Sleep and Flare-ups



Sleep is essential for many reasons. If you don’t get enough rest, the telltale sign could be right in front of you. Read on to learn more.

Grandma was right -- we really do need our beauty rest. In addition to the cognitive, behavioral, and health-related reasons for getting the recommended seven to nine hours of quality, uninterrupted shut-eye, it turns out that a lack of sleep also affects our outward appearance in several ways, ultimately resulting in skin flare-ups. 

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the importance of good sleep for healthy skin to help keep flare-ups at bay. 

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!


How Sleep Affects The Health And Appearance Of Your Skin

You may already have a solid skincare routine that includes cleansing your face, applying night cream or using moisturizer. Whether it is a regular skincare routine or wearing sunscreen on a sunny day -- caring for your skin takes work. 

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and its job is to serve as a barrier to protect your body from foreign toxins and organisms. 

Getting an adequate snooze each night is essential for your health -- including your skin. If you're trying to improve the health and appearance of your skin, consider adding an hour or two of sleep to your routine. #SleepyGirlSummer

While you sleep, your body naturally releases growth hormones, which help with cell and tissue repair to restore your skin. Sleep also ensures the proper production of cytokines, which are tiny molecules that help your immune system fight off infections -- including ones that affect the skin. 

Without adequate shut-eye, you’re more at risk for numerous mental and physical health concerns. Additionally, you may observe many changes in your skin as well as your complexion. 

Here are some of the ways sleep, or a lack thereof, can impact the way your skin looks and feels. 


Did you know that a lack of sleep may be linked to blemishes appearing? Yup, it's true. Those who report poor sleep quality are much more likely to experience more intense bouts of acne. Fatigue and sleepiness upon waking up are also strongly associated with skin issues. 

You see, stress is a factor in the development of acne. And when you are stressed, your body naturally produces cortisol (stress hormone) and inflammatory proteins. Sleep deprivation can also significantly raise your cortisol levels. 

This significant cortisol increase can negatively impact your immune system’s fighting power -- which can lead to increased skin problems, exacerbate them, and result in a flare-up. 

A strong immune system is key to keeping flare-ups at bay. If you’re dealing with a skin condition, not getting enough sleep makes your immune system suffer, which can easily cause a flare-up. 

Puffiness, Eye Bags, and Dark Circles

Skimping on quality shut-eye leads to a much more tired appearance. Researchers have found that your forehead, eyes, and mouth reveal to others that you aren’t getting enough quality rest. In particular, one of the hallmark signs of sleepiness is the presence of puffy eyes and dark circles. 

OK, so not all dark circles come from sleep loss, but it is often a contributing factor. One recent study took a look at 200 people who had periorbital hyperpigmentation -- the medical term for dark circles around their eyes. Of this group, 40 percent suffered from lack of adequate sleep.

In another study, observers were asked to rate the faces of a group of people. A photo of each person was taken after a full night’s sleep, and another was taken after only five hours of sleep, followed by 31 hours of wakefulness. Observers easily identified the well-rested faces as being more youthful and alert most of the time. 

They also noted that dark circles and eye puffiness as one of the most obvious signs the subjects didn’t get enough quality shut-eye. Not only that, but the observers also noticed that the faces with little rest appeared sadder as well. 

So if you want your complexion to give off a cheerful vibe -- make sure you’re in bed at a decent hour. Your skin will love you for it. 

Aging of Skin

In addition to flare-ups, puffiness, eye bags, and dark circles, less sleep can also lead to the appearance of aged skin. When you get little sleep, your skin doesn’t retain as much water. 

A high water loss indicates that your skin barrier is weak. Seeing as sleep helps your body to repair itself, those who have slept well tend to have 30 percent greater skin barrier recovery than those who have slept poorly. 

Bottom line: get your rest -- it’s more important than you think.


Tips For Better Sleep For Better Skin

So, what’s the best way to combat flare-ups, puffiness, eye bags, dark circles, and premature skin aging? We’ll let you in on all the skin secrets. Here are some of the best tips for better sleep for better skin:

Tip #1: Get A Full Night Of Sleep

The very best place to start for your skin and your overall health is to get the recommended amount of rest each and every night. 

Sure, sometimes you might have an off day, but you should do your best to always average seven to nine hours of quality sleep. If you’re wondering how to reset your internal clock and catch up on much-needed rest -- try turning your alarm clock off and sleeping in on the weekends. Your body will adjust. 

Tip #2: Cleanse Your Face Before Hitting The Hay

We know sleep is a surefire way to help the skin repair itself: blood flow increases, collagen is rebuilt, and the muscles in your face finally relax after a long day. 

Hopping in bed with a dirty face can also harm the appearance of your skin. Cleansing your face each and every night is arguably more important than in the morning.ou don’t need to use super fancy products or scrub too hard. A gentle cleanser -- like Faded from Topicals -- to remove makeup, dirt, and extra oil is all you need to get the job done. 

You don’t want to provide the day’s pore-clogging irritants the opportunity to sink in and do damage overnight, which can ultimately cause a flare-up. 

Tip #3: Use An Overnight Face Mask And Keep A Glass Of Water On Your Bedside Table

Cleansing your face can sometimes dry it out, and sleeping can also dehydrate your skin -- especially if you dream in a low-humidity environment. While staying adequately hydrated by drinking good ol’ H2O can help to some extent, what your skin craves at night is a topical hydrating face mask -- like Topicals’ Like Butter. This deliciously thick whipped mask is packed with powerful botanicals for skin so smooth it’s like butter.

Tip #4: Elevate Your Head

Believe it or not, something as simple as elevating your head while you snooze has been proven to help with snoring, nasal drip, and acid reflux -- all issues that can disturb the quality of your sleep and, therefore, your skin. Plus, it can also help dark circles and eye bags by improving blood flow and preventing blood from pooling. So, keep your head up, always. 

Tip #5: Catch Z’s On Your Back

It makes sense that the position of your face while you sleep (for one-third of your day!) matters to your skin. Sleeping on a rough cotton surface can be irritating and compress your face for long hours at a time, resulting in wrinkles. 

While most wrinkles are caused by the expressions we make while we’re awake, fine lines and wrinkles on the face and chest can result from dreaming on your stomach or sides. An easy solution to this is simply changing up your sleeping position to sleep on your back. 

If you’re a die-hard side sleeper -- get a skin-friendly pillow. A silk or satin pillow minimizes skin irritation and compression. Sweet dreams!


Bottom Line

Sleep is essential for many reasons. And without it, our entire body tends to suffer -- especially our skin. A lack of quality rest can weaken the immune system, exacerbating skin conditions, resulting in flare-ups, and can cause puffiness, eye bags, dark circles, and premature skin aging. 

To keep your skin in tip-top shape, show it some love by getting into bed at a decent hour each and every night. Consider using a night mask, like Topicals Like Butter, to lock in moisture and drink water to keep it hydrated. 

Topicals are an innovative skincare company with the dream of transforming the way you feel about skin. They understand skin is fluid and messy AF -- that’s why they created science-backed formulas created by experts, made for every shade. 

Check out Topicals today -- trust us, you’ll be glad you did!


Water, Hydration and Health | NCBI

Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review | NCBI

Consequences of Skin on Stress | NCBI

Acne Severity and Sleep Quality in Adults | NCBI