How the Seasons Impact Your Sleep Cycle — and Skin

How the Seasons Impact Your Sleep Cycle — and Skin

Understatement of the century: Sleep is important. Just talk to any expert in the game — whether it be your primary care provider or your dermatologist — and they’ll stress the importance of quality sleep and why it’s so integral to our health and general sense of well-being. Just consider how you feel on mornings when you haven’t clocked in the recommended eight hours of shut-eye: probably groggy, unmotivated, and maybe even a little irritable, right? Moreover, poor quality sleep can have a major impact on skin health, which is understandable, seeing as it’s the body’s largest organ. 

As New York City dermatologist Marisa Garshick, M.D., puts it: “Sleep is when our skin has a chance to repair and restore itself, and not getting enough of it can have a negative impact the skin.” In fact, there’s a ton of definitive research to back up the positive effects quality sleep has on skin. “Studies show that those who slept longer had better skin barrier function and higher satisfaction with the appearance of their skin,” she says.

Of course, with winter rapidly approaching and the end of daylight savings time right around the corner, we couldn’t help but wonder how seasonal changes impact our sleep cycle — and subsequently, the health of our skin. So naturally, we turned to a couple of experts for their insight on the matter. Here’s what we discovered. 

The Season: Fall

With autumn comes cooler, crisper weather, vibrant foliage, and — you guessed it — fewer hours of daylight. Every November, we turn our clocks back to standard time and technically gain an hour, but in most parts of the country, this means it gets darker much earlier — sometimes as early as 4:30 p.m. 

This somewhat gradual, yet still significant change has the potential to disrupt our sleep cycles because our bodies have to adjust to the sun going down earlier than usual. When it suddenly starts getting pitch-black at 5 p.m., the body’s going to need a minute to adjust. “Our circadian rhythms need consistency every day,” explains Shelby Harris, M.D.,  a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in White Plains, New York. “The changes in sunlight and darkness can definitely impact awake and sleep times.”

According to Dr. Garshick, poor sleep can show up on our skin in the form of dryness, dehydration, and heightened sensitivity. To offset that, she recommends treating your skin to products that deliver intense hydration and nourishment to help support your skin barrier as much as possible. Plump Plump Hyaluronic Cream is a foolproof option perfect for all skin types, as is the Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum, which can be slathered on underneath your moisturizer for extra soothing hydration. 

You might also notice dark circles appearing — while it’s not the sole cause, a lack of sleep can definitely make them worse (blame sluggish circulation, which leads blood to pool beneath the eyes). Fortunately, Guava Vitamin C Bright-Eye Gel Cream help you stay ahead of that. Not only does it feature vitamin C and niacinamide to brighten the actual under-eye skin, but it also packs green caffeine, which can help boost circulation. Plus, in boosting collagen production, the combo of vitamin C and peptides can also keep skin from thinning, which also tends to reveal that red or purple-ish hue.

The Season: Winter

Good news: As your body adjusts to getting less daylight, your sleep cycle should, in theory, balance out and become normal. Of course, this will vary from person to person and is highly dependent on factors like genetics, stress levels, and lifestyle, but if you’re not struggling with any extenuating circumstances, then your sleep schedule will likely be pretty consistent during the wintertime.

And that’s important, considering we all know winter elements try their best to wreak havoc on our skin, making quality shut-eye all the more important. During this period, be sure to cleanse with a nourishing balm, like the Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm, and to layer up on hydrating treatments like the Plump Plump Hyaluronic Serum and Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum.

The Season: Spring

We love spring for the longer days, milder weather, and lush blooms, but spring also marks the start of Daylight Savings, when we turn our clocks ahead and lose an hour, subsequently disrupting our cycle of sleep yet again. This means more daylight, which we’re here for!

But it also means our bodies need to acclimate yet again because our circadian rhythms are thrown off, and that can lead to those adverse effects in our skin — again, dryness, dehydration, and potential for irritation. On top of that, skin might already be dull and dry from the winter. If that’s the case, reach for Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment, which offers the perfect combo of exfoliation and hydration; exfoliation clears away dead skin cells, allowing hydration to better absorb into skin.

The Season: Summer

While most of us relish the seemingly infinite sunshine that comes along with summertime, the long days that we’re blessed with ironically aren’t the best when it comes to our sleep, according to Dr. Garshick. “It’s actually been shown that sleep duration can decrease as day lengths get longer,” she says, citing a study from Nature.

This means that you might be getting less than the suggested eight hours a night, in which case you should amp up the skincare to show your complexion some extra T.L.C. The Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial is a great formula for the summer months because it’s not only deeply hydrating, but also works to control excess sebum and brighten up sallow-looking skin, too. Then apply a healthy dose of the Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops followed by Plump Plump Hyaluronic Cream to seal in moisture for lasting hydration and radiance. 

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