4. 3. 2021

English version | Skin-colored dreams

by Ana Saldanha


It turns out that Sleeping Beauty had the most amazing skin since apparently, to achieve gorgeous glowing skin, sleep is in fact the best medicine.

We already talked about the importance of good sleeping habits for our health, both physical and mental, and wellbeing. And we also talk a lot about the importance of a good nighttime skincare routine. Now is the time to talk about these two subjects work together to create what we call beauty sleep. Even though it looks like a myth similar to eating spinach to get strong, beauty sleep has been studied, and everything points to it being extremely important to make sure our skin can complete its recovery cycle. Doctor RitaTravassos (@dra.ritatravassos on Instagram) is a dermatologist at Hospital CUP Descobertas and explains to us how sleep influences beauty - and by beauty, we of course mean skin health. In the short-term, we know that sleep deprivation affects how the skin looks. Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes drier and less elastic skin, visible pores and texture, dullness, dark circles, and wrinkles. These alterations are related to less hydration, stagnation of the blood flow, increased inflammation. In the long-term, we know that perfect sleep and circadian rhythm regulation have protective effects against systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, hormonal imbalance, DNA damage, and other factors that contribute to skin aging. Having that in mind, wheater it is for immediate effect or preventing signs of aging, we should bet on beauty sleep”. These effects take place because our body enters an energy-saving mode while we sleep and produces less heat “due to higher blood flow and skin temperature”, explains the dermatologist. During the day, the skin produces more sebum, its pH is higher and the skin itself is thicker and less permeable. During the night, the skin temperature is higher, the blood flow increases and the skin is more permeable - making this the best time to apply treatments since they will be best absorbed at night. The skin also works harder at night, since the circadian clock is influenced by light variation, temperature, tides, and wind “promoting cell renewal in the night period, by increasing the keratinocytes production by 30 times and promoting DNA repairing. The imbalance of the circadian clock results in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. The consequences of this are premature and accelerated skin aging and it is also related to alterations in hair growth and coloration, she adds.

To get your beauty sleep, you can’t just lay down, close your eyes, and sleep - and therefore, nap time doesn’t count and, you can’t turn a power nap into a beauty nap. The appearance of some skin problems was studied in nightshift workers, and they related them to lower melatonin production and dysfunctional circadian rhythm”, tell us Rita. Knowing how the skin reacts and regenerates during the night, we can keep that in mind when creating our skincare routine. The specialist says that the most important part is hydration since the skin lowers its sebum production. “And this applies to face and body skin. It is proven that skin itching is more common at night because of the higher blood low and increased transepidermal water loss. That’s why it is very important to apply moisturizer to our bodies before bed (especially for people who tend to have eczema or atopic skin), says Rita. The PM is also the best time to apply treatments with actives since some of these products increase sun sensitivity. “Not only due to different skin needs during day and night, but also because some products used to prevent and fight skin aging, hyperpigmentation, melasma or acne have some ingredients that demand PM use. For example, glycolic acid and retinol treat signs of aging by stimulating collagen production, epidermal regulation, and increase cell renewal but these active substances increase photosensitivity that can cause hyperpigmentation. That’s why these products must be used during the night and we must use SPF the next morning, she explains. Next time you want to hit snooze because having an unregulated sleep schedule can’t be that bad. But if for any reason you can’t fall asleep, use that extra time to think about how you can spoil your skin in your next nighttime routine. And we for sure can help with that.


Hydrate your body and relax with the oat and lavender scent. Sleepy body lotion, € 20,95, LUSH.

Use this multitasker to hydrate, illuminate and fight signs of aging. 1ATM Retinal & Peptides Overnight mask, € 119, Allies of Skin.

With a very light gel formula (perfect for oily skin) the propolis calms and soothes angry skin. Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask, € 25,99, CosRX.

To fight dark spots and hyperpigmentation during a good night of rest. Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream, € 55.45, REN.


*Originally published in The Creativity Issue of Vogue Portugal, from march 2021.
Full credits on the print version.