I don’t know when the glorification of sleep deprivation came about. My guess is when we started glorifying busy. Getting less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night on purpose is NOT synonymous with productivity. Self-care is NOT synonymous with leisure, vanity, sloth, or whatever the hell else society has trained us to think. You NEED quality, restorative sleep for peak performance, and aren’t we all about peak performance these days?
The effects of sleep deprivation as a whole are innumerable. Irritability, compromised immune system, hindered critical thinking/balance/coordination/decision making skills-the list goes on. If you aren’t sleeping adequately, you aren’t functioning adequately. Simple as that.
But what does a lack of sleep do to your skin? For starters, it ages your skin. Now, I’m all for aging gracefully, and youth isn’t everything, but it IS something. According to WebMd (which I usually avoid at all costs…NOT EVERYTHING ENDS IN DEATH, WEBMD!), sallow skin and puffy eyes are present after just a few nights of missed sleep. But repeatedly? You’re signing yourself up for lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under your eyes. Those anti-aging products won’t do shit if you’re skipping your sleep.
What’s more, lack of sleep leads to heightened cortisol production. And in excess, cortisol breaks down collagen, the protein that keeps your skin smooth and elastic. So, no sleep=cortisol=saggy face. Are habitual all-nighters really worth a saggy face? IS IT?!?! Back in 2011, this article from Life Extension detailed that “chronic insomnia inflicts significant damage to skin tissues that range from premature aging to disorders like eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis.” Your skin goes into repair mode when you sleep. For all the damage we do to our skin on a daily basis-environmental exposure, damaging ingredients in our products, dietary issues, stress-don’t we owe it to ourselves to do what we can to nourish ourselves, especially when all it takes is adequate sleep?
Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it is to get consistent, restorative sleep. Chronic insomnia is just one of my several chronic conditions. And my skin has greatly suffered for it. Some things that help me fall asleep are sleepy time tea blends, white noise, ASMR videos on YouTube, and a certain illegal herb (sorry mom and dad). Try out a few things, find a ritual that works for you.
Nighttime Skincare Routine
There a few things you can do to maximize your sleep:
- Wash the day away. Proper cleansing is especially important before you go to sleep. You want to wash away all of the gunk that builds up throughout the day, so your pores are cleared and your skin cells are ready to regenerate.
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. In addition to giving you a thorough cleanse, it removes the dead skin cells that get in the way of your skin properly absorbing products. Unless, of course, you’re using a retinoid product that is constantly exfoliating. Then skip ahead!
- Mask it up. Nighttime is the best time to throw on a super soothing, hydrating mask. Double the sleep induction by taking a calming bath while the mask sits on your face.
- Apply retinoid products. These are best applied at night due to their collagen-building effects.
- Night cream isn’t just for old ladies. There are actually differences between an ideal daytime moisturizer and a nighttime moisturizer: the former should be lighter and contain a sunscreen, and the latter should have a thicker consistency. It should also contain antioxidants, peptides, and vitamin C. All of these things will repair the damage done to your skin throughout the day. A thicker night cream will also hydrate your skin after applying the drying retinoid.
Feel free to apply any serums, eye cream, etc. You really can’t overdo it at night!
That’s all I’ve got for now. See yall next Tuesday!
Sleeping Beauty: http://www.relatably.com/m/img/sleeping-beauty-memes/tumblr_m0feox0UhZ1rr2eumo1_400.jpg