A woman up at night lacking sleep
Skin Care Tips

Beauty sleep isn’t a myth—here’s why

October 13, 2020

Wondering why your skin isn’t getting better? It might be because of your sleeping habits. Find out why beauty sleep is real—and how your sleeplessness might be causing acne.

You’ve heard it before, and you’ve probably said it too: “I need to get my beauty sleep!” When we don’t get enough sleep and you suddenly have acne breakouts, we’re quick to blame sleeplessness for it. But how connected is your acne breakout to your sleep habits—and how effective is “beauty sleep” in keeping your skin clear? 

Beauty sleep isn’t a myth, but…

You’ve read that right: Beauty sleep is not a myth! Getting enough sleep really does help in keeping your skin clear and healthy—but it doesn’t work as straightforward as you think. 

There are two ways lack of sleep affects your skin health: 

  • When you sleep at night, that’s the time your body takes to repair and regenerate—and yes, this includes skin regeneration and repair. Without proper sleep, your body won’t have the chance to repair itself. 
  • If the cause of your sleeplessness is stress, the stress hormone cortisol can worsen already existing acne problems—or give you new ones! Combined with your body’s lack of time to regenerate and heal itself, and you’ve got a breakout waiting to happen. 

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?

When you lose sleep, your skin suffers several different ways. Here’s what happens every time you pull those late nights: 

  • No nourishment. You deprive your skin of the chance to renew cells, get rid of up to 60% of toxins, and absorb any form of nourishment. What’s left is old, dry, dead  and dull-looking skin. 
  • Imbalanced pH. When you lose sleep, your skin becomes imbalanced—and because your skin doesn’t produce as much sebum at night as it does during the day, you end up with dry, cracked skin. Your skin becomes dehydrated and this can cause redness, irritation and yes, you guessed it—acne breakouts. 
  • Dark undereye circles. Ever wonder why your under eye area turns dark when you don’t sleep enough? It’s because your blood vessels dilate and work hard to supply fresh blood and nourishment to your skin. The dark circles under your eyes are the dilated blood vessels—and the most effective way to get rid of that is to get enough sleep. 
  • Stress shows up on skin. When you’re feeling stressed and you lose sleep because of it, it shows on your skin. Cortisol, the stress hormone, makes your skin dry and flaky and makes it look dull, which in turn can trigger acne. Dry skin is also more prone to wrinkles and ages faster. 

The benefits of good sleep

Now let’s have a look at the benefits of getting enough sleep at night. How does it affect your skin? Here are some benefits: 

  • You allow your skin to regenerate and repair itself. Cell regeneration happens after you enter the REM sleep state and move into deep sleep. So when you get enough sleep, you allow your skin to heal itself and you allow new skin cells to be produced by your body.
  • Your body is more receptive to treatment. This is related to the previous item—because your body is healing while you sleep, your skin absorbs treatments better. So all of those night time skin care products you spent money on won’t go to waste by not sleeping enough to maximize its effects. 
  • You produce less cortisol. As we’ve discussed, the stress hormone cortisol wreaks havoc on your skin. It dries your skin, triggers acne breakouts and ages your skin faster. Your cortisol levels are naturally lowered when you get quality sleep, which helps you avoid these skin problems. 
  • You let your skin rest from environmental factors. Because there’s no sunlight to worry about and you’re not exposed to pollution, your skin is able to get a break from environmental factors that can damage it further. This is the perfect time to use products to address dark spots caused by UV rays. 

What to do about sleep-related acne breakouts

The best way to avoid sleep related acne breakouts is, of course, to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. But if you already have a breakout and you really have to pull the late nights, using products formulated to fight acne and nourish your skin will help keep the breakouts at bay. And we’ve got just the solution for you—find out about our 30-day acne treatment program here

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