From the bestseller list with books like “Why We Sleep” to podcasts, and sleep apps, we're all chasing sleep. But what's the connection between sleep and skin?
Well, sleep might just be the most effective skincare product you never need to buy.
A 2020 study took 32 women in their forties, got them to sleep 8 hours for six nights and then only 4 hours during the second week. Researchers compared their skin hydration, elasticity, wrinkles and skin barrier over the course of the two week study. Not surprisingly, it only took one day of sleep deprivation for a measurable change on the skin with skin’s elasticity being the most quickly impacted.
The science around sleep and skin has to do with the body’s ‘circadian rhythm’, the master clock that takes cues from our body and our environment. Besides regulating sleep it sends signals and feedback to all of our organs, including our skin, and delivers a new set of instructions. Our skin cells shift from a protective mode to a regenerative mode.
Getting a good night's sleep means your body can get to work on your skin:
1. The skin barrier is strengthened as old cells are replaced with new ones.
2. Blood flow to the skin increases dramatically and more collagen is produced at night.
3. UV damage repair (there is a growing body of research here to discover if this could be a key to managing skin cancer).
Taking advantage of these changes can make sleep even more effective:
1. During the night phase our skin experiences great water loss.
- By using a hydrating and/or moisturising product before bed you can wake up with more moisturised and hydrated skin.
- Use a nutrient-rich product at night. Remember you don't necessarily need a specific 'night serum'. Just use a good product at night that has lots of nutrients in it.
3. It's during the dark hours that our skin gets those repair and regenerate messages.
- Whenever you can make sure your room is dark when you sleep to get the maximum amount of repair time. And if you nap during the day don't do it in the sun!