Last week, we uncovered some of the most important lifestyle factors that come into play with regards to the health of your skin. One of these involved sleep, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that quality rest is one of the best things you can do to help your glow. Not only is it free, easy, and enjoyable, you’ll find that the effects of good sleep have immediate results on your skin’s overall look (and, of course, your general wellbeing).
When you cut back on sleep, you cut back on the time your skin has to repair itself. Your skin is exposed to light, pollution, germs, dryness, and more on the daily. When you sleep, your skin has a chance to take a break, regenerate, and get ready for the next day.
A study in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that people who slept seven to nine hours a night had skin that was significantly more hydrated. It was also shown that the skin of those who logged more sleep protected and healed itself better following exposure to ultraviolet light, compared to those who slept five hours or less.
The skin also makes new collagen when you sleep, which is essential to prevent sagging. The more collagen the skin creates, the plumper it appears, and the less likely it is to wrinkle!
Chances are, at least once in your life, you’ve found yourself waking up with dark circles or bags under your eyes that seemed to have magically appeared overnight.
Doris Day, MD. and a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center explains that puffy eyes are one of the first things we see when we don’t sleep well (or enough). Therefore, it is one of the first signs indicating that you need to catch up on Zzz’s if you want to reverse the negative side effects.
Drinking enough water throughout the day and elevating your head with a thicker pillow will help reduce the initial swelling and bring your look back to normal, she advises.
The same study shows that sleeping less than 5 hours a night can lead to twice as many fine lines (compared to sleeping 7+ hours). Because a lack of sleep dehydrates the skin, and dry skin makes fine lines more visible, you may do a double-take when you look in the mirror the next morning!
That being said, nighttime is the best time to apply moisturizing skin care products (as well as actives such as AHAs, BHAs, or retinol products, for that matter). Not only does the increased blood flow help those ingredients work more efficiently at night, but you’ll experience less irritation and will wake up with a healthy, radiant complexion.
This also explains why many nighttime moisturizers are thicker than daytime creams. To increase moisture retention, it is also suggested to swap for a silk pillowcase, as these are known to absorb significantly less face cream and create 43% less friction compared to readily available cotton pillowcases.
GM COLLIN PARIS RETINOL ADVANCED+ NIGHT CREAM $102
SKINCODE CELLULAR NIGHT REFINE & REPAIR $147
TIZO PM RESTORE $96
In a nutshell: the better you sleep, the better your skin. You can use as many quality products as you want, but if you don’t take care of the basics first, you’ll be wasting your time and your money.
Until next time, make sure you clock in those Zzz’s!