot. Psychologists call these heuristics or rules of thumb –
such as tying your shoelace, or driving your car (once you have learnt
to do both first!). Otherwise we’d really waste a huge amount of time
pondering over tasks that we have readily available to us. This seems to be where the science bit of our parenting style kicks in. This implicit memory goes all the way back to when you were an infant being parented by your parents. This is when you started the process of storing up how they did it into your memories.
Unless you make a conscious choice and effort to parent differently, what you saw and unconsciously learnt will be your automatic go-to parenting style.

We learn habits
This can really kick into gear when we feel our parenting style is
being mirrored or highlighted by disapproval from another parent. I know the cold sweat you feel when your child decides to make their outstanding bad behaviour performance at, of course, the most public and worst time. The implicit autopilot of how your parents dealt with these outbursts will flow unconsciously from you if you haven’t worked super hard to be aware and consciously change the old habits.
What’s happening for the on-looking parent is that they see you doing something they are used to doing, but you are doing it all wrong. Simply, because that is not how they know how to do it.

Find a way that works
You both have different parenting styles – who is to say which type is correct? You just need to know what works best for your family and that’s the bottom line. The irksome feelings won’t go away. You can talk to your sister-in-law, but I’m adding a caveat that it would be hard not to hurt her feelings. What we’re possibly looking at is that you prefer a more structured form of parenting, whereas your sister-in-law has a more permissive style. I’m not sure the two styles can mix, the mixture is a bit like oil and water.
If a collaborative shared form of parenting style can be agreed upon, then that is great, but our learnt hardwiring may prove difficult to change despite the intent to do so.
Perhaps, your own instinct of changing childcare might work best for you. In terms of making childcare work; the fit is ultimately the most
important aspect as you want a cohesive congruent feeling of the other caregiver to just ‘getting it’, like in any good partnership. Best of luck
with this and I wish you both well.


Yoga with baby

Babies are very sensitive to their mum’s mood so when mum relaxes, baby relaxes, a win-win situation!

Me-time (with baby)

Mother-of-one Tracey Quinn writes about the importance of me-time for all mums.



Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….