The importance of sleep for your skin
Most of us understand the benefits of getting some decent shut-eye. You certainly will if you’ve ever rocked up to work looking like an extra from The Walking Dead after burning the candle at both ends. And before you ask – no, beauty sleep isn’t some myth created by those who fancy an extra hour in bed on a Sunday. It’s actually crucial to skin’s health. Plus, a new study by Stockholm university has found people who don’t get enough sleep appear less attractive to others.
Numerous studies have shown that the best time for skin repair is in the middle of the night, when skin switches from defence to repair mode. It uses the downtime to regenerate, in pretty much the same way a team of engineers might fix a train line in the wee small hours, while it’s quiet. DNA and collagen synthesis is performed at night, too.
It’s not always easy to get the recommended seven or eight hours sleep when the temperature ups in the spring and summer months, though – especially when the nights are short and it’s as hot as hell in your top-floor flat. The optimum room temperature for sleep is around 20°C.
No wonder then that, according to a recent survey, almost half of Brits are snatching just six hours of slumber a night, with ‘being too hot’ cited as the second most common reason for not sleeping, topped only by stress.
So, if summer’s causing you to lose out on that precious beauty sleep, make sure you give your skin all the help you can with a decent nighttime regime.
Midnight moisture loss
Since trans-epidermal water loss – that’s moisture leaving the skin – is also greatest at night, a quality moisturising product is essential. Look for those containing collagen-boosting retinol if you’re worried about wrinkles, and ones with skin resurfacing glycolic acid if you’re after brighter, smoother skin come morning. Ultrasun’s Overnight Summer Skin Recovery Mask is especially useful if you’ve been in the sun.
Bear in mind that night creams aren’t just for women. The fact that there’s an Overnight Recovery Cream in Dermot O’Leary’s new skincare range for men shows that a bedtime beauty routine is essential for the boys, too.
SIX BEDTIME ESSENTIALS
1. Ultrasun Overnight Summer Skin Recovery Mask, £38, Feel Unique
2. Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil, £63, Pestle And Mortar
5. Dermot O’Leary 24.hr Grooming For Men Overnight Recovery Cream, £15, Marks And Spencer
6. Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment, £15.75, Dermalogica
Read more: How to naturally boost your collagen levels