We caught up with Dr Anita Sturnham, GP specialising in dermatology and founder of Decree Skincare to discuss the importance of an evening skincare routine before a good night’s sleep.
Skincare & Sleep
What happens to our skin when we sleep?
Night-time is the ‘rest and repair’ time for every single cell in our bodies, including our skin. We know that at night the PH of our skin raises, the epidermal barriers weaken, blood flow increases, sebum production reduces and keratinocyte proliferation increases. The skin is in recovery and rebuilding mode at night and more at risk of moisture loss at night.
How can PM skincare support our skin’s natural repair period?
If we add in rejuvenating skin care at this time of day, it can act in synergy with our skin’s supercharged healing abilities at night. Our epidermal barriers become weaker overnight and PH can become more alkaline, leaving skin prone to transepidermal moisture loss and dehydration and sensitivity. This key physiological change emphasises the importance of using PH balanced skincare and a nourishing and barrier supportive night cream.
What kind of products should we be using on our skin before bed?
At night time, your skin enjoys ingredients that act as building blocks for this repair process. Peptides, Stem Cells, Retinoids and pigment stabilising ingredients, such as Alpha Arbutin and Resveratrol are beneficial in the nighttime steps, as are hydrating ingredients such as Vitamin E, Hyaluronic acid and Squalane, which can restore skin hydration overnight. These more active ingredients are also best delivered in serum form and can be found in our Decree Treat Tincture, supported by the thicker textured Decree Peptide Emollient Veil +.
How important is sleep when it comes to immune function?
I always take a look at someone’s sleep patterns as part of my assessment of their immune function. I track this with devices such as Whoop and Oura. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep impairs the disease-fighting ability of a type of infection fighting lymphocyte, called T-cells.
Anita's Top Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
- No blue light exposure after 7pm. That includes TVs and phones!
- Eat dinner earlier. Try to eat around 6-7pm at least 4 days a week.
- Take a bath or shower. Not only is this a moment you can turn into a self-care switch off, when you jump out, your temperature drops and this is helpful in the stimulation of your sleep hormones.
- Magnesium before bed - I totally rate this as a nighttime supplement. Magnesium helps by regulating the neurotransmitters and ultimately calming your nervous system in readiness for sleep. It also works alongside melatonin, a hormone your body produces naturally, to control your body clock and sleep-wake cycles.
Priya's Top Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
- I like to sleep with the window slightly open (even in the winter) as fresh circulating air is good for breathing and sleep.
- I of course wear lightweight cotton PJs from our collection and pair this with cotton bedding - this sets you up for a comfortable night’s sleep.
- Avoiding caffeine in the afternoon is a good tip and personally, I avoid alcohol these days (for many reasons) but one of the benefits I have experienced is more restorative sleep.
- Finally the more regular you can make your sleep the better, going to bed at the same time each night and aiming for a good 8 hours (not always possible I know) will really help with regulating sleep cycles.