Your beauty routine is a big part of your life, demanding hours of precise care to guarantee gorgeous, radiant skin. Unfortunately, as time progresses and age sets in, maintaining your youthful glow starts to feel like an uphill battle.
However, there may be more to healthy skin than you previously realized. Simply using creams and tonics can only do so much; without a way to maximize the effects of your chosen skincare products, you may not be able to make much progress against the strength of wrinkles, fine lines, and tired, sallow skin.
After years of trying and failing to revitalize your appearance with creams, toners, serums, or lotions, you may feel as if reclaiming the beautiful skin of your youth is a lost cause. In reality, this is far from the truth. When you want to truly see a difference in the way your skin looks and feels, nothing can influence your appearance like the curative power of sleep. From inspiring cell growth to facilitating proper absorption, getting your beauty sleep may be the secret your skincare regimen needs to succeed.
How Sleep Impacts You
Whether you realize it or not, sleep plays a huge role in your overall health and wellness – and that includes the appearance of your skin.
Sleeping is a restorative process, giving your body’s functions a chance to heal and repair everything from organ damage to blood vessels. An appropriate night’s sleep can benefit virtually every aspect of your lifestyle, including mental health, physical health, emotional health, and quality of life. How you feel when you’re awake depends almost entirely on the quality of sleep you receive, affecting how well you can focus, think, communicate, learn, and interact with others.
Accordingly, beauty is also intrinsically tied to sleep. Regardless of lifestyle choices, those who feel better look better. With adequate rest, many of your frustrating flaws appear to fade away, especially when you combine restful evening habits with a positive approach to skincare.
The bottom line? Whether you realize it or not, how much sleep you get can impact your body – and your looks – in a big way. Just one additional hour of sleep each night can do wonders for your skin, with benefits that include:
- Fewer wrinkles
- An improved complexion
- Brighter eyes
- Reduction in inflammation
- Healthier hair growth
- Greater defense against free radicals
From soft, supple skin to better product absorption, there are few benefits beauty sleep can’t offer for your face.
The Perils of Sleeplessness
Getting enough sleep is a critical part of your physical and mental well-being, and that includes the appearance of your skin. After all, your facial skin and muscles are responsible for countless vital life functions, from breathing to speaking, and your face is among the first features anyone sees.
The average adult needs at least 6 hours of sleep each night, with a recommended amount of 7 to 8 hours for most adult women. While additional sleep won’t hurt, failing to achieve doctor-suggested minimums can wreak havoc on more than just your looks. In fact, research shows that those who sleep less than 6 hours a night on average are 12% more likely to die prematurely.
Despite the known benefits, insufficient sleep is still a serious issue in the United States and beyond. Approximately 35% of Americans reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep in a typical 24-hour period, but a National Health Interview survey identified an even worse trend: 30% of adults reported averaging less than 6 hours on any given night. The problem doesn’t stop at adults, either; only 31% of high school students get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, despite professional recommendations of 9 to 10 hours. With poor sleep habits that start early in life, it’s not surprising that so many people face the visible consequences of a lack of sleep.
The body is a delicate system of checks and balances, requiring a comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle to see the greatest benefits. Without a well-rounded diet, adequate physical exercise, and plenty of sleep, you’ll likely see shortages in everything from academics to work performance.
While being tired can make it hard to focus in your meetings, a lack of sleep can show clearly on your face, with consequences like:
- Hormone imbalances that can contribute to dryness, redness, and breakouts
- A reduction in pH levels that can affect moisture, causing dehydrated skin, redness, and breakouts
- Dark circles from dilated blood vessels due to improper cell regeneration
- Slowed cell regeneration that can cause a sallow, crepe-y complexion and dry skin
Fatigue can also impact the way you appear to others. One study found that the visual cues of sleep deprivation are notable to the general public, with study participants noting that those who do not sleep enough are perceived as sad due to the muscle changes around the eyes, skin, and mouth. Drooping at the corners of the mouth, for example, led viewers to believe fatigued individuals were less happy and thus less attractive. Another study came to the same conclusion, noting that those who do not sleep enough appear less attractive in comparison to those who sleep a recommended 8 hours each night.
Skimping on sleep for a little extra time with friends, at the office, or just relaxing at home doesn’t sound like a big deal, but too many nights of sleeplessness can prove to be very costly.
