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Sleep, Skin, and... Wrinkles!

How often do we read about the importance of sleep and the health disadvantages when we lack sleep hours?

If nervousness, obesity, or impaired memory are not enough reasons to go to bed an hour or two earlier, here is one that always convinces me - lack of sleep wrinkles the skin!

An insufficient or poor quality night's sleep not only adds swollen dark circles around the eyes but has also been shown to affect our skin's ageing rate negatively.

Typically, during a quality night's sleep, the levels of the stress hormone cortisol decrease, which allows the skin cells to renew and recover. At night the skin is not exposed to pollution, free radicals, wind or sun, so it uses a regeneration mechanism to restore and heal.

During the day, the skin is exposed to harmful environmental impacts such as pollution, winds, sun, and free radicals and needs protection, so a defence mechanism replaces the regeneration mechanism.

This division leads us while building our skin treatment plan.

Lack of sleep leaves cortisol levels high and damages the skin's regeneration and renewal mechanism. High cortisol levels cause a faster breakdown of collagen, one of the essential components for healthy, firm and supple skin.

Lack of sleep causes accelerated skin ageing and swelling. Acne conditions and even pigmentation may erupt or worsen due to lack of sleep. We also know there is a direct link between skin problems such as atopic dermatitis, seborrhea and stress, which in many cases may be caused or exacerbated by lack of sleep.

Good quality sleep is an essential component of our skincare routine, as it dramatically affects the appearance and health of our skin.

Yet, people, such as babies' parents, people with insomnia, shift workers or simply older people, can't always enjoy quality continuous sleep and should protect the skin using topical preparations.

Remember when lacking sleep,

* We aim to strengthen the skin's defence mechanisms in the morning. Antioxidant preparations and protective serums can protect the skin even under stress. Hyaluronic acid is an important antioxidant; serums rich in fatty acids are recommended too.

* Bedtime is ideal for absorbing active ingredients that nourish the skin. The evening care routine should include a good cleansing of the face before going to bed, followed by using a night masque or cream with active ingredients, skin renewers, acids or peptide-based preparations. Various preparations can relieve darkness or swelling around the eyes.

All the suggestions above are also relevant when we are not lacking sleep, if we would like to improve our skin barrier condition. By ageing, we need more support to maintain impaired skin barriers, so these suggestions are relevant too.


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