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6 Key Things Your Skin Does While You Sleep

Sleeping beauty isn’t just a fairytale – science has proven that beauty and sleep are tightly intertwined because our bodies go into repair mode as we rest. During this time, damage caused during the day is fixed so that we can wake up looking refreshed and radiant. Although our skin is quite efficient and able to do some amazing things, without a good night’s sleep, its capabilities are depleted and we can be left with dullness, premature signs of ageing and breakouts. Here’s what your skin does while you sleep and why rest is so important…


Did you know that your skin cells go into makeover mode while you sleep? Blood flow increases, collagen is rebuilt and human growth hormones kick in. This hormone is responsible for accelerating the repair and regeneration of our skin cells. Between the hours of 11pm and 4am, our cell production can double and if we’re in a deep sleep, this can increase by three times between the hours of 2am and 4am. 

More Receptive 

During your skin’s night time renewal mode is when you’ll get maximum benefits from your anti-aging products. Apply your Retinols, Acids and other powerful actives at night as they will be able to penetrate the deepest layers of the skin more easily than they would during the day. Another reason to apply these ingredients at night is that there’s no sunlight to breakdown the actives and make your skin more sensitive to damage. But always remember to apply an SPF in the morning. 

Moisture Loss

Our skin loses water and moisture as we sleep. When water passes from the dermis through the epidermis and evaporates from the skin’s surface, this is known as transepidermal water loss. Although this is a natural process, it can dry out the skin and cause premature signs of ageing, so it’s important to apply your rich moisturisers or night creams right before bed to give your complexion an extra hydration hit.  

Temperature Changes 

During the night, your skin becomes hotter and more acidic, both of these factors can contribute to slightly drier skin. A combination of this and water loss means that applying a heavier cream before bed is extra important however this can depend on your skin type. If you have oily skin, avoid applying something too thick as this can cause breakouts. 

Stress Break 

The amount of sleep you get can impact your levels of stress and cortisol. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can show up on your face in the form of puffiness and dullness. Poor sleep will increase your cortisol levels which puts your skin into a pro-inflammatory state which can cause your skin to look sullen and the eye area to look puffy due to water retention. 

Breakout Protection

If you’re under a lot of stress, this can cause inflammation which can unfortunately lead to pimples. When you’re in a calm state of sleep, your body isn’t experiencing those high levels of stress or inflammatory fluctuations that can lead to breakouts and prevent you from having clear skin. So a great night’s sleep could actually lead to you waking up with less breakouts! 

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