Sleep and its effects on your skin

Your skin follows a natural 24 hour cycle; working hard to protect during the day and repairing at night. 

As well as leaving us restless and often narky, a lack of sleep can disrupt skins overnight recovery, resulting in dull and tired skin and increased breakouts.

If you're suffering with sleep, its not just you - it's a global problem. Millions of people every day are looking for sleep remedies online. 47% of British adults say they ‘would try anything’ to improve their sleep quality and an estimated 10 million people in the United States remaining undiagnosed for Insomnia. 

Our skin is our largest organ, and basically it has one job - it acts as a barrier to protect the body from external toxins, (which is quite important in the scheme of things) so it makes sense that if we're not getting enough, good quality sleep, our skin is going to react and well, kick off a bit.

The CSD team have been researching what impacts our skin reacts and we wanted to share a few key bits of info on why sleep is important, what happens when we get to sleep and share some solutions on what you can do to help your skin and get those breakouts under control.

Sleep is restorative

During the run down to sleep and overnight, the skin’s repair mechanism kicks in – stem cells reproduce in large quantities which leads to the creation of new skin cells. Our skin’s barrier also becomes more permeable and oil production is at its lowest, meaning that it can absorb nutrients more effectively to have more of an impact. This is why your PM routine is actually more important that your AM routine.

  • The Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep at least seven to nine hours each night.

  • During sleep, your body releases growth hormones, which help with cell and tissue repair, to restore your skin.

  • Sleep also ensures the production of cytokines, which are molecules that help the immune system fight infections, including ones that affect the skin.

Lack of sleep can cause stress and lead to breakouts

When we sleep, our cells regenerate, renew and get rid of toxins and we all know, we get dark circles and less glowy skin, but it affects our immune system too - which makes skin more vulnerable to bacteria and in turn, breakouts.

  • Waking up whilst still tired is also strongly associated with acne and breakouts. So as ever, its quality over quantity!

  • Stress can be a trigger for breakouts and acne. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol and inflammatory proteins cortisol and inflammatory proteins and sleep deprivation can also significantly raise cortisol levels. This cortisol increase can negatively impact your immune system’s fighting power, which can lead to increased breakouts and the body feeling more tired. Quite frankly, it’s a horrible circle.

  • The irony is, acne itself can induce stress and anxiety and in turn make sleeping difficult

    Increased sleep quality and duration can help ease breakouts . However, we know that getting more sleep can feel like an up hill battle, so here are a few steps to getting you to a better sleep routine.

    5 tips to better sleep 

    1. If you can, make your sleep environment is comfortable, quiet and stress free, perhaps try making it cool and dark. Its all about having minimal distractions, to get your brain engaged with the possibility of having a restful nights sleep.

    2. Set a bedtime and stick to is - give yourself an extra 15 minutes before hand so you can take some time to go through your skincare routine. After a couple of weeks, this consistent approach will feel really natural and importantly, will send the right signals to your brain that its time for sleep. 

    3. Reading, meditation or a warm bath are great techniques to helping on the sleep journey (our Founder swears by reading). We get it, its hard switching off, so find something that relaxing and also gives you the excuse to put down your phone! 

    4. We all know how important it is to keep devices away at night to avoid blue light disrupting your circadian rhythm - this can cause difficulty falling asleep or even staying asleep. Don’t worry, It’s something we struggle with too so we've started leaving our phones downstairs as a test, and it works!

    5. Try to limit your food before bed - processing a big meal will only keep you awake. Drinks can also have a negative impact on sleep too - caffeine or high energy / sugar drinks will keep you awake longer and alcohol has a negative impact on hormones that keep you circadian rhythms balanced so you might drop off to sleep but you may find your sleep fitful and restless, resulting in waking up feeling a bit rough!

    So now you know why sleep is important to your skin (and in general) and how you can set better routines for sleep, but if breakouts are causing you stress, then having the right night-time skincare support in place could be the key.

    Routines and Treatments

    As mentioned earlier, a good night time routine can have a great effect on your skin - by incorporating a good PM regime your skin will be better prepared to absorb any key ingredients included in your skincare products and as oil production is lower, you can target breakouts and blemishes and support skin recovery more effectively. 

    Included in our range is a Clarifying Cleanser, Toner and Serum, a Mattifying Barrier Moisturiser and three treatments that could be useful to include in your routine:

    Hydrocolloid Blemish Repair Patches

    Honestly, these are amazing for overnight skin support! Cleanse and tone your skin and then apply a patch on the spot or the area that you want to target. Press firmly so that the patch adheres to your skin and then go through your sleep routine as normal (reading, meditating but remember, try to avoid the phone). 

    Clear Skin Days Hydrocolloid Blemish Patches

    Whilst you're sleeping the patches are doing their stuff, gently drawing out the impurities and capturing it in the patch, and when you wake, the redness is reduced and gunk in the spot, lessened.  Sometimes the spots can be stubborn and the patch application has simply forced the whitehead to appear - this is great as you have sped up the spots life-cycle - try not to pop it if you can avoid it, but reapply another patch and wear throughout the day. 

    Click here to read more about our patches


    Blemish Repair Paste

    Another great product to use whilst you sleep, is our Repair Paste - a Kaolin Clay based product that has Zinc and Bakuchiol to help reduce inflammation, calm the skin and  help get things back under control. 

    The paste is another product that you can use to suit your needs - if you have one spot or a wider area, you can use as much as is needed to cover the affected area to hep treat and recover. Face, chest, shoulders, back - all areas we get break outs and this works well everywhere!

    Simply apply before you go to bed, let it dry off before so you don't lose it to your pillow case or PJ's and let this paste do its work. Just like the patches, it can be used at anytime, day or night so you don't have to restrict yourself if you need to. 

    Click here to find out a bit more about our paste.


    Hopefully this is a helpful overview of sleep and your skin - if you have any questions or would like a bit of skincare advice, don't hesitate to get in touch - via email  or by DM on Insta 💛

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