There’s a reason they call it “beauty rest” ! A new study by researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center has found a link between lack of sleep and poor skin quality. Beauty giant, Estée Lauder sponsored the recent study which was presented at a dermatology meeting, this spring, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Researchers evaluated the skin of the study subjects and used “non-invasive skin challenges” such as a UV light exposure to determine skin quality. They then rated each person’s skin quality with a number system, giving higher numbers for younger looking skin.
Those who reported better sleep quality had better skin stress recovery with the testing. Recovery from sunburn was noted to be longer in poor sleepers. And poor sleepers had skin ratings that averaged more than 2 points lower (older) than those with a history of regular good quality sleep. Those who slept well also rated themselves as generally more attractive, while poor sleepers had a lower sense of self-attractiveness.
What’s more, sleep quality was seen to also impact body-mass index, a significant predictor for general health. Only 23 percent of good quality sleepers were significantly over-weight, but that figure was 44 percent for poor quality sleepers.
“This research shows for the first time that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night,” said Dr. Daniel Yarosh, who was involved with the study. “These connections between sleep and skin aging, now supported with solid scientific data, will have a profound effect on how we study skin and its functions.”
Easier said than done
Unfortunately, as anyone with sleep problems well knows, changing those night-time habits and getting a good night’s sleep, can be extremely difficult. But this study shows that it is well worth the effort to improve your sleep habits if only because you care about how you look.
While improving your sleep habits will likely improve the condition of your skin (and likely your general health), a long standing history of poor sleep habits may have already caused irreversible skin damage. But fortunately, plastic surgery may be helpful in reversing the signs of premature aging from not getting your proper “beauty sleep”. Medical skin care and laser skin resurfacing can help treat fine lines, rough texture and dark blemishes that result from long term sun exposure and photo aging, for example. And facial rejuvenation surgery (facelift, eyelid lift or browlift) can be helpful for the more extensive changes with loss of elasticity and skin laxity. When you choose plastic surgery improvements, make sure you choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to evaluate your skin condition and recommend not only an effective program of treatment but also one of prevention!
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Mary C. Herte is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is Medical Director of the Herte Center for Cosmetic Surgery.