Ask A Dermatologist: Sun Protection And Skin Cancer
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Myth Buster: Is Beauty Sleep Real?
When it comes to a good night’s rest, what a difference eight hours makes! If your routine’s been compromised it can result in dull skin, dry patches, puffy eyes and more. Check out our tips for the best night’s shut eye ever. Because science (and our skin) shows that the glow that comes with beauty sleep is very real.
Woke up like this? Genetic propensity aside, how your skin looks today is informed by choices and circumstances of the past. It’s a sliding scale. Years of neglecting sunscreen will accumulate and can show up as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. But a single night of compromised sleep can also show up on your face too. Less than the recommended seven to nine hours can result in dull skin, dry patches, puffy eyes and more.
It’s the stuff of skincare nightmares. But don’t worry. Tired skin that hasn’t had its beauty sleep is a temporary blip. And beauty sleep is a thing. Trust us. Let’s take a look at what sleep does for your skin, and how your complexion can recover from less rest than usual.
Is Beauty Sleep Real?
Beauty sleep is real. Healthy skin looks best when it’s had optimal time for restorative rest because your skin uses this time to heal from the day’s damage. Your skin’s blood flow increases during sleep. It’s a time where collagen (the skin’s scaffolding) is rebuilt and damage from UV exposure is repaired.
Head of Medical, Dr Jason Thomson explains, “Good sleep equal’s good skin. When we sleep our skin goes into rest and repair mode- it’s when our skin regenerates itself without any interference from UVA, UVB light, stress and more. Sleep well and your skin will look healthy and rested.”
What does a night of bad sleep do to my skin?
When you don’t sleep enough, cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in your body. This may cause inflammation, leading to an increase in skin conditions like acne or psoriasis.
How do I get a good night’s sleep?
None of this is revelatory but a wind-down routine that involves a warm bath and a cool, quiet dark bedroom will deliver best results. Go easy on caffeine after midday and know that alcohol and late meals can disrupt your blood sugar and sleep cycles.
Have a routine that you associate with sleep. Reading can calm a racing mind. As tempting as it can be, phones in bed are a no-go. Blue light from screens is your enemy in the evenings. Start banning screen time before bed and reap the beauty sleep benefits.
How to supercharge your beauty sleep
Cleanse, treat and moisturise at night as part of your usual routine. Make this a ritual you associate with good sleep.
Remember too that from moisture sandwiching to slugging, popular skin-plumping hydrating overnight treatments (if this is the right choice for your skin type) are best performed overnight when your skin has time to regenerate. Plus if you’re slugging, layers of petroleum jelly can clog your pores. A gentle cleansing routine first thing will reveal smoothed, brighter skin.
Finally, check your bedding. Fresh bedding feels luxurious and changing it often (especially your pillowcases) will stop bacteria-buildup that can trigger breakouts.
How to recover (and save your skin) after a bad night’s sleep
A bad night’s sleep can affect how we feel about our skin and the choices we make during the day. Often when we’re tired, we opt for ‘quick fix’ solutions. Here’s our top tips to tide you over til bedtime again:
- Stay hydrated and stick to your morning skincare routine as best you can.
- Don’t over-caffeinate and remember, sugary snacks aren’t your friend. Topping up your energy levels like this will lead to a crash later. Unprocessed foods will restore your skin to best health.
- Simplify your day. Are all your priority tasks really essential right now? Make a list of what can be put off until tomorrow and if you’re lucky enough to escape work/kids/dogs for half hour, a snooze post-lunch may well do the trick.
- Gentle exercise outside can clear the brain fog, and give your skin a circulation boost that restores a post-rest glow to your complexion (not to mention the benefits of vitamin D). Natural light also helps reset our circadian rhythms, which in turn, will help us sleep better the following night.
Our Head of Medical, Dr Jason Thomson explains, “Scientific evidence indicates that spending time outdoors will help you sleep better – it will also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. This is because natural light helps reset our circadian rhythms – our bodies’ natural sleep-wake regulators.”
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