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Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough (or any) sleep, it shows all over your face? When you’re over tired, your skin acts tired too in the form of lackluster tone, texture, dark circles, and sagging. On the other hand, when you have had your full 8 hours, skin looks healthier, rosier, more vibrant, and even feels springier.
“Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate and leak, which contributes to dark circles. It makes you look sad and older,” says New York City dermatologist Lisa Donofrio, MD. Rubbing your eyes doesn’t help either. Burying your face in your pillow is also aging because it creates sleep creases that can later turn into wrinkles and pools fluids that cause puffiness and bags, she says. Train yourself to sleep on your back and get a soft pillowcase. Sleeping on your tummy creates more lines.
Getting enough shut eye is essential to your skin’s overall well being. “While you are sleeping, your skin renews itself. New cells emerge to replace older cells. What you put on your skin during the night is important because you have it on for the whole night of 6 to 8 hours, so it has a chance to penetrate,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Monika Kiripolsky, MD, who suggests using retinoids at bed time for the best anti-aging benefits. “I recommend ZO Skin Health Ossential Radical Night Repair Plus for the most potent form of retinol available.”
Kiripolsky also says that stress and lack of sleep are complexion killers. Both stimulate your body to produce cortisol, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. This, in turn, can lead to gaining weight and even heart disease. In fact, in a clinical trial at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center commissioned by Estée Lauder, researchers found that sleep quality impacts skin function and aging. The study demonstrated that poor sleepers had increased signs of skin aging and slower recovery from a variety of environmental stressors, such as disruption of the skin barrier or ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Poor sleepers also had worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance. In addition, researchers found that good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors to the skin.
So there you have it. Beware that too much sleep is not good for your skin either, so maintain a healthy balance to keep skin in great shape.
To help your skin repair and restore itself, check out our top picks for bedtime beauty:
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask ($300): Giving new meaning to the concept of beauty sleep, this uber luxurious mask optimizes the bodies own repair mode. Its signature caviar extracts plump and firm skin and smooth lines. Use 1 to 3 times a week.
ZO Skin Health Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème ($95): Powered with retinol, which is clinically proven to decrease the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, this overnight treatment also helps prevent future damage.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II ($62): The newest iteration of the Lauder cult anti-ager, this serum addresses multiple aging concerns with a formulation that synchronizes the skin’s own repair process to perfect its natural timing.
elure Advanced Brightening Cream ($125): Spots won’t stand a chance with this overnight lightening cream. Powered by a natural enzyme derived from a tree fungus, elure gently reduces hyperpigmentation without the harmful side effects of hydroquinone.
Exuviance Age Reverse Night Lift ($72): Clinical studies show a 93% improvement in texture, firmness, and elasticity after 4 weeks of use. Ingredients include peptides, AHA/PHA bionics, and a broad spectrum, antioxidant complex.
Algenist Overnight Restorative Cream ($90): The signature ingredient in this rich moisturizer is the algae-derived alguronic acid. Consumer tests show that once daily use resotres skin density and elasticity by 83% after 4 weeks of use.