Skin Health Magazine Issue #10 / Winter 2019 - Page 11

Studies on the effects of sleep deprivation on skin have suggested that a lack of sleep impairs wound healing, affects skin barrier function and repair, and can even reduce your ability to repair sunburn after exposure to UV light. As a der- matologist, I frequently encounter patients with an exacerbation of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, at times of poor sleep. Studies have also suggested chronic lack of sleep is associated with increased signs of ageing and, interestingly, a lower satisfaction with appearance. SHM: Some of us wake up with skin feeling oilier, some with skin feeling drier. What can we do about it? CB: Consider your sleeping environment: try to have natural cotton, linen, or silk fibres next to your skin for clothing and bed sheets. Ensure a comfortable level of temperature and humid- ity — avoid overheating bedrooms in the winter months, and don’t overuse the air-conditioning in summer. The level of sebum production in oily skin may be reduced by using night creams containing Niacinamide, Green Tea, or Retinol. Drier skin would benefit from more moisturising products containing Hyaluronic Acid or Ceramides. sleep. Other suggestions include using silk pillowcases to avoid dragging the facial skin. SHM: Why does too little sleep prevent us from getting these benefits? CB: Sleep deprivation and alterations to sleep pattern such as shift working are felt to be detrimental to your skin. Studies have shown that your skin barrier function can be affected and that your skin will show greater signs of ageing. There is also a wider effect of lack of sleep on your wellbeing including disrupting your immune system, which can cause poor wound healing and repair, and affecting mood and perception, which can give people lower satisfaction with their appearance. SHM: Do you have any tips for maximising the benefits of sleep? CB: Before sleep, cleanse the skin; remove make-up and all the contaminants and pollut- ants from the day. Then, use a night cream suitable for your skin. Consider a cosmeceutical product with ingredients to help address any skin concerns you have — there is a greater chance of an active ingredient being absorbed by the skin barrier at night time. We need to aim for eight hours of sleep a night — which is easier said than done! SHM: Why do eyes look puffy when we wake up? CB: The medical term for puffy eyes is perior- bital oedema. It can occur as a normal phenomenon after sleep or after crying. Lying in a horizontal position during sleep causes redistribution of tissue fluid. The skin around the eyes is particularly thin and shows this to greater effect. SHM: Does sleeping in certain positions con- tribute to wrinkles? CB: Creasing can occur to the delicate skin on the face and chest area during sleep. It is nor- mally advised to avoid this by sleeping on your back — this is easier said than done, however, as we often adopt a preferred position during Dermatologist, Dr Catherine Borysiewicz ISSUE #10 | 2019 | 11