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Ever Wondered Why They Call It Beauty Sleep?

Turns out your skin is busier than you think when you're in bed! And sleep really holds the key to a great complexion. But more than just sleeping well, there are other things to consider, too (including temperature changes and the position you sleep in). Who knew? Which is why we’ve pulled together the 6 things your skin does while you’re snoozing, so you can make the most out of your bedtime routine and make sure you're looking fresh!

1. You regenerate 

When we sleep, our whole body starts to repair itself and sort through everything you've experienced that day. Everything from making short-term memories into long-term to releasing growth hormones (which is where your skin comes in). So this is what you get up to when you're dreaming, and here's how to make sure you're keeping your skin looking younger and brighter, even when you sleep...

Our skin cells get to work and go into re-set mode as our growth hormone peaks. There have been several studies on the things your cells manage to do between 11pm and midnight, which all found that your cell mitosis (the cell division that renews and repairs skin) is at its peak during this hour. This is true whether you’re asleep around this time or not! This means it’s the time of the day your cells need nutrients the most, and when your anti-aging products can have maximum impact.

2. Your skin has a bedtime... 

This is why it’s best to use your most powerful serums and moisturizers over-night as this is when it works best. If you're using stronger serums and products, such as retinols, you'll get the best results if you're using them before you sleep. The prime-time, i.e your skins own bedtime, is around 11pm, and staying out late can mean your skin takes a hit too!

3. You lose moisture

Your own natural production of sebum peaks at midday, and dips at night. When you’re sleeping, you lose the protective layer of natural oils on your skin. Losing water from the skin is called transepidermal water loss, and it’s because of this that it’s so important to replenish this loss with moisturizers before you sleep. By moisturizing before bed, you can make sure to counter balance the loss of moisture and keep your skin plump and wrinkle-free. Most importantly look out for moisturizers with glycerin in, because that will keep your skin moisturized all night long! 

4. Your acidity levels change

Your skin actually gets hotter and more acidic when you sleep. This means that as well as lacking the natural oils your skin produces in the day, it’s even more important to make sure your skin is moisturized as your slightly hotter and more acidic skin will contribute to drier skin, and can lead to premature ageing. So even if you have oily skin, you still need to moisturize before getting tucked up in bed! 

5. You can de-stress 

Whilst you’re asleep, you don’t have to face things like rush hour traffic and work emails that cause your cortisol levels to rise (your stress hormone). This means that you can take a break from stress, and the more sleep the less impact daily stresses will have on you and your skin. When you lack sleep and your cortisol levels are high it can put your skin in a pro-inflammatory state, which can cause your skin to look sullen puffy by retaining water around the eyes.

Your skin also takes a breather from environmental stresses, and you can keep away from sunlight, pollution and all the nasties which irritate your skin. Who needs a better reason to stay in bed a little longer?

6. You can prevent breakouts

By not sleeping enough and letting your stress levels rise, it can mess with the protective layer of the skin that keeps the moisture in and keeps the bad stuff out, like bacteria. This study shows that by losing that protective layer, stress can cause inflammation in the skin, and therefore acne. So lacking sleep can have a direct impact on acne on your skin, too. 

But be careful which way you sleep, because sleeping on your side with your face against the pillow can cause wrinkles AND breakouts. To avoid, make sure you sleep on your back, and clean your pillow cases regularly.  

So, the key to looking after your skin is...

You guessed it, sleep. Sleep is important for every function in our body, and whilst most of us know to not to sleep with our make-up on and to moisturize before we head for bed, it's surprising how little we actually know about what our skin does during this time. The most important product we recommend is one that includes glycerin, a humectant that can be used on all skin types, which draws moisture from the lower layers of your skin and from the air around you. We've written a blog about this one key ingredient and you can have a read of it here!




Annabel Wood