We’ve all used the excuse ‘I’m catching up on my ‘beauty sleep’ before, whether you were avoiding a party you just didn’t have the energy for or your favourite program had its series finale. But however many times we’ve heard the term beauty sleep, do we really know why it’s so fundamental that we have it?
It’s no secret that lack of sleep can make us feel a little groggy, grumpy and all-round a little worse for wear, but why is it crucial that we get our snooze on? Well, we’ve been thinking the same thing and are here to spill the beans on why we’ll be having a lot more early nights over the next few weeks…
Beauty Sleep Uncovered
During the day our skin has to defend itself against environmental aggressors, such as the wind, sun and pollution. At night, it focuses on regenerating itself and preparing your skin for the next day. Short, interrupted or poor quality sleep can disrupt the balance of our circadian rhythms. I know some of you may be thinking… what are circadian rhythms? Well, circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. Most living beings have these cycles, and they respond primarily to light and darkness. Your skin follows this cycle, and thus this rhythm helps the skin to know when it’s day and night, and when it needs to protect and repair itself.
If you’re still awake at 2am finishing that work presentation or watching just one more episode on Netflix then your skin is thinking, ‘Is it night or day?’. The fact that your skin isn’t repairing itself at that time can result in a complexion that looks dull and uneven – and you may have a little trouble getting out of bed in the morning!
Your skin is working its hardest during the night, repairing the damage from the previous day and giving your skin a re-boot ready for the next day. During this time four key skin regenerating cycles are taking place: skin renewal, cellular differentiation, micro circulation and barrier-function repair.
1. Regenerating Radiance
Ever wondered when your skin is working the hardest to repair itself? Studies have shown that the number of cell divisions reaches a maximum between midnight and 1am. So, when we’re dancing the night away on a Friday night our skin is shouting at us to get to bed! And the time our skin is taking a breather? Between 12pm and 1pm. This proves that our skin’s cell regeneration is much higher at night, meaning our skincare will work even better then too.
2. Night-time Nourishment
If you’re anything like me you’ll think that surely our skin is getting more nourishment during the day. Well, think again! Research has shown that the skin’s blood flow reaches its peak between 11pm and 4am. This increased blood flow is due to the peak in cell exchanges, which either provide nutrients or help eliminate toxins. So, if you’re a city girl and pollution is one of your big concerns, an early night may do you the world of good.
3. Snooze and Shed
Your skin is constantly shedding and making room for healthy, new skin. At the end of a four to six-week cycle dead skin cells that sit on the outermost layer of the epidermis are eliminated from the surface in the form of flakes. Research has shown that this flaking reaches its maximum between 7pm and 11pm (a reason to change your bed sheets more frequently too) making way for a radiant complexion and ‘brand new skin’ by morning.
4. Prepare and Protect
All this regenerating, nourishing and shedding ensures that your skin is completely prepared for another day protecting your complexion from nasties as your skin’s barrier function will be fully restored. I’m not sure about you but I feel like this is the perfect excuse to have an extra long lie in this weekend…
So, what does this beauty sleep research tell us, besides giving us an excuse to be in bed by 7pm tonight? Well, if our skin is working its hardest during the night to recover and reboot then it’ll reap the benefits of skincare during this time too. And lucky for us there’s been a huge influx in the number of nigh time skincare that we can treat our skin to – as a thank you for all that ‘protecting’ during the day of course.
We know that it’s not always realistic to be in bed at a reasonable hour, whether you’re working a night shift or have an early morning deadline, so we have just the thing. Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep is enriched with a complex of glycyrrhizic acid, hyaluronic acid, caffeine and LHA, which is designed to recreate the look of a good night’s sleep. So, even if you’ve been up until the crack of dawn, it won’t show on your skin, you may just need a coffee or two to get you through…