One night of restless sleep is really all it takes for our eyes and skin to reveal our lack of slumber. When we venture into our dark cozy beds at night, our skin is getting ready for some serious repair. It's the only time our skin is shielded from radiation (from the sun and even our computers), stress, and pollution, so it takes full advantage of it!
Between midnight and 4 am., our skin cells are in a constant state of repair and regeneration by undoing all the day's damage. This turnover is up to 8x's faster at night than it is during the day. While you sleep some amazing things happen! When we sleep, our cortisol levels decrease (they should be anyway!) and the skin is more prepared to replenish itself.
The more and consistent hours of sleep we have (at least 6-9), the more our "anti-aging" benefits kick in. This is a great benefit to our telomeres, which are stretches of DNA at the end of our chromosomes, which protect our genetic data, making it possible for cells to divide, which hold some secrets to how we age. (Think of the plastic caps at the end of a shoe string.) These telomeres decrease with age, but we know they are better preserved in those with great sleeping patterns.
Besides new skin cells growing and repairing, the release of growth factors also happens! These are crucial for healthy, youthful skin! They help with protein synthesis and basically act like a natural cosmetic by smoothing wrinkles, restoring elasticity, and beautifying hair and nails. Did you know you can also increase your level of growth hormones by doing burst training exercises, intermittent fasting (16-18 hour daily fasts are my favorite), and by eating goji berries?
Now when it comes to skincare products, it's the perfect time to use some powerful nutrition and "feed" your skin with great fresh products. Focus on antioxidants and skin repairing ingredients. Never, EVER go to to sleep without cleansing and prepping your skin with whatever it is needing at that time. During sleep, the skin's protective barrier weakens so any ingredients will be better penetrated. There's also less oil production at night. It's the time for intense repair and growth, so take full advantage of this time and pamper your skin!
Your skin will reward you in the morning with all your efforts!