There is truth behind the term “beauty rest”! 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 conditions 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. Your skin is also more susceptible to moisture loss and may be slower to heal from sunburn.
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 is typically released after an inadequate night’s sleep. Cortisol breaks down collagen (the skin’s support structure), making skin sag more and wrinkles more prominent.
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.
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 moisturizer containing Niacinimide 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 regimen and key to a healthier, younger looking complexion.