You might feel the most relaxed while you’re sleeping, but in actuality, it’s when your skin is working its hardest. During the day, your skin focuses on protecting itself from UV rays, pollutants, and other stressors. At night, it focuses on repairing itself. Without getting consistent, high-quality sleep, your skin doesn’t have the opportunity it needs to heal and renew itself.
Here are three convincing reasons why you should prioritize a good night’s sleep—for your skin’s sake.
1. Sleep Deprivation Can Aggravate Sensitive Skin
Most people are familiar with the experience of waking up to a large bright red, inflamed pimple—right before an important date or meeting. If you're not experiencing hormonal changes, chances are the unwelcome blemish was caused by stress. Stress isn’t always triggered by anger, tension or anxiety, missing your 8 hours of rest each night can release a stress response.
"Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormones in the body that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis,” Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, tells everydayhealth.com.
Not only that, but skin that’s simply sensitive (or sensitized) can become weaker, and may become more susceptible to allergic reactions to skincare ingredients and environmental irritants.
Another way to look at the sleep-stress relationship is by considering the immune system. Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are related to immunity; sleep deficiency causes a rise in inflammation, which compromises the immune system. What does this translate to? Often times, a flare-up.
2. Insufficient Shut-Eye Makes You Age Faster
When you run on a sleep deficit, your skin releases inflammatory cells that trigger a loss of collagen, an essential protein in the skin responsible for keeping it firm, taut and elastic. Hyaluronic acid levels diminish as well. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the skin barrier and helps to maintain optimum skin cell hydration and plumpness, while structurally supporting the skin. Without it, skin experiences dryness, sagging and fine lines. Additionally, your body only releases growth hormones, which play a role in repairing damaged cells, when you’re in deep sleep. Without that nightly slumber, your skin is unable to restore, revitalize and protect itself.
3. Losing Out on ZZZs Makes Eyes Puffy
As we said above, your body works to regain its equilibrium as you sleep, particularly on the hydration front. Not only does your skin attempt to reclaim its moisture levels, but it also gets rid of excess water. The most revealing sign of a sleep-deprived person is their eyes, red, dull, and puffy with deep, dark circles. Without enough rest, the area under your eyes can accumulate fluid, making them appear puffy and swollen. The blood vessels under the eyes can also become dilated, bringing them closer to the surface and causing them to appear purple and blackish in color.
There is a reason its called beauty sleep and its critical for healthy, glowing skin. Cultivating a mindfulness meditation practice, enjoyable exercise, yoga, and engaging with people and activities that bring us peace and happiness can help you to sleep soundly and lessen the effects of stress on your skin.
LILY DE MAI Sensitive Skincare is composed of the finest Organic Botanicals, High-Performance Actives and BioCompatible Skin-Identical ingredients. Researched and formulated to soothe, hydrate, reduce redness and reveal radiant age-defying skin.
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Gorn at Upsplash