When you don't get enough sleep, your health suffers. You may experience physical symptoms like sleepiness and a reluctance to exercise, as well as mental symptoms like a lack of alertness, moodiness, and increased forgetfulness. But did you know that sleep and skin healing are closely linked? It's true. In fact, the term "beauty sleep" may actually hold some scientific weight.

It's all linked to your body's circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of your body's internal clock. As the Sleep Foundation states, one of the most important circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle. So, how can your nighttime skin care products boost your sleep and skin healing? Read on to find out.

What Are the Benefits of Sleep For Skin?

The benefits of sleep on your skin are plenty. A good night's sleep can show on your face through glowing, luminous skin, but the health benefits go even deeper. Rest gives your body a chance to increase blood flow, rebuild collagen, and repair damage from ultraviolet (UV) exposure, as your skin goes into restorative mode at night.

So, what happens when you don't get enough sleep? A poor night's sleep can present as puffy eyes, dark undereye circles, dull skin, more pronounced wrinkles and fine lines, and even acne. It's a vicious cycle—lack of sleep negatively affects your skin, and suffering skin can affect your ability to sleep well. Does this sound like you? You're not alone. A questionnaire-based study among 634 patients published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology, found that sleep disorders are very common in dermatology patients with skin concerns, like atopic dermatitis and acne.

One factor causing these skin concerns is cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol decreases as you sleep, but when your rest is cut short, those levels rise. In turn, blood vessels in your skin enlarge, and your skin appears inflamed—primed and ready for acne and other skin issues to move in. It's clear that catching enough z's at night is vital to great skin health. If you suspect sleep is affecting your skin, visit your board-certified Dermatologist for a consultation.

How Does Nighttime Skin Care Boost Skin Healing?

As anyone with trouble sleeping knows, quality sleep starts hours before bedtime. Eating sugar, absorbing blue light, and not settling down before bed can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Nighttime skin care is a tool to elevate your beauty sleep.

One of the best things you can do to ready your body for a rejuvenating night of sleep is to pamper yourself with a great nighttime skin care routine. Start by clearing your pores and refreshing your skin with a gentle cleanser like the EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser. Then, follow it up with products that contain well-curated actives to help your skin heal and look its best by morning. Retinoids are a great addition to nighttime skin care as they're focused on collagen and elastin, which your body rebuilds at night.

Then, finish your routine with products that hydrate. The EltaMD Skin Recovery Night Mask is the perfect example of a product made to support the regenerative, restorative, reparative, and rejuvenating elements of skin health. Suitable for all skin types, the mask combines Chronobiology Technology and AAComplex to strengthen your skin barrier, calm redness and inflammation, improve hydration, and boost your natural glow.

So, how does the night mask work? It's simple. Apply the nourishing mask as the last step of your skin care routine to lock in the goodness of the rest of your products, and let it work its magic as you snooze. For optimal results, use the mask in conjunction with the rest of the Skin Recovery System, and rest your head on high-quality silk sheets.

A nighttime skin care ritual can get you into the habit—and maybe even excited—for bed each night. And when you wake up, gorgeous skin is there to greet you.


  • Mona Gohara, MD

    Dr. Mona Gohara is a Connecticut-based Dermatologist and associate professor of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. She has a particular interest in skin cancer prevention and treatment for skin of color. Dr. Gohara spends a lot of time outdoors with her husband, son, and two dogs, Coco and Cleo. They all wear sunscreen.

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