Is sleep really that important for the look, feel and health of your skin? Short answer, yes. And we bet you’ve seen the proof in the pudding after too many late nights and early wake-up calls, right? We’re talking grey, dull skin and hold on, do those lines and wrinkles look more defined than normal? Ouch!
It’s simple – a lack of sleep is a recipe for skin disaster. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about the relationship between sleep and your skin…
The phrase ‘beauty sleep’ says it all. Sure, sunscreen, moisturiser, antioxidants and exfoliation are vital for maintaining gorgeous skin. But if your sleeping routine is a royal mess, no amount of skincare will give you the radiant skin you deserve.
So, why is sleep so important and how can you maximise your zzzs to help your skin be its absolute best? Let’s investigate, shall we?
What Happens To Skin While You’re Sleeping
Sleep is an essential function of life, restoring almost your entire body. Regular sleep powers your brain, recharges your mind and helps heal and fortify practically every system and organ within your body – including your skin.
During the day, your skin is very much in defence mode, working hard to fight environmental damage and defend itself from UV radiation. Conversely, when you hit the sack, your skin goes into repair mode, regenerating and restoring itself in order to prepare for another day.
Blood flow to the skin increases, cell turnover almost doubles, collagen production amps up and antioxidants kick in to help repair free radical damage from anything you’ve thrown at your skin while you were awake – namely pollution and the sun.
It figures, therefore, that if you don’t get a decent night’s kip, your skin will suffer the consequences. Free radicals get a better chance to do a number on important proteins like collagen and elastin (hello fine line and wrinkles); your skin’s natural barrier function becomes compromised causing dehydration, irritation and dryness, and your skin may become dull and sluggish due to your cells not turning over efficiently.
Hormones like melatonin and HGH – the human growth hormone – also play a major part in the health of your skin. Both of these are produced by your body when you’re asleep.
Melatonin aids repair, while HGH helps strengthen your skin, but if you don’t consistently get enough shut-eye, your body has less time to produce these important skin replenishing hormones. And your poor complexion will suffer by looking older way before its time.
Then you’ve got cortisol. Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure, your metabolism, immune system and stress levels – which is why it’s often referred to as the stress hormone. Your body produces various levels of cortisol throughout the day, peaking in the morning and gradually petering off through the evening to almost nothing as you sleep.
This means if you miss out on your valuable zzzs, your body continues to produce cortisol, which puts stress on many of your internal functions and, in particular, limits your skin’s time to heal and regenerate. Too much cortisol has also been linked to flare-ups in skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne.
So you see, sleep is extremely important for the look and feel of your skin.
How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep
According to NHS guidelines, adults require between six and nine hours of sleep every night, with the sweet spot being eight hours. Hands up if you manage that on the reg. Yeah, we hear you.
Looking for ways to help you sleep better and for longer? Then the most important thing is to maintain consistency. We know this may be easier said than done, but try to go to bed and wake up at similar times every day. This will honestly help you maintain a much better sleep pattern.
Also, try to nail at least one of these sleep-inducing tips…
1. Set The Scene
Start strong and give yourself the best chance possible by ensuring your bedroom is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature.
2. Turn Off Your Smartphone
The blue light from your phone, laptop or tablet suppresses melatonin production by tricking your body into thinking it’s still daylight. This will screw up your sleep, so avoid any blue-light-emitting technology for at least an hour before bed. Come on, we know you can do it!
3. Wind Down
Do something that helps you relax before bed. Read a few chapters of a book, listen to some relaxing music or take a bath. A restful bath will soothe muscles and calm your body. Just remember not to have the water too hot and don’t stay in there for too long as this will dehydrate your skin.
4. Clear Your Head
If you find your mind goes into overdrive as soon as your head hits the pillow, try writing down your thoughts or a ‘to-do’ list before turning off the lights. This clears your mind and should help you sleep easier.
5. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and can stay in your blood for up to eight hours. This can seriously affect your sleep and stop your body from relaxing, so if you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine or a big coffee or tea drinker stick with decaf after 3 or 4 pm.
Your Ultimate Nighttime Skincare Routine
Great sleep is all well and good, but why not go that one step further with some fabulous skincare? But what should an overnight skincare routine include? Well, for starters, you must ensure it’s clean and clear of any debris that’s built up through the day. Cleanse thoroughly, but gently with Crystal Cleanser, then spritz Diamond Toner all over your skin for a little extra hydration.
Next, feed your skin with our targeted Pre-Eminent Beauty Serum which is formulated with vitamins C and E, plus seaweed collagen and green tea to help boost your skin’s oh-so-important regeneration process. Apply a pea-sized amount (honestly, that’s all you need) immediately after toning to help seal in moisture.
After serum, apply Imperial Eye Gel gently around your eyes to ease puffiness and reduce lines, then it’s time for our deeply moisturising Night Elixir. Rich in antioxidants as well as shea butter and coconut oil, it’s the perfect night cream for replenishing lost moisture and ensuring your skin wakes up refreshed and ready to face the day again.
You could even apply a few drops of Organic Age-Defying Facial Oil on top of Night Elixir for the ultimate nighttime treat.
Finally, we don’t know about you, but we hate waking up with dry lips, so always smooth Superior Lip Butter all over your lips before you hit the hay. And make sure you apply it just over the edges and into the corners as these areas are often the driest.
Try these sleep tricks, nail your nighttime skincare routine and you’ll soon realise why ‘beauty sleep’ is so worthy of its name.