A few weeks ago, Trusted Health and our friends at Outdoor Voices shared Nurses First: The Wellness Series, a week-long virtual event series focused on supporting nurses in all areas of wellness.
Skin care expert and esthetician Renée Rouleau and sleep expert Lois James recently led us through a bedtime routine worth dreaming about. Below, we’re going to recap the knowledge you need to care for your skin and sleep better with your surely ever-changing nursing schedule.
You can watch the full recording below!
Let’s kick things off with some skincare advice from Renée Rouleau.
Skincare Tips for Nurses
Research shows that the natural repair processes of the skin happen when the sun goes down. This is because stem cells in the epidermis reproduce largely at night and are responsible for creating new skin cells. For the best beauty sleep, apply your nighttime products earlier rather than later.
So, what are some top tips for smart skincare?
- Too tired to wash your face at night? Do it earlier instead of waiting right before you go to bed.
- Don’t skip on your moisturizer at night. The concept of skin “breathing” is a myth. Your skin needs hydration for optimum health.
- Use a product with retinol. This is the gold standard for anti-aging products.
- Puffy eyes? Sleep with your head elevated to reduce morning under eye puffiness.
How to deal with “Maskne”
First, what causes maskne? The moist environment from breathing and summer heat can increase oil flow and lead to breakouts. Next, friction. The mask material will rub up against the skin while talking and can trigger breakouts and irritation. And the solution? Properly cleanse your skin at night using gentle antibacterial products.
Renée’s Favorite Skincare Tips
- Bar soap
- Alcohol-based toners
- Sonic cleansing brushes
Heal a blemish fast:
- Don’t apply a spot treatment right away
- Squeeze only when there is a visible whitehead
Understand your skin type:
- Dehydrated and dry are not the same
- Focus on all your needs
- Understand what sensitive skin is
For more tips & tricks for healthy skin while on shift, especially during COVID-19, check out this nurse skincare guide.
Sleep Hygiene for Nurses
Let’s begin with a surprising fact: Being awake for 24 hours straight will result in an equivalent .10 Blood Alcohol Content! Wait, what?
Exactly. Sleep is critical to your safety and the safety of those around you! Lois James lays out the facts below.
What are the risks of not getting enough sleep?
Safety - Increased risk of drowsy driving
Performance - Increased risk of preventable medical error
Health - Increased risk of cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, metabolic disease
Wellness - Increased risk of mental illness and family dysfunction
Moreover, on a nursing shift, sleep-related fatigue can lead to:
- Reduced ability to deal with stressful, complex situations
- Reduced attentiveness, perspective, and understanding
- Increased anxiety, irritability, and fearfulness
- Impaired physical and cognitive functioning
What are the best ways to counter these negatives?
- Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark space when possible
- Light therapy (exposure to wake up, avoidance to wind down)
- Establish a bedtime routine (whatever it is, consistency is key)
- Strategic napping (90 mins or 20 mins)
- Strategic use of caffeine (not too late in the day)
- Strategic use of melatonin for shift-work adjustment (similar to changing time zones while traveling)
And remember, if you don’t put yourself first, who will? In order to provide the best care to those around you, you must also care for yourself! Start small and slowly add on habits or changes to your daily routine. You’ve got this!
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