Sleeping and Stress
Stress is a part of life, whether you like it or not. Big deadlines at work, relationship struggles, financial shortcomings, and even current events can contribute to stress levels, creating an ebb and flow of anxiety and pressure in your day to day existence.
While a little stress is normal, too much stress can be a big problem. In addition to causing problems in your personal life, stress can also wreak havoc on your body’s functions. Consequences can be both mild and severe, leading to issues ranging from headaches and muscle tension to high blood pressure and heart disease.
When the body is under high levels of stress, it generates a hormone called cortisol. Whenever you come into contact with any kind of perceived threat, from a large dog lunging and barking to a big mistake made in the workplace, the hypothalamus, a region of the brain responsible for coordinating the autonomic nervous system as well as the activity of the pituitary gland, sends out alarm signals. This results in a combination of nerve and hormone activity that instructs the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys, to release a flood of cortisol and adrenaline.
Once released, cortisol increases glucose in the bloodstream to enhance tissue repair abilities, alter the immune system, and suppress the digestive, reproductive, and growth processes, allowing your brain to focus mainly on the task of escaping from harm.
As soon as perceived stressors are eliminated, hormone production returns to normal. However, for those who are stressed for prolonged periods of time, this fight or flight response stays active, leading to significant imbalances in the body’s use of hormones. Over time, this can lead to serious issues, including anxiety, depression, digestive challenges, and insomnia.
In a normal, healthy human, sleep naturally brings down cortisol levels, allowing the body to relax and recharge. However, those who are stressed will not be fully refreshed by this process, leading to unsatisfying sleep that does not bring about the normal benefits provided by a full night of rest.
One of the many challenges triggered by higher than average cortisol levels overnight involves collagen production within the body. Collagen, a structural protein in the extracellular space of connective tissue, ensures the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of joints, cartilage, tendons, skin, and hair.
Collagen production is a critical part of the look and feel of the skin, providing a smooth, plump, and elastic look. Production is highest early in life, with natural collagen decreasing over time as you age. A lack of collagen leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin – in other words, an older, less attractive appearance.
The production of collagen within the body happens primarily during the night as your body rests and recharges for the upcoming day. However, when cortisol levels are high and all unnecessary functions, like collagen production, are delayed or ceased, this process doesn’t happen as usual. Sufficient sleep can successfully lower cortisol levels, allowing the body to continue to focus on restoration and repair as usual. However, sleeping too little can keep levels high, accelerating the skin’s natural aging process.
Even if you’d rather stay up late to blow off steam, sleep is the best way to get over your feelings of stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling significant stress at home, at school, or at work, be sure you leave yourself plenty of time for sleep.
Cell Repair and Your Sleep Cycle
While you’re sleeping restfully, your body is hard at work, repairing and restoring bodily functions from the previous day and preparing for the wakefulness to come. One of these essential nighttime functions is cell repair. Cell damage happens naturally over the course of daily living, so an effective repair process is a critical part of keeping the body looking and feeling its best over time.
Sleep occurs in a cyclical model, with periods of deep sleep and wakefulness fluctuating throughout the night. Known as sleep cycles, these patterns play a large role in how much time and energy your body can devote to functions like cell repair.
A standard sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes in duration, allowing adequate time for roughly 4 to 6 rotations each night. The cycle can be divided into five parts:
- REM Sleep: Arguably one of the most important parts of the sleeping process, REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep is a very deep stage of slumber in which the eyes move rapidly, muscle tone is temporarily paralyzed, and dreaming occurs. Respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure fluctuate with the brain’s processes. In this time period, both alpha and beta waves can be noted in the brain. Humans spend approximately 25% of time asleep in REM sleep.
- NREM Stage 1: The first stage of sleep, Stage 1 of NREM sets in as the body begins to relax and sleep sets in. Essentially a stage of transition, NREM Stage 1 bridges the gap between awake and asleep, allowing heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tone, and temperature to drop. This stage generally lasts 5 to 10 minutes.
- NREM Stage 2: Brain waves continue to slow in the second stage of NREM, deepening the sleeping process. In Stage 2, the body is committed to sleeping rather than simply dozing, creating a foundation upon which nighttime functions can begin to operate.
