Sweet, sweet slumber

The festive season is definitively over and we’ve now bid January’s so-called ‘Blue Monday’ adieu. With the new year off to a blazing go, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re now dying to catch up on some much needed sleep. We all need those precious zzz’s to function, but did you know that slumber is also one of nature’s most powerful beauty treatments? Beauty sleep: there is something to it.

Sleep and Skin: Some Perks and Pitfalls

We’re all too familiar with the visible signs of sleep deprivation which tends to sneak up on us after a few late nights: the dark circles, the puffy eyes, the dull-looking skin. While topical beauty treatments help us fight the good fight on this beauty battleground, there is no substitute for sleep. Sleep gives your body time to repair and rejuvenate itself. This is also the case for our skin which is able to heal, renew and purge itself of toxins while we snooze.

Adequate sleep increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It also encourages your body to boost the blood flow to your skin which can decrease the appearance of dark circles and help give you that ‘I-woke-up-like-this-glow.’ Most notably, however, sleep can help stave off new wrinkles. That’s right. When we sleep our skin produces new collagen, which is the protein that repairs and promotes the elasticity of our skin to help keep it supple, firm and strong. Collagen is our beauty-bestie (and our products are packed with collagen-encouraging actives!).

On the other hand, studies show that poor sleep can lead to an increase of the stress hormone called cortisol which, unfortunately, accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin in our skin. This in turn speeds up the aging process and may aggravate inflammation, making certain skin conditions (like acne and eczema) worse.

A final skin-benefit of a good night’s sleep: skincare products are generally more effective. While we sleep our products are able to penetrate more effectively because, for instance, our skin isn’t as busy fighting off free radicals like air pollution and UV rays. So do note what exactly you’re putting on your skin before bed (think organic beauty…), as it will likely be more able to lap it up.

Find a bedtime routine

Our lives are all varying degrees of busy and getting a good night’s sleep is likely no easy feat, but do try to settle into 2018 by finding a bedtime routine that works for you. Perhaps try to park all screens before bed, or at least resist the urge to let the ‘next episode’ on Netflix run on until all hours. In any event, try to get as much pure, unadulterated slumber as possible; your body, your mind and your complexion will thank you.

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[1] Dr. Rupert Critchley, ‘How Sleep Affects the Skin,’ 15 Feb 2017, Aesthetics Journal https://aestheticsjournal.com/feature/how-sleep-affects-the-skin

[2] Dr. Michael J Bruse, ‘Beauty Rest is Real’, 7 December 2009: http://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2009/12/07/beauty-rest-is-real-by-the-sleep-doctor/

[3] Stephanie Jacob, ‘The Truth about Beauty Sleep’ as reviewed by William Blahd MD, 19 November 2015, WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/beauty-sleep#1

[4] Lily Talakoub, MD, ‘Beauty sleep: Sleep deprivation and the skin,’ Dermotology News, 2 February 2017: https://www.mdedge.com/edermatologynews/article/130640/aesthetic-dermatology/beauty-sleep-sleep-deprivation-and-skin

[5] Stephanie Jacob, ‘The Truth about Beauty Sleep’ (2015).