There is truth behind the term “beauty sleep”! While we sleep, our skin and bodies are actually in repair mode. Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of skin issues. Some show up immediately and others are the result of weeks, or even years, of inadequate sleep.
The Downside of Poor Sleep
Most women know what to expect when they look in the mirror after a late night or early morning: dark circles, puffy eyes and a dull, washed out complexion. Luckily these are usually temporary and with a smart skincare regimen and some good rest your skin looks good as new again.
However, after weeks of sleep deprivation, you may start to see more fine lines, hyperpigmentation and saggier skin.
Sleep is complex and researchers aren’t entirely sure why lack of sleep affects skin. A few possible explanations:
- Lack of sleep can lower blood pressure, making skin look dull and causing poor circulation, resulting in puffy eyes.
- The stress hormone cortisol may be released after an inadequate night’s sleep. Cortisol is known to be implicated in the breakdown of collagen (the skin’s support structure), and may contribute to lack of firmness and wrinkles.
Steps to Better Sleep
These strategies can make it easier to fall asleep and improve the quality of your rest:
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
- Sleep in a dark, quiet room. Use blackout shades and a noise machine if necessary.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- Skip the caffeine late in the day.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
- Reduce the use of electronic equipment for at least one hour before bed time.
When You Can’t Get Enough Sleep
To give your skin a helping hand on rough mornings:
- Use an eye cream to reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness. Apply by massaging in a circular motion to stimulate blood flow and help the area look brighter and less puffy.
- Exfoliate dead skin with a facial scrub to stimulate skin’s radiant complexion. Follow with a moisturiser containing Niacinamide or glycolic acid — both brighten the skin when it looks duller than usual.
So the next time you want to skimp on getting your zzz’s, remember that sleep is actually one of the most important steps in your skincare regime and key to a healthy looking complexion.