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Expert EXACTLY reveals what a lack of sleep does to your skin and complexion

While the effects of too little sleep on your mood are well documented, what too few hours of closed eyes do to your skin is something not many people talk about.

But not clocking your eight hours has a catastrophic impact on the skin, causing everything from dark circles to wrinkles to dehydration.

In conversation with FEMAIL, sleep expert from Sydney Olivia Arezzolo revealed exactly what a lack of sleep does to your skin – and how to combat it.

Speaking to FEMAIL, Olivia Arezzolo (pictured) in Sydney revealed exactly what lack of sleep does to your skin - and how to combat it

Speaking to FEMAIL, Olivia Arezzolo (pictured) in Sydney revealed exactly what lack of sleep does to your skin – and how to combat it

Dark circles and / or puffiness are one of the first things you notice in your skin after a bad night's sleep (Olivia pictured after six hours of sleep)

Dark circles and / or puffiness are one of the first things you notice in your skin after a bad night's sleep (Olivia pictured after six hours of sleep)

Dark circles and / or puffiness are one of the first things you notice in your skin after a bad night’s sleep (Olivia pictured after six hours of sleep)

DARK CIRCLES AND EYE BAGS

Dark circles and / or eye bags are one of the first things you notice in your skin after a bad night’s sleep.

And while these things can be hereditary to some degree, sleeping less than eight hours makes the problem even more aggravating.

“Thanks to the thin blood vessels around your eyes, everything shows up here – including how dilated the vessels are,” Olivia told FEMAIL.

Swollen bags under the eyes occur when tired skin retains water in an attempt to stay hydrated.

“Not getting enough sleep increases dilation, which is exactly why your panda eyes appear,” said Olivia.

Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night and drink plenty of water to keep the sensitive eye area hydrated.

The second thing that happens when you don't get enough sleep is that your skin doesn't get enough collagen; collagen is produced when you sleep (Olivia pictured after four hours of sleep)

The second thing that happens when you don't get enough sleep is that your skin doesn't get enough collagen; collagen is produced when you sleep (Olivia pictured after four hours of sleep)

The second thing that happens when you don’t get enough sleep is that your skin doesn’t get enough collagen; collagen is produced when you sleep (Olivia pictured after four hours of sleep)

LACK OF COLLAGEN GROWTH

The second thing that happens when you don’t get enough sleep is that your skin doesn’t get enough collagen.

When you sleep, your skin produces new collagen, which prevents wrinkles and sagging, leading to premature aging and bad skin.

According to research, anyone who sleeps less than five hours a night has 30 percent less recovery from their skin barrier.

“This reduces smoothness and leads to matte, lifeless skin,” said Olivia.

“Researchers also found that those who slept for five hours showed more signs of intrinsic aging, such as wrinkles – and were less satisfied with their appearance.”

According to research, anyone who sleeps less than five hours a night has a 30 percent reduced skin barrier repair (Olivia pictured after eight hours of sleep)

According to research, anyone who sleeps less than five hours a night has a 30 percent reduced skin barrier repair (Olivia pictured after eight hours of sleep)

According to research, anyone who sleeps less than five hours a night has a 30 percent reduced skin barrier repair (Olivia pictured after eight hours of sleep)

WRINKLES AND DEHYDRATION

It’s not just a lack of collagen and matte skin that you can expect from lack of sleep, but even fine lines and wrinkles.

Sleep research has terrifyingly shown that if you sleep six hours instead of eight hours, you’re 45 percent more likely to get wrinkles and fine lines.

“Collagen, the key factor in determining how firm or loose your skin looks, is determined by a hormone called growth hormone,” said Olivia.

“Research shows that 70 percent of this is synthesized in deep sleep.”

This means that without deep sleep you endanger 70 percent of this hormone, which means you can watch up to 70 percent older.

“Think fine lines, wrinkles and lifeless skin at night,” said Olivia.

On the contrary, if you sleep for eight hours, you can experience scratched pores, a more consistent complexion.

DEHYDRATION

Dehydration is also due to poor sleep, and not just the type that makes you thirsty the next day.

“With the stress hormone cortisol that increases insufficient sleep by 37 percent after just one night of sleep, this will reduce your hydration levels – and make your skin look dull and dry,” said Olivia.

ACNE

Finally, acne is a side effect of poor sleep, especially since your immune system is compromised.

“Inflamed, blotchy skin is the result of toxins lurking in your body – which is more likely if your immune system is compromised,” Olivia explained.

“One of the main reasons your immunity is suffering is a lack of sleep, since 70 percent of natural killer cells – which detect and destroy invading pathogens – are produced in deep sleep.”

The expert said that if you notice that your skin suddenly looks redder and you have more black and white heads, you may want to look at your sleep pattern as the reason why.

To learn more about Olivia Arezzolo, visit her website here. You can also find her on Instagram here.

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