A study published this year in the journal Nature Cell Biology confirms a direct link between hiccups in your circadian rhythms and the skin’s ability to synthesize collagen.
“Think of sleep as food and water for your skin,” says New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD. “When you disrupt the circadian rhythms, you’re more susceptible to environmental damage. Chronic sleep deprivation can exacerbate acne and inflammation, and persistently high levels of cortisol will break down collagen.”
While 25 percent of skin aging can be attributed to genetics, a whopping 75 percent is influenced by epigenetics, or environmental and lifestyle factors like sleep. When beauty company Estée Lauder commissioned a study to examine the relationship between poor sleep quality and accelerated skin aging, the results, published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology in 2014, prompted the brand to reformulate its iconic Advanced Night Repair Complex, which originally launched in 1982. The most dramatic change to the serum is a new “activator” (a blend of peptides and yeast extract) linked to the discovery of a tiny microsignaling molecule. “[In studies,] when we decreased the level of this molecule, skin’s natural nightly repair signal also slowed down,” says Estée Lauder’s Nadine Pernodet, PhD, vice president of Skin Biology and BioActives Global Research and Development. The new activator is designed to send more of those skin-rejuvenating signals.