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sleep your way to healthier skin

Your consciousness may clock out when your head hits the pillow, but it's during sleep that many internal body functions, including those that keep skin looking healthy, shift into overdrive.

DNA repair, cellular detox and cellular production all rev up while we lie idle between the sheets. “The body uses sleep time for internal housekeeping,” explains Annet King, Director of Global Education Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute. “This is when we process nutrients, detoxify, renew and recharge, so giving your body ample time to accomplish all this is critical for keeping your skin — not to mention your overall health — in peak condition."

Bottom line: If you’re not getting enough sleep — an average of seven hours a night — you are depriving your body of its requisite downtime. This accelerates the skin aging process and, as King says, “If your body is chronically deprived of sleep, the effects become physically and visibly noticeable.”

During the day, skin is busy fighting off invaders while defending against and neutralizing environmental causes of stress, but at night, while we sleep and blood flow increases, skin switches from protection mode into rapid-repair mode. So if we want our best skin ever, it’s important to do all we can to maximize its recovery time.

The good news is that reaping the benefits here is easy; you don’t have to embark on an intense workout regimen, eat macrobiotics or do much at all! King recommends avoiding caffeine after 4:00 pm, exercising or doing yoga in the evening, eating a healthy meal before 7:00 pm, and sleeping in a cool, dark room (no cell phones!) to help ease your passage to dreamland.

For healthy, glowing skin by morning, Double Cleanse your face to wash away the day's excess oil and grime, then apply a targeted treatment like Overnight Repair Serum prior to your nightly moisturizer. When your skin is free of barriers like sunscreen and makeup, it is prepped to better receive the highly concentrated ingredients found in serums. Overnight Repair Serum contains skin-nourishing essential oils and antioxidant-rich plant extracts that help protect skin from dryness and dehydration while peptides and seaweeds help stimulate collagen to promote firmness.

As King points out, you'll know whether your better-sleep, better-skin regimen is working by looking in the mirror. “Well-rested skin looks exactly that. It will look plumper and more hydrated, with a brighter, more even tone.” You know, the things dreams are made of!

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