[Image: Italian Actress Claudia Cardinale in the ’60s].
We should have about eight hours of sleep a night but, let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of neglecting shuteye. With busy and stressful lifestyles, there are days we’re all tired. But little sleep isn’t just detrimental to physical health, lack of sleep has been linked to serious issues including diabetes, heart disease, depression and obesity, as well as effecting your skin.
Here are five things to know about your skin when you don’t sleep enough:
1. Your skin gets stressed out. This means more breakouts ahead. The stress hormone cortisol can play havoc to your skin. Cortisol levels naturally decrease while we sleep and lower levels of cortisol allow your skin to regenerate and protect itself – if you miss out on sleep that cycle is disrupted. Therefore, high cortisol levels can interfere with how well our bodies heal and can promote acne breakouts. Also no matter how tired you are, don’t forget to wash your face to remove all of the pollutants and makeup from your skin so that you don’t end up with clogged pores. Try using a cleanser like Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser (www.sephora.com).
2. A good night’s sleep can keep you looking younger. Back to cortisol for a moment: At high levels, the hormone contributes to the breakdown of collagen (a protein that’s key in helping your skin look young and fresh) and elastic tissue. This causes premature ageing. Also, if you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t make as much human growth hormone (which stimulates cell production), so your skin won’t be as thick. Without time to produce new, fresh cells and fix yesterday’s damage, you’re practically welcoming accelerated ageing. Fight back with a retinol product that can help stimulate healthy collagen production. Try SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 (www.skinceuticals.com).
3. Your skins defence system weakens with less sleep. While we sleep, our skin cells rev up production of protective antioxidants for the next day. That’s essential considering that antioxidants can reduce free-radical damage to the skin from UV rays. Add extra antioxidant protection to your skin-care regimen to prevent free-radical damage. Use Elizabeth Arden Prevage Face Advanced Anti-Aging Serum (www.elizabetharden.com).
4. Lack of sleep can promote inflammation along with skin-barrier dysfunction, leading to lack of hydration. Keep skin hydrated and plumped with hyaluronic acid. Use Radha Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Face and Skin (www.amazon.com).
5. Everyone needs their beauty sleep. Skin can be inflamed, dull and dry after little rest. A recent Swedish study showed redder, more swollen eyes, dark circles and paler skin after a night of no sleep. The same study also found that sleep-deprived people were perceived to look sadder than they did after a good night’s sleep.