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Tips for waking up with beautiful skin

We all aspire to wake up with a fresh and radiant complexion in the morning, but this is not always the case. To ensure a healthy glow upon waking, you will need to establish appropriate habits. Discover tips for waking up with beautiful skin.


Advice No.1: Get sufficient sleep.

Studies have shown that limited sleep reduces skin elasticity, increases wrinkles, and can exacerbate skin conditions. Lack of sleep results in an increase in glucocorticoids, pro-inflammatory cytokines and free radicals, which will damage the skin. Furthermore, our complexion tends to become dull. This is linked to a decrease in blood circulation, responsible for the dark colour of dark circles. In line with recommendations, it is advised to sleep seven to nine hours per night for an adult to enjoy optimal sleep and limit the effects on the skin.

Advice No. 2: Avoid going to bed too late and maintain consistent sleep schedules.

Late bedtime is a common form of sleep disruption. Laiji MA and his team aimed to study the effects of a regular late bedtime on the physiological parameters of the facial skin of 219 women. The bedtime was set at 11pm. The volunteers were divided into two groups: those who went to bed early (before 11pm) and those who went to bed late (after 11pm).

The results for the group that went to bed late showed a significant decrease in skin hydration, firmness, and elasticity, while transepidermal water loss (TEWL), sebum, and wrinkles increased compared to the other group. Therefore, late bedtime significantly impaired the integrity of the skin barrier and damaged the skin structure.

All of this is linked to the circadian rhythm, synchronised with the day/night cycle. It has been reported that skin cells such as keratinocytes, dermal fibroblasts and melanocytes exhibit circadian oscillators that affect cell migration and proliferation, wound healing and tissue sensitivity to damage. Disrupting the circadian rhythm by going to bed later, and therefore exposing oneself to artificial light for longer, risksleading to poor cell renewal and the occurrence of skin damage.

It is therefore recommended to not go to bed too late, before 11pm if possible. Moreover, in order to maintain the proper functioning of your circadian rhythm, it would be sensible to keep fixed sleep schedules.

Advice No. 3: Avoid screens before going to sleep.

In another study, Eunjoo KIM and her colleagues evaluated the skin changes caused by the use of the smartphone for two hours before bedtime over seven days in 22 women without sleep problems. It was observed that their sleep deteriorated with a bedtime at two in the morning. Skin flaking increased and skin radiance decreased. However, no changes were observed in skin texture, the appearance of wrinkles, and the aspect of redness. Perhaps because the duration of the experiment was not long enough. The use of screens before sleep would lead to poor sleep quality and less radiant skin.

Once again, this situation is linked to the circadian rhythm and the blue light emitted by screens. It's important to understand that the level of melatonin, the sleep hormone, is regulated by a light-sensitive protein in our eyes, known as melanopsin. When certain wavelengths of light, particularly blue, reach melanopsin, it suppresses the production of melatonin. Reduced levels of melatonin in the blood could then slow down the onset of sleep, disrupt our body's natural sleep-wake cycle, and thus lead to the aforementioned skin effects.

Therefore, avoid exposing yourself to screens before going to sleep, preferably an hour before.

Advice No. 4: Adapt your diet.

Several foods should be avoided in the evening, as they can have an effect on sleep.

  • Caffeine. Indeed, caffeine keeps us awake by blocking adenosine, a chemical substance that promotes sleep. This will then disrupt sleep and the effects on the skin will be noticeable. Moreover, caffeine could have a diuretic effect, it triggers signals to the pituitary gland which inhibits the production of the ADH hormone, resulting in the kidneys not reabsorbing water and eliminating more through urine. The skin will therefore be dehydrated and drier. However, caffeine would only have this effect in large consumption (300 mg) and the results on the subject are still unclear.

  • Alcohol. In addition to being a diuretic, alcohol can interfere with sleep. Initially acting as a "sedative" on the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits impulses between nerve cells, its progressive level decrease will increase stress and nocturnal awakenings. The skin will be impacted.

  • Foods high in fats. Consuming fatty foods before bedtime can lead to weight gain, which has been recognised as potentially causing skin distension and an increase in skin inflammations if the weight gain is significant. Moreover, fatty foods can interfere with orexin, a sleep hormone. This will then lead to an increase in awakenings during the night, which will disrupt sleep and therefore have consequences on the skin.

  • Highly sugary foods. When we consume sugary foods, the brain's reward system, the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, is activated. Dopamine, the happiness hormone, is secreted and keeps us awake. This makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep. On the other hand, foods with a high glycemic index increase blood glucose levels, which stimulates the production of insulin. Insulin promotes the absorption of glucose by adipocytes. The visceral adipose tissue then produces inflammatory cytokines, such as leptin and TNF-α, leading to skin inflammation.

Furthermore, studies have shown that eating excessively before bedtime can increase the time it takes to fall asleep.

In summary, ensure to not overeat before bedtime. Avoid processed foods, those high in fats and sugars, alcohol, and caffeine. Opt for foods that promote the secretion of melatonin such as tomatoes, pistachios, and grapes, as well as foods rich in calcium and vitamin B6, vegetables, and legumes. Your sleep will improve and consequently, so will your skin. Don't forget to drink enough water before sleeping, two glasses for instance, to counteract skin dryness.

Advice No. 5: Be mindful of your sleeping position.

The position in which you sleep can impact your skin. Indeed, the facial tissue is subjected to mechanical forces of shearing, compression, and tension during sleep on the side or on the stomach. During sleep, the skin is stretched and pulled in all directions. Taking into account the time spent sleeping and the position in which one sleeps, these forces become significant. "Sleep wrinkles" can then appear.

The advice to counteract this is somewhat limited. Indeed, one recommendation would be to sleep on your back. However, this position could bring about other health issues (sleep apnea, snoring...) and it's challenging to control your position while sleeping. In fact, it's possible that our position may change throughout the night. New research on the subject is currently underway.

Advice No. 6: Use suitable skincare products before going to sleep.

When you sleep, your skin regenerates. Cellular renewal is then accelerated at night. To optimise this and achieve a radiant complexion upon waking, it is possible to use skincare products containing active ingredients that will promote this cellular regeneration. Moreover, water loss through perspiration is higher during the night. The skin risks becoming quickly dehydrated and dry. Therefore, it is important to apply moisturising treatments before going to bed.


  • RUBIN P. A. D. & al. Age- and fatigue-related markers of human faces: an eye-tracking study. Ophtalmology (2009).

  • KORPELA R. & al. Diet promotes sleep duration and quality. Nutrition Research (2012).

  • PEIRSON S. N & al. Chapter 2 - Melanopsin phototransduction: Slowly emerging from the dark. Progress in Brain Research (2012).

  • LAMBROS V. & al. Sleep wrinkles: Facial aging and facial distortion during sleep. Aesthetic Surgery Journal (2016).

  • BARON E. D. & al. The effect of shift work and poor sleep on self-reported skin conditions: A survey of call center agents in the Philippines. Clocks and Sleep (2019).

  • KIM E. & al. A study of skin characteristics with long‐term sleep restriction in Korean women in their 40s. Skin Research and Technology (2019).

  • LEGER D. & al. Impact de la restriction aiguë de sommeil sur la peau du visage : focus sur les variations quotidiennes, le niveau de stress et l’âge des sujets. Médecine du Sommeil (2019).

  • KIM E. & al. Evaluation of changes in skin characteristics due to the poor quality of sleep caused by smartphone usage. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2021).

  • MA L. & al. Regular late bedtime significantly affects the skin physiological characteristics and skin bacterial microbiome. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2022).


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