Why we all need our beauty sleep
Make sure you get those z’s in!
Written by Founder, Gemma Moses.
Did you know that you skin cells have circadian rhythms, the same way that our whole body does? These are vital to our skin’s health and are controlled by our body clock. Keeping our body’s circadian rhythm consistent and ensuring we get enough sleep is therefore the key to having healthy skin!
What are circadian rhythms?
Circadian rhythms are cycles of both behavioural and physical changes that your body goes through within a 24 hour day, also known as your body clock. These changes are effected by different external stimuli – such as how light it is and our surrounding environment. This controls how awake or how sleepy we feel.
Circadian rhythms in the skin:
Research has shown that similar to our body, our skin cells also cycle through different states within a 24 hour period. This is thought to be so that our skin can anticipate the points at which it will be under the most stress – which is when the skin must be able to repair itself. Circadian cycles within the skin are thought to control everything from sebum secretion to cell renewal, so they are vital to our skin health.
The 24 hour cycle
Throughout the day our skin is subject to environmental stressors such as UV light and pollution. It is vital that we protect our skin from the damaging effects of UV light during the day, therefore applying a sunscreen in the morning is crucial.
Did you know that creams and foundations with SPF in only protect you from UVB radiation? Remember that the sun’s rays contain both UVA and UVB radiation, which are both damaging to the skin. UVA rays are present all day, all year round – even when the sun isn’t out! Whereas UVB peaks during the summer and on sunny days. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis of the skin, causing skin to lose its firmness and elasticity – ultimately causing wrinkles and skin ageing. Therefore, when choosing a sunscreen, look for those that protect against both UVA and UVB – don’t just rely on your foundation or day cream!
The application of antioxidants to the skin during the morning also helps to protect your skin against these environmental stresses. Antioxidants such as vitamin E help to reduce the effect of free radicals produced by UV damage, therefore helping to keep your skin supple, firm, and reducing signs of ageing. Oils such as avocado oil and sweet almond oil are rich in vitamin E, which is why we use these oils in most of our products. Our avo’-infusion facial serum is the perfect way to start your day and get your skin’s protective antioxidant dose.
During the afternoon your skin’s sebum secretion increases, sometimes causing an oily feeling and shiny look. My skin is very much a culprit for this – and I’ve often felt the need to slap on the powder after lunch time. Stressors that can cause oiliness include feeling stressed and being dehydrated – stress can activate our oil glands, and dehydration can cause skin to overcompensate with oil production in order to hydrate skin.
To minimise shiny afternoon skin, ensure that you use a good moisturiser as a base. You also need to ensure that you stay hydrated and drink enough water – it is underestimated how important this is for our skin health! I try and drink at least 2L of water a day – if you struggle to do this is really helps to take a 1L water bottle to work and keep sipping that throughout the day. Set yourself the challenge to always take it home empty and you are halfway there!
It is really important that your evening skincare regime is different to your daytime one – the may reason being that your skin needs completely different things during the night! Throughout the night our skin’s repair mechanism will kick in – stimulating stem cells in the epidermis to produce new skin cells.
Dryness of the skin during the night is caused by something called transepidermal water loss, whereby the skin loses water through evaporation. People with skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis often experience flare ups during the night due to transepidermal water loss – people with these conditions often have reduced numbers of aquaporins, which are proteins that allow the movement of water both in and out of the cell.
It is really important to hydrate with a nourishing and deeply hydrating cream just before you go to bed, to help minimise the effect of transepidermal water loss. Our avo’-jojoba moisturiser is a super rich cream that is perfect for the night time – it penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate all night long.
Why we need our ‘beauty sleep’
You can see from this article that our skin’s circadian cycle is vital to our skin health. Our skin’s circadian rhythm is controlled by our body’s – so making sure we get enough sleep is really important for our skin’s health, it’s no coincidence that we call it beauty sleep!
There is a relatively new stress that has been proven to disrupt our body clock. Our phones and devices produce a blue light called HEV light. Blue HEV light can actually slow the production of melatonin, which is our brain’s chemical signal telling us that it is time to go to bed.
To ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, we recommend that you stop using all devices at least an hour before you go to bed. Take this time to read a book or magazine instead. Both your skin and body will thank you for it!