We love sleep! Who doesn’t? But sleep becomes harder and harder to get as we grow older. Whether we have sleeping problems, are too busy to get a full eight hours, or are too stressed out to get the rest we need, sleeping is getting more difficult.

Sleep is important, and not just so that you can make it through the day without feeling cloudy and nodding off at your desk. Sleep has a huge effect on your overall wellbeing. It can affect your mood, your mental health, your physical health, your focus, your energy levels, and your skin. Yes, even your skin.


At Azeal Dermatology Institute in Boulder, we aren’t sleep experts, but we are skin experts and it is our goal to give you the best information on how to best care for your skin and keep it looking young, healthy, and beautiful! Today, we are going to be talking about sleep and how it can affect your skin. If you have been getting little sleep and notice your skin isn’t looking as flawless as usual, read on! We will break it down for you and help you realize why you should start hitting the hay earlier.

Ages Your Skin

A lack of sleep can cause your skin to look older and actually age your skin quicker. An article from WebMD mentions that a lack of sleep can result in fine lines, dark circles under the eyes, and lackluster skin. Your body will also release more cortisol, the stress hormone, when you are running low on sleep. This hormone breaks down collagen, which is the protein that keeps your skin elastic and smooth. This causes the skin to show more noticeable signs of aging, such as thinner and less firm skin.

A lack of sleep can also cause the body to release too little of the human growth hormone. This hormone helps us grow as children, but as we age, it helps to increase muscle mass, strengthen bones, and thicken skin. This hormone is released during deep sleep and repairs tissue. A lack of sleep will make this less likely to take place.

An article from Sleep Junkies mentions a study that found the those who classified as poor sleepers were more prone to show signs of skin again, while those who slept well were less likely to show these signs. If you want to keep your skin looking young, be sure to sleep more!

Deprives of Nourishment

When you sleep, your brain, body, and skin are provided with nourishment. So, when you don’t sleep, your brain, body, and skin are deprived of this nourishment. A Cosmopolitan article mentions that a good night of sleep allows your body to remove dead blood cells and dead brain cells, and clear everything out to make way for new synapses so that the new blood and brain cells can replace the old ones. When you get a proper amount of sleep, your brain rids itself of 60 percent more toxins. This leaves you feeling more refreshed, gives you more mental clarity, and gives your skin that beautiful glow!

Causes More Blemishes and Flaws

As you sleep, you perspire more, this helps to rebalance your body’s hydration and recover extra moisture. In an Alaska Sleep Clinic article, they state that this makes sleep a natural moisturizer, which can help smooth out wrinkles and make skin look fuller. When your sleep is minimal, the moisture in your skin, as well as your complexion’s pH level, is affected. When the pH level drops, a skin imbalance takes place, which causes your skin to produce less moisture, which leads to drier skin. Drier skin will make your skin appear aged, dull, and less glowing.

The Cosmopolitan article also talks about the pH level of your skin and how it can affect the appearance. You may notice more redness, uneven skin tone, and more breakouts. If you have been sleeping poorly and notice that your skin is looking less picture perfect, it may just be more sleep that you need.

Eye Issues

Dark circles under the eyes are a telltale sign that you are sleep deprived! Not only do they make you look tired, they are simply not something you want to have to deal with on a daily basis. These dark circles appear because the blood vessels dilate. Getting enough sleep can help reduce the appearance of these dark circles. While you could hide them with cover-up, sleeping is a better option in our opinion!

Bags under your eyes is another eye issue that can easily be solved with sleep, or more like the right sleep position. Sleeping on your stomach causes liquid to pool in the trough of your under-eye during the night, causing puffiness. Keeping your head propped and sleeping on your back and help keep liquid from pooling and keep your under-eyes bag free! If you do wake up with bags, the Cosmopolitan article suggests holding two soaked green tea bags under your eyes for five minutes, this should help reduce puffiness!

Limits Repair and Rejuvenation

While you are sleeping, your body reaches a state of equilibrium which allows your cells to facilitate cellular rejuvenation and repair. Getting enough sleep allows your body to complete this rejuvenation process, leaving your skin healthier, as well as helping your mind and body stay healthy. The Sleep Junkies article mentions a study that found that those who slept well had better protective skin barriers, were more satisfied with the way they looked, and had less signs of aging.

There are many ways that sleep can affect your skin, even the way you sleep can change your skin in some way. Sleeping on your stomach or side can cause you to see fine lines earlier since your face is being squished into your pillow. Sleeping on dirty sheets can cause you more breakouts. The fact of the matter is that beauty sleep is a very real thing!

If you have issues sleeping or have been skipping out on sleep lately and notice your skin is taking the toll, try getting more sleep! It is as simple as that. If after sleeping enough and making it through the day well rested, you still notice skin issues that you are not used to, Azeal Dermatology Institute in Boulder can help! We can give you the skin care you need to help improve the overall appearance of your skin. Stop by for a skincare consultation to learn more about your skin and what you can do to keep it looking its best! Schedule your appointment today and contact us with any questions you have.