How Sleep Affects the Skin

We’ve all heard about getting your beauty sleep, but does sleep really have any impact on skin health? Usually getting a good night’s sleep is associated with you feeling more awake, more motivated for the day, and goes hand in hand with your health and wellbeing. However, did you know that not getting a good night’s sleep can impact skin and can lead to dark circles under the eyes worsening, as well as dull-looking skin.

Sleep and hormones

When we sleep it leads to a decrease in cortisol which is a stress hormone, and our sleep hormone melatonin levels increases. This change allows our skin (and our body) to recover and repair from daily damages. If we’re not getting enough sleep, or not quality sleep, this means we’re not allowing our skin to heal and rejuvenate.

Lack of sleep is also interpreted by our body as stress, and can:

  • increase breakouts
  • increase water loss from our skin
  • reduce the skin's barrier function
  • reduce skin cell turnover

The overall effect of this is that lack of sleep can make our eyes look puffy, with dark circles under them, increase visible lines and wrinkles and make our skin look dull.

Sleep and the deeper skin layers

The deeper layers of our skin work at night to repair any damage caused by environmental stressors that our skin has encountered. When we sleep this is when our skin works on building new collagen. Collagen is involved in helping to keep our skin smooth and firm. As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, but things like poor sleep can further reduce production, and increase formation of wrinkles. Lack of sleep also decreases skin elasticity and plumpness of the skin. Not getting enough sleep is one of the factors that increase the acceleration of skin ageing.

As mentioned, sleep is the time where our body recovers from the daily toll of environmental stressors, and by not getting enough sleep we prevent our body from being able to repair and regenerate cells which may have been damaged by UV rays or other pollutants, as well as any other blemishes.

How many hours of sleep do you need?

The rough recommendation is around 7-9 hours of sleep; however, another indicator is if you wake up still feeling sleepy and tired, it probably means that you haven’t got enough sleep. 

Why a good skincare routine is important

Getting into a good skincare routine and making sure that you take off any makeup and grime at the end of the day before going to bed is so important to make sure you keep your skin happy. As we sleep, we lose more water from our skin than we do during the day, so it’s important to use a moisturiser after cleansing in the evening, especially those with dry and mature/ageing skin. 

There is an increase in skin cell division and renewal as we sleep. Products which also increase cell renewal (AHAs & PHAs like our Exfoliating Tonic, as well as retinols) can also help with supporting this process. 

Struggle with sleeping? There are a couple of things that you can try to do to help with sleep. These include managing stress, have caffeine and alcohol in moderation, try and maintain a routine with going to sleep, regular daily exercise, try and avoid bright screens for at least an hour before bed.

About Lucy Bee

Lucy Bee is a lifestyle brand selling food, skincare and soap products all completely free from palm oil and with minimal use of plastic. Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, organic, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and empowering people to make informed choices and select quality, natural products for their food and their skin.

Any information provided by us is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. We always recommend referring your health queries to a qualified medical practitioner.

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