Skin feeling dehydrated from lack of sleep and alcohol? This skincare guide can help

Written by Stylist Beauty Team

Skin feeling a little dull? Kickstart 2021 with some self-care through your skincare routine.

We’ve kicked off 2021 slow and steady. Casting aside those ‘New Year, new me’ resolutions, instead, we’re all just trying to be a bit kinder to yourself. For some, this could include how you treat your skin. 

After all: between long walks in the blistering cold, finishing off the last bits of Quality Street and binge-watching Bridgerton, it’s nice to give your skin a bit of TLC. Here, we explain how…

Tired skin

If you have gotten into the habit of staying up past 3am, it could have had an impact on your skin. “When you’ve had fewer than eight hours of sleep, skin can appear as dull and lifeless as you feel,” explains consultant dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto. In fact, a U.S. study revealed that sleeping fewer than five hours or less per night often can slow cell turnover and limit the repair processes that usually happen as you snooze.

In the short-term skin will look dull but in the long-term, this can cause more fine lines, uneven pigmentation, and sagging skin. Pep it up with brightening vitamin C or a chemical exfoliant AHA like a glycolic or lactic acid.

“The chemical action removes the layer of dead skin cells that are hiding fresher skin underneath, which is brighter and more evenly toned,” Dr Mahto says. “It instantly brings blood to the surface of the skin making it look pinker and healthier.”

  • Try: The INKEY List Lactic Acid

    Shop The INKEY List Lactic Acid at Cult Beauty, £7.99

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  • Try: Beauty Pie Dr Glycolic Pore-Purifying Glow Toner

    Shop Beauty Pie Dr Glycolic Pore-Purifying Glow Toner at Beauty Pie, £11.47 for members and £30 for non-members

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Neglected skin

Even if you aren’t wearing much make-up at the moment, moisturiser and the daily grime that comes into contact with the skin on your face daily can form a layer over skin.

This can prevent the cell turnover that should be happening as you sleep and clog pores, possibly resulting in acne. What’s more? That investment serum or moisturiser you pat on top won’t be able to cut through the grime and work as hard as it could be – if at all.

“It’s a great idea to swipe a product with prebiotics over skin the following morning to feed your skin’s good bacteria that will get rid of the acne-causing nasties,” explain Dr Marie Drago, a pharmacist, member of the French Society of Cosmetic Science and founder of Gallinée skincare. “They also help to reduce any redness and inflammation that occur if pimples are already brewing.”

“Lactic and acetic acid will also get rid of the dead skin cells that can block pores and lower the skin’s pH to prevent acne bacteria growing.” 

  • Try: Gallinée Prebiotic Face Vinegar

    Shop Gallinée Prebiotic Face Vinegar at lookfantastic, £18.40

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  • Try: Lumene Nordic Hydra [Lähde] Moisturising Prebiotic Oil-Cocktail

    Shop Lumene Nordic Hydra [Lähde] Moisturising Prebiotic Oil-Cocktail at lookfantastic, £24.90

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Post-alcohol skin

As well as making you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus the next day, alcohol dehydrates skin. Look for products that contain humectants. They not only inject moisture into skin, they also form an invisible seal on top to keep it there and prevent transepidermal moisture loss. 

The sugar, whether from margaritas or mince pies, can also affect your skin. In a process called glycation, the sweet stuff attaches to proteins in the bloodstream, forming new molecules that damage both collagen and elastin – the skin’s support system that keeps skin looking plump and bouncy. 

To give your skin a boost you can ingest collagen or try an at-home facial massage to stimulate fibroblast cells (that make up collagen) to reverse this. 

  • Try: Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel

    Shop Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel at Boots, £14.99

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  • Try: Hum Nutrition Collagen Love

    Shop Hum Nutrition Collagen Love at Cult Beauty, £44 for 90 capsules

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Image: Unsplash

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