We all know that body and mind health and wellness are all connected, and sleep, or lack of, can affect our skin. And as it's early spring, and the weather is slowly starting to warm up, it always makes me smile seeing the sunshine and plants begin to bloom. It brings me hope for a lighter, brighter summer ahead.
Especially this year, when I feel we have been locked indoors for so long, somehow, I want my skin to be glowing, ready for the world to open back up, and I can greet people I've not seen for a very long time with a confidence I don't always feel inside.
Anything that can help me achieve this outer confidence is a bonus.
How does sleep affect my skin?
A good night's sleep can reveal fresh, hydrated skin with a healthy tone because, when we sleep, our bodies repair themselves, our 'batteries' recharge, and our whole system can enjoy a good 'deep clean'.
Our skin can focus on cell turnover (replacing dead skin cells with new, healthy ones) while building collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid – all responsible for the skin's plumpness and elasticity. Our bodies also perform a whole system deep clean (ensuring 12 hours without eating overnight can greatly benefit this), removing toxins. Toxic build-up can lead to acne, eczema, and other nasty skin complaints.
With lack of sleep, skin appears duller and lacks colour, plus it can leave dark circles under the eyes. Plenty of sleep can help get the blood circulation flowing into your face, and as sleep is free and available every night, you should take advantage. Here are a few ways it can benefit your face.
#1 Nourish your skin
Sleep is food for your brain, body, and skin, and if you don't get enough, you deprive each of its nourishment. Your brain also gets rid of 60 per cent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep. Overall, this helps you feel more refreshed when you get up, able to think more clearly, and gives your skin that I-woke-up-like-this #glowing look.
Without nourishment, your skin becomes imbalanced, which leads to a dehydrated complexion, redness, and breakouts. Not getting enough sleep also affects your skin's moisture levels, decreasing them and lowering your complexion's pH levels, which is why your skin looks less youthful and lacks a nice glow.
#2 Finding balance
When your skin's pH levels drop, they create an imbalance, meaning your skin cannot produce the moisture it needs, so it looks drier. It can also cause unnecessary redness, leaving your skin uneven and even trigger breakouts. But you may need more or less than eight hours. To figure out the exact amount your body requires to function, go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night and continue adding 15 minutes until you feel wide awake all day long.
#3 Banish dark circles
As you sleep, your body's cells regenerate, especially at the skin level. Burning the candle at both ends is the top reason your blood vessels dilate, which leads to dark circles. Getting enough sleep keeps everything operating how it should and will help reduce the blue or purple shadow under your eyes.
#4 Banish stress
Stress + no sleep = stressed out skin
Your skin is an indicator of what's going on inside your body. So if you're not sleeping and your system isn't functioning correctly, you're going to notice the effects on your face (i.e., dry, flaky skin, a dull complexion, breakouts — all the yucky stuff). If you're feeling overly stressed (or even a little anxious), try exercising. Working out, in general, releases endorphins (mood elevators) that help release stress. Exercising— even if it's in the comfort of your own home — sets you up for a good night's sleep because it not only leaves you less stressed, you'll be even more tired and ready for bed.
You can also use your skincare routine as your bedtime ritual, breathing deeply as you remove your makeup and apply a calming night cream, like the Beauty Sleep Concentrate, with its blend of restful essential oils.
You can also develop a short meditation – try listing three things your grateful for, as the act of being grateful can help you to de-stress. Perhaps you could try some breathing techniques like box breathing or simply counting each breath from 1-100 until you drift off since it helps put you to sleep quicker. If meditation isn't your thing, apply aromatherapy oils to your pulse points to help you power down and reduce stress. Try the Night Time Remedies to roll with the soothing aromas of neroli, rose, and Roman chamomile, which works together to promote a sense of calm and relaxation when it's time for bed.
"... We can't practise compassion with other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly" - Brene Brown