What is your skin up to while you’re at sleep?
Your skin at night
During sleep, our skin cells work hard to reduce the harmful effects of free radicals by going into a ‘repair mode’. During this time, the skin cells use up the existing stocks of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and proteins like collagen to carry out the repair work.
Free radicals are the toxic molecules that cause damage to our cells and DNA. External elements such as the UV lights, pollution, smoking, alcohol and harmful chemicals trigger the production of toxic molecules.
Your body needs healthy stock levels of the ‘good stuff’ to fight off the damage caused by free radicals.
How to help your hard-working skin cells to recover and regenerate
1. Get more sleep: The melatonin hormones produced during sleep act as a natural antioxidant which strengthens the body’s immune system and helps the cleaning process. Lack of sleep releases the stress hormone, cortisol, and hinders the recovery process.
2. Skin cells are most active between 11pm and 4pm. This is also the time when skin cells are most receptive to active ingredients such as vitamins and anti-oxidants. Take supplements and apply skincare products that are packed with active ingredients such as collagen and Vitamin B at night to boost the skin’s regeneration process.
3. We lose water during sleep: Drinking a glass of water before bed might disrupt the sleep and it isn’t recommended for those with kidney problems. To make sure your skin stays hydrated during the night:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Apply night creams that lock moisture and provides intense hydration. These night creams usually contain hydrolysed silk protein and hyaluronic acid. The latter is capable of holding up to 6000 times its own weight in water, therefore delivering intense moisture to the skin.
4. Include plenty of anti-oxidants in your diet: Adults need between 8-11,000 antioxidant units per day (measured as ORAC units) to tackle free radicals effectively. For a list of foods that are rich in anti-oxidants see here.