Your skin cells pull a Jekyll & Hyde routine at night. Wrap your head around this: your circadian rhythm -- the biological process of sleep and wakefulness that takes place over a 24-hour cycle -- turns certain genes on and off over the course of a day. "It's about a 10 percent change from day to night," says Daniel Yarosh, Senior Vice President of Science Research at Estée Lauder. "That's a bigger difference than genetic differences between ethnicities." So you're literally a different person when you're awake than when you're asleep -- and it's especially apparent in your skin.
During the day, your skin is working to protect itself from things like sun, wind, and pollution. Skin is at a higher pH at this time, and it produces more oil, explains New York City dermatologist Jeanette Graf, MD. "When you sleep, your skin changes -- it goes into renewal mode," she says. There's more blood circulation and less oil production while it repairs all the damage it incurred during the day. On a cellular level, your skin needs sleep to recharge.
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