You’re all probably familiar with the hallmarks of a bad night’s sleep – you wake up feeling groggy, disorientated and confused. You stumble towards the bathroom and yes, there’s the physical evidence – tired, puffy and dark eyes!
Your immediate reaction might be to reach for your concealer, quickly followed by a strong cup of coffee, but sometimes this just isn’t enough. That’s why today I’m here to uncover the truth about ‘beauty sleep’, what it can do for normal/combination skin and how you can get rid of those baggy eyes!
Is beauty sleep real?
The answer to this question is easy: absolutely, even if you have normal or combination skin. Sleep is a vital time of regeneration and recuperation for your body and, while you’re snoozing, some serious maintenance work gets done. Did you know, for example, that when you’re asleep your brain is able to detoxify your body 10 times faster than when you’re awake?
This detox is badly needed to help remove impurities and excess fluid that could potentially upset your skin or clog your pores. Your microcirculation even receives a noticeable boost to ensure your skin is getting a healthy flow of oxygen and nutrients. Your body also uses this time to produce more collagen, an important structural protein that is essential for healthy skin.
When sleep deprivation enters the picture, though, things can quickly go wrong. If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, your production of collagen will be inhibited resulting in weaker skin that’s more prone to sensitivity and irritation. All of those nasty impurities won’t be getting removed from your body as efficiently and that excess fluid can gather in the tissues under your eyes, causing those tell-tale bags to appear.
This is far from your only problem though. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can affect your hormonal balance, stimulating the release of cortisol, an inflammatory stress hormone.
Usually cortisol is released just before your sleep cycle ends, helping you to wake up feeling refreshed and invigorated for the day ahead. However, your body also releases cortisol as part of your fight-or-flight reflex, shutting down certain functions that are deemed unnecessary for your short-term survival, such as your digestive system, in order to focus on areas of your body that are pivotal to helping you survive a fight.
Your blood vessels will dilate so that nutrients and oxygenated blood can be redirected more efficiently from your skin to your heart and lungs, as these organs are more important when it comes to your immediate survival. This means your skin also won’t be getting the nutrients that it needs to repair itself and, since the skin under yours eyes is so delicate, those dilated blood vessels will appear as dark circles.
How to get rid of those dark circles!
I know I’ve certainly had my share of late nights and early starts and I’ve always noticed that my skin feels worse for wear afterwards. There’s definitely something to be said for getting your allotted 8 hours a night, but sometimes this just isn’t always feasible and the delicate skin under your eyes will certainly suffer for it.
Choose your concealer carefully!
When it comes to normal or combination skin, the make-up you choose still matters as the wrong products can leave your skin dry, oily or more prone to irritation!
That’s why I’d always recommend a natural brand that keeps harsh chemicals and parabens far, far away from their products! PHB Ethical Beauty are, as their name may suggest, a pioneering, ethical beauty company that specialise in handcrafted skincare and beauty products. New to Jan de Vries, PHB impressed us with their passion for plant-powered and compassionate products that aim to ‘improve your skin, your health and your wellbeing’ - you won’t find any phthalates or abrasive toxins here!
Their Cream Concealer Stick is surprisingly ideal for normal/combination skin thanks to PHB’s unique approach to tackling dark circles. Rather than focusing on just covering up the problem, PHB try to treat dark circles and puffy eyes at their source, infusing your skin with a blend ultra-moisturising Coconut oil and antioxidant Jojoba oil. This helps to combat free-radical damage and allows your skin to repair itself so it becomes stronger, brighter and healthier in appearance.