Uncovering the benefits of beauty sleep
A good night’s rest could be all you need for vibrant, glowing skin, writes Shannon Dunn.
While night creams can work skin wonders while we sleep, there’s no better support for a healthy, glowing visage than a good night’s kip.
An oft-used phrase since 1828, getting one’s ‘beauty sleep’ was coined to encourage those to get shut-eye before midnight – if they wanted to age gracefully, inside and out.
The idea of getting adequate sleep to foster youthfulness and a healthy glow is more than just heresay. Experts, including those at the Sleep Laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, have found there are real results to be had from resting the mind, body and soul.
A 2010 study, which involved taking photographs of 46 participants following good-quality rest and post-sleep deprivation, found that those without enough sleep appeared to be “less healthy, less attractive and more tired” compared to when they are adequately rested.
“As illustrated by the common expression ‘beauty sleep’, an individual’s sleep history may play an integral part in the perception and judgements of his or her attractiveness and health,” researchers said.
“To date, the concept of beauty sleep has lacked scientific support, but the biological importance of sleep may have favoured a sensitivity to perceive sleep-related cues in others. It seems warranted to explore such sensitivity, as sleep disorders and disturbed sleep are increasingly common in today’s 24-hour society and often coexist with some of the most common health problems, such as hypertension and inflammatory conditions.”
Compared with the normal sleep condition, in the study, perceptions of health and attractiveness in the sleep-deprived condition decreased on average by six per cent and four per cent and tiredness increased by 19 per cent.
Repair, renew, revive
There’s also scientific reasoning as to why we might look sprightlier after a good eight hours under our belt. No one knows this better than natural skincare expert Samantha Sargent. As the founder of Australian-made skincare range Be Genki (begenki.com.au) and all-natural skincare store Be Naturally You (benaturallyyou.com), Sargent is the industry go-to for how to get a vibrant, youthful glow sans chemicals.
Sargent says the first step is to get a good night’s shut-eye, because while you’re sleeping, your body builds collagen, which increases blood flow to the skin for repair. “Skimp on sleep and your skin can look dull, lifeless and more prone to fine lines,” she says.
Next up, taking time for an evening skincare ritual is a must – and it doesn’t need to be a long, drawn-out process. “It’s as simple as choosing high-quality natural and organic products that work in harmony with the natural physiology of skin,” says Sargeant. “Every evening I take three minutes for my skincare ritual, to remove make-up and environmental pollution with my favourite cleansing oil via a double cleansing method. This is followed by a spritz of toner, which can help to boost collagen-promoting and pigmentation-minimising properties. This is followed by a mini self-massage on the face with our Be Genki Radiant Beauty Oil #2, for ‘experienced skin’ and fine lines, as it contains Spilanthes acmella flower extract, known as nature’s botox; and lupin seed extract, renowned for its ability to promote the production of collagen, which gives skin its firmness and elasticity.”
Sargent says she finishes off with a spritz of face mist that contains organic lavender hydrosol, organic essential oils of lavender, Roman chamomile, sandalwood and sweet orange – a calming combination that can help promote sleep.
“The most important thing is to choose high-quality ingredients that address any skin concerns you have,” says Sargent. “And to ensure the ingredients are genuinely natural, organic, intact and unadulterated. For example, your beauty oils should be rich in natural plant colours, not stripped of colour, odour and phytonutrients. If you opened a box of strawberries and they were white, tasteless and with no scent, it wouldn’t be ideal. The same is true for skincare. Nature is perfect as it is. Choose nature-made, small-batch, hand-made products. The difference it makes to your skin health is profound."
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