Woman Reaching for Alarm Clock

Does a lack of beauty sleep affect skin?

Glynis BarberBeauty, Health Leave a Comment

As Liz Earle said in our recent interview, sleep is not a passive activity. It’s a busy time for urgent repairing and replenishing. Good quality sleep is vital for good health, good mood and a clear brain.

In today’s article, Shabir Daya ( pharmacist at Victoria Health ), talks about the effect that lack of sleep has on our skin. The skin is a reflection of what’s going on in our body and we need to take notice. To achieve good sleep, it’s important remember to have a good sleep routine.  Keep devices away from your bed, go to bed early enough and try to do so at roughly the same time every night.

According to new research, the average person regularly survives on less than six hours of sleep each night. This lack of beauty sleep may affect healthy skin in numerous ways. Though most of us are well-versed with the implications of not getting sufficient sleep which include daytime fatigue, irritability and a shorter concentration span, studies have also shown the link between a lack of sleep and the effect on your skin. However, this is rarely talked about.

The quality and duration of your sleep can have a profound effect on the health of our skin. When we sleep our bodies recharge but so does our skin. While we sleep our body goes into repair-mode and heals, restores and eliminates toxins from our skin. It gives the term ‘beauty sleep’ a whole new meaning.

How does a lack of sleep affect your skin’s appearance?

Beauty sleep and healthy skin is real. When you sleep, your body recharges itself and this also applies to your skin. During sleep, we restore, heal & eliminate toxins from the whole body including skin.

Dull-looking skin: a lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels

This in turn increases inflammation in your body. Inflammation is one of the biggest underlying skin issues and if this is constant then this can lead to pigmentation, reactive skin, rosacea and premature ageing.

Cortisol breaks down the proteins that keep your skin smooth and radiant. It is the flight or fight hormone and it sends blood to your muscles rather than to your skin. This deprives your skin of oxygen and vital nutrients, which leaves it looking dull, ashy and blotchy.

Incorporate massage into your skincare routine when you cleanse with your fingers. Use tools such as Temple Spa’s The Sculptor. This face massage tool helps boost circulation, enhances lymphatic drainage to remove toxins within skin and ease any underlying inflammation. One of the most important skin serums that works quickly to reduce cortisol and therefore improve skin’s appearance is PEPTIDE RESCUE SERUM by DoSe.

Dehydrated and dry skin

The increased inflammation due to the cortisol can also break down the tiny lipids, known as ceramides, which hold the skin cells together and create a protective layer to retain nutrients and water. This break down can result in the dehydration, which can lead to dryness.

Your body also works to rehydrate and balance moisture levels whilst you sleep, but this can falter if you’re not getting enough sleep. Replenishing your body’s hyaluronic acid levels with supplements and a serum will help fend off dehydrated skin if you’re unable to get a full night’s sleep regularly. Consider taking a ceramide supplement since ceramides are tiny oil particles that moisturise your skin and prevent dehydration. Life Extension Skin Restoring Ceramides contains a patented extract to help prevent dehydration and to help alleviate dry skin.

Puffy eyes and dark circles

As mentioned previously, water balance occurs whilst you sleep so cutting this sleep time could result in puffy eyes and perhaps even a slightly puffed up body (water retention). Dark circles may also be associated with a lack of sleep because the dilation of the blood vessels in the under-eye area can result in deeper tint. In darker complexions this is more pronounced since you already have more pigment.

It sounds simple, but using a cold teabag on the area does work for some because the tannic acids in tea encourages the blood vessels to shrink. Obviously it would be a good idea to simply get sufficient night’s sleep! You may also wish to invest in an eye massage tool such as Temple Spa’s Eye Therapist. This tool works to boost circulation around the eyes, tones and firms skin as well as reducing puffiness. For a more refreshing effect, leave in the refrigerator for five minutes before use.

Ageing skin

We have already touched on this, but the increased levels of cortisol leads to inflammation, which in turn breaks down the bonds that form collagen. It is the collagen in your skin that maintains the structure and elasticity, which gives it that supple plumpness. With the loss of collagen skin becomes thinner, less firmer, less smoother and gradually wrinkles become more prominent. Vitamin C Serums are the gold standard for collagen production and peptides serums are great at creating skin boosting proteins for a myriad of processes. DoSe has two important anti-ageing serums.




It is well documented that stress causes hair loss. Cortisol due to stress causes inflammation in the whole body, including the hair follicles where all the process of keratin manufacture occurs. A lack of sleep puts stress onto the body and can cause premature hair loss.

With the help of fulvic acid, which supercharges your cellular energy, the Ful.Vic.Health range can help alleviate this somewhat. But as I have mentioned, targeting the underlying sleep issue is the best preventative approach. With restful sleep, skin and all other glands in the body function efficiently.

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