Over at Compare The Treatment, Dr Natalie Blakely talks sleep and skin. Yes, it’s called Beauty Sleep for a reason!

According to a recent study, those of us who skip sleep risk appearing less attractive to others.

Just two nights of disrupted sleep are enough to make us look ‘significantly’ more ugly, a study suggests.

Dark-circled ‘panda’ eyes, a dull complexion and puffy lids can be a big turn-off when it comes to enjoying our social lives – with some people deeming a tired appearance as unhealthy as well.

Dr Natalie Blakely is an aesthetic doctor and owner of the Light Touch Clinic.

She says: ‘Sleep is so underrated. When we are younger, burning the candle at both ends is doable but, as we get older, we seem much less able to cope. The tiredness shows in our face, and especially our eyes.

Meanwhile, she suggests: ‘Panda eyes, i.e. dark circles, are caused by a plethora of reasons. In darker Asian skins, it can be caused by pigmentation. This is difficult to treat but there are skin care formulations, which can reduce the pigment in the skin. The most effective ones are prescription only, so you might have to see a cosmetic doctor.

‘The other cause of dark circles is too much cortisol in your body. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and it is what we release to activate our “flight or fight” response. The problem is that many people are chronically stressed and it starts to show in our face as dark circles.’

She suggests we look into getting our hormones tested and consider taking supplements, such as ashwaganda and Rhodiola.

Ashwagandha can calm nerves, reducing inflammation, and increasing both libido and stamina, while Rhodiola can help improve mental fatigue, overall fitness and wellbeing.

There are also some adrenal supplements on the market.

She says: ‘Eye bags can be hereditary. Take a look at how your parents are ageing. If there are noticeable eye bags on either side, there is a chance that you may inherit them. Depending on the cause, you could either find an experienced practitioner to put in some dermal filler to smooth out where the eye bag and cheek meet , if the issue is baggy skin, look at getting some fractional or radio frequency to tighten the skin again. I suggest INtracel, a combination of micro needles and radio frequency to stimulate the body to make more collagen and elastin.’

Dark circles, heavy bags, deep creases and hooded eyelid skin are hard to disguise with make up alone – but a good night’s sleep can help.

Essentially, she believes the most important change we can make if we are chronically stressed is to take a look at our lifestyle to see where we can reduce stress and get more sleep – to restore and rejuvenate not just our brains but our skin, too.

Read the article online at Compare The Treatment here.