Skincare treatments are generally more effective during this “repair cycle of the skin” at night, Dr. Jaliman explains, possibly in part because skin is exposed to fewer environmental stressors then, “Studies show that new skin cells grow faster while you sleep,” Dr. Bowe says. “Take advantage of this period of renewal by using products that assist the process so your wake up with healthier skin.”
“The deeper layers of your skin are working at night to build new collagen, which makes your complexion smooth, and firm,” Dr. Bowe explains. Pro tip: Keep wrinkles at bay by sleeping on your back rather than on your side or facedown, suggests Jesleen Ahluwalia, M.D., a New York dermatologist. “Repeated pressure on the skin that causes creases can lead to set-in lines over time,” she adds.
We all know a great night’s sleep is essential for feeling energized and alert (and for our overall health), but getting quality shut-eye can also help you look better in the morning—and beyond. “Rest is essential for repairing skin,’ says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City and the author of Skin Rules, giving it the opportunity to recover from damage caused by both external factors (i.e., UV rays and pollution) and internal ones (lifestyle habits like smoking and diet). “When we sleep, the level of our stress hormone, cortisol, goes down, and our sleep hormone, melatonin, goes up, which puts our body and our skin in repair mode,” explains Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York dermatologist and the author of Dirty Looks: The Secret to Beautiful skin. Growth hormone, produced during deep sleep, plays a role in protein synthesis, which helps our bodies heal damage to cells, including skin, says W. Chris Winter, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist in Charlottesville, VA.