Why is sleep good for my skin?

Written by Angela, 16th March 2021

Did you know that for skin health getting enough quality sleep is essential?

Research shows that not getting enough quality sleep leads to a range of skin conditions, many of which are common skin concerns which present themselves amongst clients who visit Sensoria. These common skin concerns include:

  1. Loss of skin radiance
  2. Skin dehydration
  3. Premature skin ageing
  4. Increased skin sensitivity
  5. Skin inflammation and flare ups

To understand a bit more about why this happens let’s take a look at the natural Circadian Body Rhythms and your skin.

Circadian Rhythms and my skin.

Understanding your skin’s natural circadian rhythms allows you to make better decisions with your skin. From which products to apply and when to how much sleep you need and at what time.

Between the hours of 9pm -11pm the skin is best at absorbing active ingredients. During this time the skins barrier function decreases, so this is great time to remove makeup, double cleanse and apply your products with active ingredients you are using to target your skin concerns.

Ingredients such as retinol or peptides for collagen production in skins showing signs of premature ageing; niacinamide and salicylic acid for breakouts and skin congestion; betaglucan and licorice root extract for reddened or inflamed skins.

From 11pm – 6am the skin is best at regenerating and repairing. When we get good quality sleep your skin switches into regeneration mode. This means that it is better at:

  1. Increasing skin cell turnover
  2. Skin cell repair
  3. Increasing collagen production
  4. Increase in blood flow, bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to the cells and carrying away waste products faster.

Your deepest sleep occurs around 2am and deep sleep is essential for our physical health and wellbeing. Remember your skin is an organ, the only organ we see, and anything that is good for your body is usually good for your skin.

So beauty sleep is essential!

How can I get a better nights sleep?

To get the deepest sleep possible always make sure that the room you sleep in is as dark as possible. Invest in black out blinds if there is light coming into the place where you sleep. This is because darkness triggers the brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.

Switch off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed so we don’t confuse the light sensitive cells in our eyes and stop the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. Electronic devices emit the same wavelength of light as the morning sun – stimulating your body to stay awake. When the blue light from the electronic screen hits the retina in your eyes, signals are sent to the pineal gland in your brain telling it not to produce sleep hormone.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed to prevent the dehydration that raises body temperature and, in turn, affects sleep. Caffeine also blocks the chemical that makes you sleepy. At night there is increased water loss from your skin, so avoid anything that is further going to promote dehydration.

Make the place that you sleep quiet and comfortable. Where possible avoid having work-related items in your sleeping space, unecessary clutter and electronic devices.

Find quiet time and adopt a good bedtime routine. Below is a suggested bed time routine that you may find helpful.

My bedtime routine

If you have difficulty in getting quality sleep try and establish a good bedtime routine. Here are some suggestions:

  1. One hour before bed switch off all electronic devices.
  2. Adjust the temperature in your bedroom and reduce the light level.
  3. Use your skin care routine as a mindfulness exercise rather than just another job that needs to be done. Take your time and enjoy the textures, skin contact and aromas of your skin care products.
  4. Take a warm non-caffeinated drink such as chamomile or almond milk.
  5. Do some deep breathing and relax to some soothing music. This will help to calm your body and your mind.

Changes to sleep

Throughout your life you may find that you get changes in your sleep patterns, some things will be within your control and others not. Pregnancy, menopause and certain health challenges can all affect your sleep. Broadly speaking, changes to sleep can be divided into physical and biological factors such as pain or hormone changes and psychological factors such as stress and anxiety.

What should my nighttime skin routine be?

This will vary from person to person depending on your lifestyle, but here are a few pointers and suggestions to get you started:

  1. Double cleanse your skin. Use the first cleanse, with an oil- based product, to remove makeup and any oil-based skin debris.The second cleanse should be with your prescription cleanser to address your skin care concerns. A double cleanse leaves your skin perfectly clean and ready for the absorption of more active ingredients later in your skin routine
  2. Night time is a good time to exfoliate to remove excess dead skin cells and maximise the absorption of active ingredients for night time skin repair and regeneration. We generally have more time in the evening than in the morning so it’s a great time to exfoliate. If you are tired or short on time select a ‘leave on’ exfoliant such as Daily Resurfacer and let it work its magic overnight.
  3. If you find your ‘spritz on toner’ a little ‘refreshing’ at night try replacing it with something like Redness Relief Essence. Although it is targeted for sensitive skin, it’s suitable for all skin types and its soothing aromatic ingredients help to calm the soul.
  4. Nightime is the best time to apply your regenerating or correcting serums due to the skins increased capacity to absorb active ingredients between the hours of 9pm and 11pm. Our favourites are Overnight Retinol Repair, Retinol Clearing Oil, Phyto Nature Firming Serum and Nightly Lip Treatment. We also love Overnight Repair Serum with its Argan and sleep-supporting Rose oils and its ability to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and revitalise lacklustre skin.
  5. Layer up up products to seal in more hydration due to the increased TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) at night. Try Sound Sleep Cocoon for its gorgeously soothing lavender aroma to support sleep and its gentle gel-cream formula or Power Rich for its super-light texture yet potent formulation.

Treatments to help you relax in Tarporley & Ellesmere Port

We have many stress-reducing and relaxation therapies for you to benefit from and we are

always happy to share our knowledge and expertise, you can book a consultation or treatment by using the following link  contact us

Also, remember you can easily book your relaxation online – just click here.

Originally published March 16, 2021 13:24pm, updated January 15, 2024

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