the bottom line
sleep is one of the most critical elements of beauty, and there's data to prove it: a recent study showed that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin's ability to repair itself at night. poor sleepers show more fine lines, uneven pigmentation, and reduced skin elasticity. read on to learn more about the critical links between beauty and sleep.
first layer: sleep
We spend a lot of time talking about how important it is to drink enough water, but what about sleep? It turns out that sleep is one of the most fundamental elements of beauty. The body repairs itself during sleep, and this includes the skin. During sleep, the levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) drop, and melatonin, our sleep hormone, rises. The body takes this time to repair itself, internally and externally. Blood flow to the skin increases, permitting collagen production and damage repair from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) exposure. As a result, wrinkles are reduced, pigmentation is minimized, and the skin is clearer and better hydrated.
But don’t skimp, beauty – we need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Less than that, and you’ll start to see the difference.
second layer: the science
A 2015 study performed by Dr. Elam Baron showed that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin's ability to repair itself at night. In their study, poor sleepers showed higher level of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), diminished barrier recovery, limited recovery from redness after exposure to UV light, and a worse perception of their own appearance and physical attractiveness.
Some of the most notable benefits of adequate sleep include:
- fewer wrinkles: the skin is able to generate new collagen during sleep – which translates to fewer fine wrinkles. Less sleep means more wrinkles and less hydration, which makes those wrinkles even more visible.
- a natural glow: we all want that gorgeous glow. The good news is that your body sends increased blood flow to the skin while you sleep, allowing you to wake to a healthy glow. Skip the snooze and your complexion may appear dull and even ashy.
- brighter eyes: dark circles and swelling around the eyes are one of the telltale signs of a lack of sleep. Limited blood flow around the eyes secondary to a lack of sleep can manifest as dark circles. To limit swelling, stay hydrated and elevate your head on an extra pillow at night.
- skincare products that work better: when your skin is resting, it focuses on repair and renewal. That beautiful blood flow allows the amazing ingredients from your products to work synergistically with your body.
third layer: nightly essentials
So to support all of this wonderful renewal, what do you need? We think a few items are critical:
- the evening cleanse: cleansing your face thoroughly every night is critical. There’s no need to be too aggressive – a gentle cleanser that removes oil, makeup, and dirt while maintaining the slightly acidic environment of the skin is ideal.
- moisturize: your nightly serum, cream, or oil are at their best while you’re sleeping and within the repair cycle of the skin. Hyaluronic acid, a humectant which attracts water to the skin, can also limit the appearance of fine wrinkles. Don’t forget your lip balm.
- hydrate: keep that glass of water at your bedside, especially if you sleep in an environment with low humidity
- chin up, beauty: elevation of your head while you sleep can help to reduce swelling and dark circles around your eyes by limiting the accumulation of fluid. Add an extra pillow or use a wedge on the mattress.
- while you’re at it, stay on your back: repeated pressure on your skin can lead to creases. If you just can’t stay off your side or face, try a satin or silk pillowcase which will minimize irritation and compression.
- love the dark: you don’t need to be Dracula to appreciate the dark of night. It’s been shown that sleeping with your skin exposed to the sun can damage your skin’s health, in addition to disturbing your sleep rhythm. Try blackout curtains if you can’t escape the glare.
fourth layer: how we do it
The importance of the evening routine can’t be overstated. Simply put, it’s our way of winding down the day and getting our minds and bodies ready for rest and renewal. Choose your nighttime products wisely to optimize your skin’s daily recovery.
We like to start the evening cleanse with our rice bran & pomegranate facial cleansing oil and oatmeal cleansing milk, followed by our lotus flower & rosewater toner. We layer on a bit of our jasmine serum, and then follow with our lotus & lychee facial crème. In the winter or when we’re feeling dry, we finish with our vata facial oil and lip butter. for more about how to layer, morning and night, visit our website page how to layer .
Now go get that shut eye, beauty.
All this and more at www.anokhaskincare.com .
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- Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, et al. Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clin Exp Dermatol 2015; 40(1): 17-22.