Is Beauty Sleep a Myth?

What happens to our skin when we sleep? Is it called “beauty sleep” for a reason?

Prepping your skin for bedtime is an important part of any regime that is easy to drop as we fall into bed at the end of a long and busy day. Even those of us that are on top of the night time skincare regime will have the occasional night where bed time has come later than usual and it’s all too hard!

The thing is though, that during the night our biological circadian rhythms allow our skin rest, regenerate and fully benefit from the products we have applied before sleeping.

Overnight our skin cells go into regeneration mode. Our collagen cell production increases, helping to reduce fine lines and make our skin softer and plumper, and hormones are released that help to strengthen the skin making it more resilient and less prone to breakout.

Sebum production slows down overnight and our skin loses more water as our body temperature increases. This is known as transepidermal water loss and is assisted with the use of a moisturiser.

Sleeping also means not stressing – and when we are stressed, our skin cortisol levels surge, which is important during the day to help when we are most active, but too much can lead to inflammation and premature ageing. This can be why we feel and look so much fresher after sleeping!

Your skin goes into repair mode whilst you sleep, and not the protection mode that it requires during the day. All of the environmental damage we expose our skin to during daytime – UVA and UVB exposure, pollutants and free radicals (like what comes off our screens) is dealt with as we are sleeping.

With all of this good stuff taking place whilst we sleep, the skin is very receptive to what we place on it. For the best results, cleanse and moisturise your skin before sleeping. If you want to take things up a notch, apply a serum suited to your skin type and concerns underneath your moisturiser and use an eye cream. The results in the morning will be noticeable and, performed consistently, will have a big impact on the look and feel of your complexion.