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Notes on Beauty Sleep

In fact, the stakes for missing out on sleep are higher than ever: not only does it impact overall wellbeing, it can effect skin almost immediately. Think dull, devitalised, lacklustre. By missing out on sleep, you are forgoing an opportune period of time to really repair and rejuvenate skin with a host of sleep-specific treatments. So all sleep is beauty sleep.

When we sleep, our body goes into healing mode and our skin cells go into mitosis (divide and multiply), which acts as the catalyst of skin cell renewal. This is why the products you apply at night are so important – they feed, strengthen and fortify the aforementioned fresh cells. Skin concerns that require a corrective approach are best addressed in the evenings for this very reason.

What happens when you have a bad night’s sleep? A couple of things. Cortisol (the stress hormone) production is increased, which can cause inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation = fine lines, inhibited collagen renewal, poor texture and congestion. Toxins are not cleansed as efficiently and muscle/skin tissue is not repaired as effectively, as DNA repair is more active at night than during the day.

If you have skin concerns such as anti-ageing, hyper-pigmentation or congestion, pre-bed is the best time to treat them. Give your skin the best chance of regenerating by supplementing with a huge burst of lipids, hyaluronic acids and antioxidants, all of which your skin just loves. I also love a corrective serum prior to bed, such as retinol, as this is when it can really get to work and do some heavy lifting on behalf of your skin.

A nice way to treat your skin during this utopian period of rest and rejuvenation is with a sleep mask devoted to nighttime repair. The common goal of sleep masks is to create a ‘seal’ over the top of your skin that ensures all your products are able to deeply penetrate. (I love Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix). Generally, these are designed to be applied before sleep and rinsed off in the morning. As an added bonus, a sleep mask will ensure hydration levels are stabilised while you snooze, as your skin can lose a lot of moisture overnight.

My last – but not least – tip is this. Always, always, always sleep on a silk pillowcase (try Slip Silk Pillowcases). Cotton and linen pillowcases tug and pull at delicate skin, whereas your face will glide right over silk. What does this mean for your skin? No sleep creases, no fine lines and no wrinkles. Plus, it won’t absorb all of your expensive serums and night creams like other fabrics do! Sweet dreams. MG x

Image, Romy Frydman.