A deadline to catch, a night cap with friends. Every time you cut back on your sleep in favour of other more ‘important’ activities, your skin is paying the price. It may not show immediately (or it may) but lack of sleep will eventually rear its ugly head on your complexion given enough time. Here’s how a lack of sleep can do a number on your skin.


Sleep is food for your brain, body, and skin, and if you don’t get enough, you deprive each of its nourishment. In fact, sleep is vital for the normal functioning of our skin and body. During a good night’s rest, your body works to remove dead blood cells and dead brain cells, and clears the pathways for new synapses to take place so that new blood and brain cells can replace old ones. In addition, your brain also gets rid of 60 percent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep. This is why lack of sleep gives you that groggy, hungover feeling the next day, whereas a good night’s sleep gives your mind and body a well-rested feel.


  1. Serious Health Problems

People don’t realise the extent that lack of sleep can impact the body. Over time, sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia also have another health condition. Poor health is often reflected in your skin and body, thus starting a chain reaction that negatively impacts you.

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People who don’t get enough shut eye often finds that their skin becomes increasingly imbalanced, which leads to a dehydrated complexion, redness, and breakouts. Not only does not getting enough sleep negatively affect your body, it affects the moisture levels in your skin, decreasing them and also alterin your complexion’s pH levels, which is why your skin looks less youthful and has less of a glow.

When your skin’s pH levels drop, they create an imbalance, causing your skin to not be able to produce the moisture it needs, so it makes it look drier. It can also create unnecessary redness, leaving your skin uneven and even trigger breakouts. While using skincare products such as Sleep mode before bed that exfoliate dead cells and keep your skin at a slightly acidic pH (so it keeps moisture in and bacteria out) can help optimise your skin, getting enough sleep is also vital.

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This isn’t an old wives’ tale. You do develop dark circles when you don’t sleep well. As you sleep, your body’s cells regenerate, especially at skin level. Lack of sleep is the no. 1 reason your blood vessels dilate, which leads to dark circles. The remedy? Get enough sleep to reverse these aging signs. For a quick fix, apply a chilled (keep it in the fridge if you know you’re going to be out late), skin-tightening eye cream vital antioxidants, under your eyes and then conceal the dark cast with a cover-up that matches your skin tone perfectly in a triangular formation.

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Lack of sleep can make your lymphatic system sluggish, leading to water retention around the eyes. If you lie on your stomach, liquid can pool in the trough of your under-eye throughout the night and cause puffiness that you won’t want to wake up to. To minimise puffy eyes, prop up your head with two pillows instead of one to keep the fluid in your body flowing downward, instead of pooling under your eyes. If you’re reading this and currently have under-eye bags, grab two soaked green tea bags and rest them under your eyes for five minutes to help reduce the puffiness.

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