Last week I introduced you to the first in my 7 Skin Sins series – lifestyle habits that can wreak short- and long-term damage to your skin. I hope the skin damage from smoking intervention helped you (or someone you know) put down the packs. Up next: the skin sin of skipping sleep!
The time your body spends sleeping is used for regenerating and repairing the day’s damage from free-radicals, pollution, sun damage, and more. The occasional late night won’t completely upset the process, but the effects on your skin can be immediate, and only get worse if you continue to skip sleep. Here’s what your skin endures after a string of sleepless nights:
The Morning After
Immediately after one night of little rest, you can see the effects on your skin. The delicate area around the eyes becomes puffy and your complexion becomes more sallow.
A Week of Sleepless Nights
Missing sleep over several consecutive nights can cause your skin to become lackluster, and dark circles can become more prominent as blood vessels remain dilated. It also causes the body to release cortisol – the stress hormone known to breakdown collagen and elastin – so skin will appear less taut. Relying on caffeine to help you through the day? Coffee can further dehydrate you, emphasizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. But the side effects don’t stop there…
The body naturally produces human growth hormone while you sleep to help with its repair process. However, chronic sleep deprivation won’t allow the body to produce enough and, over time, it leaves you open to further skin damage and sensitivity.
But no matter how hard you try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, life happens and a late night is inevitable – that’s where great skin care comes to the rescue! Products formulated to work in harmony with your skin’s natural nighttime renewal process can help offset some of the negative effects of lost ZZZZs. Start your overnight agenda with a glycolic acid AHA chemical exfoliant to help the products that follow penetrate deeper and perform even better. Apply a retinol and topical calcium anti-aging nighttime face cream before bed to improve wrinkles and skin’s moisture so you wake up looking well-rested. If your eyes are fatigued and tired in the morning, add a hyaluronic-acid anti-aging eye cream to your nightly routine to target crowsfeet, smooth surface lines, and wake up bright-eyed.
How much sleep do you get each night? Tell me in the comments. And keep your eyes open for a new skin sin next week!