- NREM Stages 3 and 4: Due to the similarities, Stages 3 and 4 are often grouped together. During this period, the mind and the senses are completely cut off from the outside world, leaving the body to attend to nothing else but the healing process. Brain activity shifts from alpha and beta waves to delta. Waking from these Stages is very difficult, resulting in a groggy, disoriented feeling. In Stage 4 in particular, the body begins to release growth hormones that trigger cell repair in order to ensure optimal function for the day ahead. During periods of sleep deprivation, the body attempts to force NREM Stages 3 and 4 as quickly as possible to make up for periods of inadequate rest.
During the day, the body’s energy goes into functions like information processing, digestion, and movement, allowing virtually no opportunity to focus on the restorative processes needed for good health. However, at night, the body is free to redirect energy to critical healing functions.
As you sleep, your body is busy replacing hormones valuable during the day, like adrenaline and cortisol, with growth hormones that force cells to grow, replicate, and repair damages. This process, of course, covers all cells throughout the body, including skin cells. When you spend adequate time in the more important phases of sleep, the body has time to boost collagen production and regenerate cells more effectively, successfully contributing to a more youthful appearance. Sleep also inspires melatonin production, which can serve as an antioxidant fighting against age spots and fine lines. Maximum healing potential occurs between 2 AM and 4 AM, although this may vary based on when sleep begins.
Without enough time spent in NREM Stages 3 and 4, repair abilities will be severely compromised. When the body doesn’t have time to move through adequate cycles, you will be able to both see and feel the results.
Product Absorption and Sleep
As you sleep, your body is focused on the repair process, not the activities that keep you safe during the day. As such, more attention is put into restorative procedures rather than immune functions. When you put creams, lotions, and serums on your face during the day, your immune system may compromise the absorption process, working to keep your body safe from outside intruders. At night, however, these defenses are lowered, making pre-bed applications the perfect way to penetrate deep into the skin.
Additionally, your skin is shielded from the outside world as you sleep comfortably in your bed – a controlled environment free of toxins found in the outside world. Without air pollution and sunshine, products rich in antioxidants are more effective for a longer period, allowing you to reap maximum benefits from a single application.
Building a Successful Skincare Regimen
Once you understand how, when, and why your body best responds to curative treatments, it’s time to put that knowledge to good use. A great beauty regimen goes far beyond slathering every product that gets a good review on your face and hoping for the best; instead, determine the results you’re looking for and find a product best suited for the effects you want to see.
While lighter products are better for use during the day to allow for breathability and to prevent against clogged pores from proximity to everyday toxins, night is the time for rich serums, moisturizers, and repair creams. Products advertised as night-specific creams are generally richer and thicker in nature, with formulas designed to maximize benefits. Keep an eye on ingredients, too – topical treatments penetrate deeper overnight, so focus on all-natural elements to keep skin healthy.
Beauticell’s Night Moisturizer gently hydrates and detoxifies skin while you sleep, utilizing a proprietary blend of healing natural extracts to maximize benefits. With a focus on targeting fine lines and wrinkles, regular use can result in smooth, elastic skin, providing a way to regain or retain your youthful glow. All ingredients are carefully selected to enhance the body’s restorative abilities, including:
- Sea Kelp Bioferment, an extract derived by breaking down sea kelp with Lactobacillus probiotics that offers moisturizing benefits and skin nourishment
- Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, a substrate of the Botulinum toxin used to minimize wrinkles caused by regular movement
- Calendula, an extract from the marigold plant that naturally stimulates collagen production
- Licorice root, a naturally-derived extract with antioxidant properties that helps to brighten skin and fight against dark spots
Always apply face creams to a clean, damp face. Wash your face with warm water to ensure dilation of pores and blood vessels, allowing for the greatest surface area in between cells for maximum penetration.
When applied to clean skin before going to sleep, a rich night moisturizer like Beauticell can help you inspire an unparalleled approach to rejuvenation.
Making Sleep Matter
Whether you love spending time in bed or are always trying to squeeze a few more minutes of wakefulness into your days, there’s no denying the restorative abilities of sleep. A good night’s rest can help you feel better, look better, and function better, ensuring optimal performance from the inside out. When you want to reap the benefits of beautiful skin, a good night’s sleep is the best place to start.