I don’t know about you but I often find that my skin looks better on a hangover or after a late night out. Maybe it's post-beer goggles?
Yet when I don’t sleep I feel like I’m constantly looking at myself in high definition – and it ain’t pretty, trust me.
So is a bad habit like alcohol not as bad for my skin as lack of sleep? I can't find any scientific evidence to prove that a little over-indulgence may be good (temporarily) for my complexion which tends to get a little oily.
Unfortunately, unlike a hangover, tired skin cannot be fixed with a decent portion of greasy chips, a coke or a Red Bull.
Women’s Health notes that regular sex can grace one’s skin with a healthy glow – youthful and dewy (or is that just sweat?), no matter its tired or hungover state.
But since we a lot of us have jobs, a few hours of sex a day is not always exactly within our reach. So to the next best thing - sleep. Yes you know the one, like basic human needs (eating and breathing), this is one you don’t have to pencil into your diary.
A recent study found that people who sleep less are in fact seen as less attractive and less approachable.
“Raters were less willing to socialise with a subject who was sleep restricted. Sleep-restricted subjects were also rated as less attractive, less healthy and more sleepy compared with their well-rested selves.”
People tend to find other people who look ‘healthy’ more trustworthy and are thus more reluctant to socialise with someone who doesn’t look completely healthy, i.e. sleep deprivation often leaves one with negative physical symptoms such as puffy eyes, dull skin and dark circles. And a bad night sleep could mean an enhanced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, says Manrepeller.
“Crying, allergies and lack of sleep are common causes of puffy eyes, as well as other conditions. Puffy eyes after sleeping can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. And then dark circles occur when inflammation settles down”, says dermatologist, Dr. Nomphelo Gantsho
So, in fact, it’s more about the symptoms of sleep deprivation rather than the skin’s actual condition. Importantly Manrepeller also notes that “these symptoms of lack of sleep have nothing to do with skin function or cell turnover”.
So the ‘beauty’ of the skin is, in fact, not as much damaged or affected, rather unhealthy symptoms emerge, making us appear ‘less attractive’ to others, and in turn, less trustworthy.