It can brighten your under-eyes, de-emphasize wrinkles, rebuild collagen, and repair UV damage. 

It restores and revitalizes the skin’s barrier to keep environmental stressors out and moisture in.

The best part: It’s not nearly as expensive as other anti-aging products – in fact, it’s free.

While your bathroom counter may be cluttered with retinol, acids, and serums that promise to ‘turn back the clock on aging,’ the true anti-aging super ingredient is beauty sleep.

Getting a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep gives the body enough time to combat environmental and oxidative stress that ages cells and tissues, including skin cells

Getting a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep gives the body enough time to combat environmental and oxidative stress that ages cells and tissues, including skin cells

Many people may not consider sleep a key component of their skincare arsenal and many don’t get the recommended eight hours per night, but consistently getting too little sleep can have a huge impact on your beauty routine.

A lack of sleep results in higher levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone.

Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to premature sagging and wrinkling because it degrades collagen, which works with other substances like elastin to maintain the skin’s volume, hydration, and elasticity.

Dr Quynh-Giao Sartor, a board certified Dermatologist in Houston, said: ‘During sleep, the body is restoring proteins such as collagen and elastin that repair and strengthen the skin. Good quality sleep allows the body more time to produce [elastin and collagen] at healthy levels.

‘When well rested, several benefits become evident on the skin, including fewer wrinkles, brightened complexion, and reduced puffiness or dark circles around the eyes. Conversely, consistent sleep deprivation can accelerate aging on the skin, including droopy skin.’

One of the most common beauty and skincare buzzwords is ‘anti-aging.’ Attempting to stave off the effects of time on one’s face is a $50 billion industry with an endless supply of new products and potions that target perceived problem areas, such as the forehead, the areas around the eyes where the skin is especially delicate, around the mouth and the neck.

But it takes more than a super-strength retinol or lactic acid to address lines, dullness, and sagging skin.

When the body ‘shuts off’ for seven to nine hours, the hormone melatonin kicks the skin’s repair mechanisms into gear.

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals that damage cells and cause them to age faster.

When there are more free radicals than antioxidants in the body, the resulting imbalance leads to oxidative stress, which can lead to cellular damage and has been associated with various health issues, including aging, inflammation, and the development of chronic diseases

The hormone’s ability to combat oxidative stress makes it particularly powerful for reversing signs of sun damage such as age spots.

Dr Melanie Palm, a board-certified dermatologist in San Diego, told Vogue: ‘This process helps to stave off wrinkles, age spots, skin laxity, and other signs of aging in the long run, which is why getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night and having a dialed-in circadian rhythm is essential for great skin.’

The body also produces human growth hormone (HGH) that helps to repair tissue damage while asleep. 

HGH is a naturally occurring substance in the body that the pituitary gland produces and is responsible for stimulating cell growth, reproduction, and regeneration.

HGH secretion tends to peak during deep sleep while the body is undergoing the process of repair and regeneration.

A person’s body produces less and less HGH with age. 

Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, an internist specializing in chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and pain management, told NBC News: ‘Also known as the “Fountain of Youth” hormone, optimizing growth hormone keeps us young. 

‘It keeps our muscles toned, and our skin at its full thickness. Think of it as a healthy facelift for your entire body, including face, breasts and abdominals.’

Healthy beauty sleep takes between seven and nine hours. For the best beauty sleep, experts recommend shutting down technology and sleeping in a dark, cool room, which facilitates a natural drop in core body temperature as we prepare for sleep.

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