Why Does My Skin Look Better in the Morning?

Have you ever wondered why your skin glows in the morning? You look at yourself in the mirror, and you notice that your skin is bright and flawless. It’s going to be a good day. So you get your skincare routine done, your makeup is on fleek, and you leave the house. Then you slowly notice that as the day passes by, your skin is not the smooth and flawless face that you woke up to. What happened to that AM glow?

Why does my skin look better in the morning? Sleep is the main reason why you wake up with smooth and supple skin. While you’re asleep, your body repairs and reenergizes your skin, much like it does to other body organs. Sleeping helps you recover from the stresses of the day, enabling you to wake up feeling refreshed.

Getting enough sleep dramatically contributes to our appearance. Here are some of the things sleep does to your skin:

Girl Morning

1. Even Fluid Distribution

Dermatologists explain that when we are sleeping, the fluid inside our bodies evenly distribute because we’re lying down. If you’ve observed an improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s probably the extra fluid that helped fill it in during your sleep.

These fluids are called dermal fluids, located outside our cells. When we get up and do all sorts of activities in our day, gravity pulls down these dermal fluids, traveling between the cells. And because we’re standing or sitting most of the time, the fluid is drawn away from our face. It then settles more into our lower extremities. As a result of this fluid drainage, our dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines become more visible, and our youthful morning skin fades away.

2. Rebuilds Collagen and Elasticity

Sleep is the ultimate maintenance function of the body. Aside from repairing bodily functions in organs such as the brain and heart, the body also restores the skin. During sleep, new skin cells are produced, which go to the skin’s surface and eventually leading to the shedding of dead skin. Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid – the three essential molecules that maintain the plumpness and elasticity of the skin – are also produced and built during sleep.

Getting enough sleep also helps your skin recover from environmental stressors such as pollution and the UV rays from the sun. These environmental factors damage the skin, speeding up the aging process, and causing breakouts. But during your sleep, the body repairs some of the damage that your skin has endured throughout your day.

3. Reduces Stress, Improves Appearance

Girl Smiling

Stress from work or whatever that’s going on in our life often shows on our appearance. Dull skin, dark circles, messy hair, and irritable disposition are some of the classic signs of stress.

When we get the sleep we need, we allow our body to reset and repair itself from the stress that we encounter during the day. The hormone responsible for all this repairing and maintenance is the human growth hormone, or medically known as somatotropin. It works by stimulating growth, regeneration, and reproduction of the cells in our body. If we are sleeping enough, we recover from the stress that may have affected us physically, mentally, end emotionally.

On the other side, lack of sleep increases the production of a stress hormone called cortisol, which is like our body’s built-in alarm system. Cortisol is also responsible for fueling our fight-or-flight response. With increased cortisol levels, our body is not able to function normally. This appears on our skin as well because cortisol breaks down collagen. 

Sleeping enough reduces stress, leading to improvement in our skin and in the way we approach our day-to-day life.

4. Allows Facial Muscles to Rest

When we are up and about doing our routine activities, we do a lot of movements with our face. We talk, smile, frown, eat, scrunch up our foreheads, and do all kinds of facial expressions. With the repeated movements of our facial muscles, our fine lines or wrinkles are deepened and more pronounced. But when we sleep, we give our face some time to rest from all the motions it goes through every day.

5. Replenishes the Skin

One’s hydration levels are rebalanced during sleep, producing more moisture in the skin and thereby resulting in an improved texture. When the skin is hydrated and moisturized, the appearance of puffy eye bags and dark circles reduces.

But while sleep is a natural moisturizer, you should still not skip the topical moisturizers that your skin needs. Be sure that your skin is properly hydrated and moisturized with the right topical skincare products.

6. Prevents Skin Problems

Lack of sleep also results in increased inflammation in the body, wreaking havoc on your skin. Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid break down when the inflammation levels are high. When this occurs, you are more prone to blemishes, blackheads, and acne.

Also, immune-related skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis may aggravate further due to the inflammation caused by sleep deprivation. Your immune system drops when you are sleep-deprived, causing skin problems to appear or worsen.

Getting enough hours of sleep helps prevent these skin problems by allowing the proper recovery process to complete. Since sleep helps our body recover, it keeps our immune system functioning and on guard for any health issues.

If you’re still curious about what happens to the skin during sleep, check out this video:

Tips to Sleep Your Way to Glowing Skin

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep hours. Around 7-9 hours is the amount of sleep that adults need per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
  • Don’t skip your night-time skincare routine. While sleep takes good care of your skin, you still shouldn’t skip a skincare routine at night. Boost the significant effects of sleep by cleansing your face and applying a moisturizer or serum. And no, you don’t need the most expensive products on the market. As long as it gives your skin vitamins and other nutrients, it will significantly improve your skin. Plus, slapping on an excellent skin product at night can be more effectively absorbed as you’re not exposed to an external environment that can strip it off.
  • Use a satin or silk pillow. Cotton pillowcases may be rough on the skin, resulting in dry skin or fine lines over time. A satin or silk pillowcase minimizes skin irritation and reduces the development of wrinkles, crow’s feet, and fine lines. Try this one (view on Amazon); it comes in different colors so you can choose one that matches your sheets. 
  • Use gentle detergents for your laundry. Harsh laundry detergents can be irritating to the skin, especially if they formulate with strong fragrances. Rubbing your face onto pillowcases washed with harsh detergents increases the risk of skin problems and irritation.
  • Don’t sleep where you’ll be exposed to the sun in the morning. Pull your curtains or draw the blinds, so you won’t have the sun shining on your face when you wake up. As you probably know, the sun is one of the most significant factors that cause damage to our skin. Sleeping in a darker room not only prevents exposure to harmful UV rays but also helps to ensure a deeper sleep. You can also get blackout curtains (view on Amazon) to help you sleep soundly through the night.
  • Practice some relaxation techniques. Some of us have trouble sleeping at night due to various reasons. It might be you’re browsing on social media late at night, checking some e-mails, or just binge-watching. These activities shorten your sleep hours, resulting in not enough time for your body to fully repair itself. To help prepare your body for rest, you can practice some relaxation techniques such as listening to relaxing music, deep breathing, or meditation. Having a few drops of sleep aromatherapy oil (view on Amazon) on your pillows or bed sheets may also induce relaxation and help you drift off to sleep.

Conclusion – Why Does My Skin Look Better in the Morning?

Indeed, sleep is a significant reason why your skin looks better in the morning. During sleep, your entire body goes into repair and recovery mode. This does wonders for the skin as new cells produce and collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid builds. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is a must for adults every night to allow the body to complete the recovery stage fully. Sleep replenishes the skin’s moisture, reduces stress, improves appearance, allows your muscles to rest, and prevents breakouts and skin problems.

The benefits of sleep for the skin are proof that a skincare routine is not all there is to glowing, beautiful skin. Your skin requires rest from all the stresses it goes through every day. It might not seem obvious how external factors affect it, but the skin is our largest organ and our first barrier of defense. It needs repair and recovery time, too. So if you want to look fresh and glowing when you wake up, it’s as simple as getting enough sleep.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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