Wake Up to More Flawless Skin: Everything You Need to Know About Night Time Skin Rejuvenation
Ah, sleep. If you’re a workaholic, you probably shortchange yourself by getting the fewest winks possible. Some people think of time spent sleeping as being unproductive, but your body actually needs sleep to function efficiently. And, there’s a reason we refer to shut-eye time as “beauty sleep.”
Have you heard of the term “40 winks?” Many people think of that as a good night’s sleep, but it actually means napping. Your body requires much more than a quick catnap to recover from life’s stressors. According to guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7–9 hours of sleep per night. Of course, everyone is different, but if you’re feeling and looking less than your best, you may want to change your habits … soon.
What Really Happens When You’re Sleeping?
A lot goes on in your body once you turn in for the night. Your pulse, breathing, body temperature, and blood pressure all fluctuate depending on whether you’re dreaming away in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage or are just settling down in the early moments of non-REM sleep. The more settled your body, the better. According to the Mayo Clinic, “It’s thought that sleep helps your blood regulate stress hormones and helps your nervous system remain healthy. Over time, a lack of sleep could hurt your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones.”
As you sleep, your entire being repairs itself, including your skin. When asked if sleep has a biological impact on the skin, Dr. Glynis Ablon, M.D. explained, “It is absolutely true that skin renews overnight more than during the day.” Specifically, collagen production speeds up when your pituitary gland puts out more human growth hormone (HGH), as does “melatonin, which repairs UV-induced damage.”
Board Certified Dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D. explains that while we sleep, our “metabolism slows down, and free radicals are eliminated. Our skin is in defense mode most of the day,” she says, “fighting off photoaging, pollution, environmental waste, smoking, pathogens, ultraviolet rays, stress, caffeine,” and more. When the body’s at rest, “Cellular renewal doubles.”
Here’s Why Your Skin Is Drier After Sleeping
Ever notice that your skin doesn’t feel nearly as moist and hydrated upon waking? Your pillowcase may absorb some of your skin’s moisture, but it’s not the only culprit. Body temperatures rise and fall during REM and non-REM sleep. Crazy dreams and frightful nightmares trigger the body’s natural “fight or flight” response, so instead of being completely at rest, your systems accelerate. The resulting rise in blood pressure and temperature can cause additional water loss and leave your skin extra dry in the morning.
Why Anti-Aging Treatments Are Best Used At Night
Ever wonder why you shouldn’t use rejuvenating products in your morning routine? “Sun reactivity is usually the reason,” Shamban explains. And, some products that need to be reapplied frequently, like sunblock, can inhibit the way ingredients “get to work in the epidermis and dermis.” Makeup may also inhibit the effectiveness of targeted treatments.
Exfoliants, whether chemical or physical, as well as retinoids are also best applied at night. Vitamin C is one of Ablon’s favorite antioxidants for undoing the damage caused by free radicals and stress. She also believes we are what we eat and that the best way to hydrate the body is done orally via “fluids, vitamin E, and hydrogen pills,” which research has shown reduce oxidative stress on the body.
Get Better Sheet Mask Results With This Genius Tip
If you already love sheet masks, you’re about to get one of the greatest tips ever. Before you apply your sheet mask, Shamban suggests applying your favorite rejuvenating serum. “Used at night after serums, but before or even in lieu of moisturizer, sheet masks ensure the most direct and unobstructed absorption opportunity.” Since most sheet masks make contact with the skin for at least 10 to 30 minutes, “the skin can literally drink in the actives without them dissipating.”
Sheet masks aren’t the only way to increase hydration before heading off to dreamland. Sleeping packs or sleeping masks are staples in Korean beauty routines. They can be used as standalone moisturizers or layered over your nighttime cream to lock in hydration while you’re sleeping.
If you’ve never tried a sleeping mask, you can’t go wrong with the COSRX cult-favorite Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask. It hydrates and soothes irritation as well as redness and contains anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, propolis extract.
Need some tips for creating healthy sleep habits? Learn more here.