Have you ever woken up groggy from less than six hours of sleep and felt your skin is looking unwell? Ever wonder why?
How lack of sleep impacts your skin
Dehydrates the skin
The skin barrier works as a shield against environmental threats and prevents excessive water loss. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin barrier can weaken and your levels of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) can be higher. TEWL is the amount of water lost to external environments via evaporation. Increased water loss dries out our skin, which can cause skin scaling and increased desquamation or the shedding of the skin’s outermost cells.
Imagining your skin cells as bricks and the lipids/fats in between as mortar, dehydrated skin has a more ‘disorganised’ brick and mortar structure; this causes more light to bounce off the surface. In comparison, hydrated skin has an ‘organised’ structure, allowing more light to penetrate the skin and giving off a translucent appearance.
Your pores can also appear larger with the lack of rest. While you will not have an increased number of pores if you snooze less, increased skin scaling causes a coarser skin texture and can make pores appear enlarged.
Reduces immune system function
Sleep also plays a role in restoring the body’s immune system function. Any change in the immune response may affect collagen production and lead to impaired skin integrity.
Inflames the skin
Sleep deprivation also triggers increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, which in turn modify the structures of collagen molecules. Collagen gives the skin its elasticity and flexibility. Assembling into a dense network of fibres, collagen holds the dermis layer together and protects the skin from external sources such as bacterial agents or ultraviolet radiation. Lower collagen levels manifest as thinner and wrinkled skin.
Ages your skin
Poor sleepers may experience uneven pigmentation, fine wrinkling, skin laxity, loss of facial fat and benign skin growths.
Chronic poor quality of rest is also associated with accelerated intrinsic ageing. Intrinsic ageing results from factors inherent in chronological ageing such as metabolic oxidative stress.
Stress is also a likely factor inherent in the lack of sleep. In response to stress, your brain releases an excess of stress hormones called glucocorticoids. This hormone causes negative effects on nearly all body tissues and accelerates the aging process. Glucocorticoids also inhibit lipid production, which eventually weakens skin integrity.
Regain your skin’s well-rested radiance
If you covet a seemingly translucent, pore-less look, it’s no surprise that we suggest you catch up on your sleep.
However, while you’re trying to change your snooze habits, providing rich hydration to your skin can also help compensate for some of your sleep loss. Apart from a moisturizer, a good boost of hydration also can come from an effective hyaluronic acid serum.
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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.
To book an appointment with Dr. Teo, call us at +65 6355 0522, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you may fill up our contact form here.