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How Sleep Affects Your Skin

How Sleep Affects Your Skin

Never underestimate the benefits of sleep for healthy, vibrant skin! Sleep affects your skin and not getting enough quality rest will accelerate the aging process leaving your skin dull, dehydrated and with more pronounced fine lines at wrinkles

Let’s take a look at why sleep and skin health are intrinsically linked and a few tips on how to improve your beauty sleep.

Cellular repair increases while you sleep

What does ‘cellular repair’ mean and what does it have to do with sleep and skin health?

Our skin works hard during the day to guard against external stressors, bacterias and toxins entering the body. At night, it switches from defence mode into a time of intense regeneration where it begins to repair itself on a cellular level; essentially creating new, fresh skin cells.

The production of new cells begins in the deepest layer of your skin - the stratum basale - and make their way to the outermost layer of skin - the dermis. Old cells on the dermis are shed and replaced by the new fresh cells.

While cellular turnover does happen during the day, skin cells regenerate faster at night and the process is said to be at its peak during the hours of 11pm and 4am.

Cell regeneration happens whether you are asleep or not but a lack of sleep affects your skin during this process because it inhibits the cellular repair taking place at an optimal level.

The melatonin produced while you sleep and skin aging is also linked.

Melatonin, the sleep hormone, increases as you become tired and elevated levels of this hormone in the body works to counteract damage to the skin during the day from external stressors like UV and pollution.

Deep sleep encourages collagen and growth hormone production

The quality, not just the quantity, of rest you get every night has a big impact on how sleep affects your skin.

A restless, 8 hour sleep won’t deliver the same benefits as 8 undisturbed hours where you enter the deep sleep stage and your body and brain waves slow down.

It’s during deep sleep that your body produces growth hormone.

Growth hormone is a crucial peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration.

It stimulates collagen synthesis so when lack of quality sleep inhibits a fresh surge of growth hormone collagen production is also diminished.

This leads to skin losing its firmness and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Under-eye circles and puffiness

Under eye-circles are one of the most quickly visible signs of how lack of sleep affects your skin. When you don’t get enough of deep, restorative sleep, it causes your blood vessels to dilate

The skin under your eyes is thinner than any other part of your body. This means those dilated blood vessels and the darkened colour are more visible through the thin skin of your under-eye area.

Not getting enough sleep can also cause fluid retention in your face - a culprit for tired, puffy eyes.

Sleep deprivation elevates the stress hormone cortisol

Sleep deprivation causes the levels of cortisol, our body’s stress hormone, to rise.

Almost all our cells have receptors that can absorb cortisol and raised levels of this hormone have a direct impact on your skin.

Excess cortisol prompts the skin to produce excess sebum and can trigger inflammation which may lead to a host of skin issues, from itching and redness to chronic conditions such as dermatitis (eczema), and psoriasis.

If you’re already dealing with a chronic skin condition, a lack of sleep will only make the condition worse.

Sleep deprivation also was associated with paler skin and more droopy corners of the mouth.

Sleep affects your skin’s hydration levels

Hydration is key for healthy skin function and your body’s hydration levels are impacted by the amount of sleep you get.

A recent study on the link between sleep and hydration revealed people who regularly slept for 6 hours or less each night were 16–59 percent more likely to be dehydrated than those who slept for 8 hours a night.

When your skin is dehydrated it becomes more susceptible to skin problems such as dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, discolouration, and even premature wrinkling. Your body will also struggle to eliminate toxins when it's dehydrated, which also has an impact on skin health.

Your night time skincare ritual for better beauty sleep

There are a few ways you can help prepare your skin for bed to maximise the benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Double cleanse

Never skip cleansing your skin before bed and a double cleanse is recommended to remove all traces of makeup, sunscreen, and debris. For a deep double cleanse, use your regular cleanser first then follow up with a cleansing mitt to sweep away all residue. Starting with a clean base means your night time skin products will be more readily absorbed into the skin.

We recommend: esmi Uncomplicated Cleanser and esmi Microfibre Face Cleansing Mitt

Use a serum

Serums contain a high concentration of active ingredients that penetrates deep into the skin. Choose one with a focus on delivering hydration and multiple antioxidants to apply before bed as antioxidants support cellular repair and healing by night.

We recommend: esmi Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

Include an eye treatment

Night time is ideal to provide the delicate skin around your eye with additional anti-aging, tighten support to wake up with a fresher eye area.

We recommend: esmi Anti-Ageing Eye Serum

Quick tips for a better sleep

  • Keep your room as dark as possible
  • Give your eyes a rest from digital device screens at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • Try to stick to the same sleep / waking schedule, even on weekends, to help regulate your body’s internal clock.

It’s clear that prioritising quality sleep is one of the best natural ways you can maintain a healthy, youthful-looking complexion!


Infographic_How sleep affects skin

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