The Effect of Sleep and Water on Skin Aging

Outside elements like stress can contribute to bags under the eyes, or cold weather can contribute to chapped lips. But what is happening on the inside is just as big of a contributor to how your skin looks and feels on a daily basis. It also contributes in a huge way to how your skin heals and fights signs of aging. We are all trying to keep our youthful glow by slapping on sunscreen and using a nightly eye cream, but you can be doing so much more from the inside. While sleep and hydration may not seem like wrinkle fighters, they are some of the most powerful tools in your anti-aging toolbox.

What Does Hydration Do For Your Skin?

The obvious answer that it keeps it from getting dry. Keeping your cells hydrated from the inside out keeps them healthier and prevents you from having to slather yourself in lotion 24/7. And while dry skin can be anywhere from slightly irritating to extremely painful, there are other reasons that hydration shouldn’t be overlooked as a part of your anti aging beauty routine.

Does Dry Skin Cause Wrinkles?

Studies show that dry, dehydrated skin can long term cause more wrinkling [1,2,]. Yes, that means how moisturized your skin stays (from the inside out), can determine how many wrinkles you end up with. And while using a lotion helps, this isn’t the most effective or ideal way to combat dry skin. Things that go on the skin, such as oils, lotions, and chapstick should be considered a second line of defense. They can never truly heal and moisturize the skin from the outside the way getting enough water can from the inside.

How to Use Hydration to Detox Your Skin

Water is used in every cell of the body. Outside of keeping the cells hydrated so they can do their jobs, it also helps carry waste out of the cells and out of your skin.

One way to get the recommended amount of water a day is to fill a gallon jug or two half-gallon water bottles of water, and throughout the day sip on them, so you already know how much you need to drink. Another way to get your recommended water intake is to break up those larger jugs into smaller water bottles and set a timer so that it reminds you to drink one at specific points throughout the day. There are also apps that allow you to log your water intake throughout the day, so you know where you’re at.

Top Water Apps

Free Apps

Daily Water Tracker Reminder

This app not only lets you log your water intake throughout the day, but you can also set reminds. Set your goals, then sit back and tap till you reach them! It’s the best feature, it celebrates your water intake, and we can always use an extra pat on the back!

Available on iphone and Android.

Daily Drink Tracker

This app is set up to not only tell you how much you drank, but also what’s left for the day so you can plan ahead. It also shows your water intake in graphs to show your progress, and you can select other drinks besides water as well. One of the best parts is that is available on iPad and apple watch and is integrated into Apple health.

Paid Apps


This app features reminders and sets your goal based on your body stats. You can also log other types of drinks like coffee, tea, or soda water throughout the day. It also syncs with your Apple watch and iPad.

Available on iphone. Price $2.99

Is Beauty Sleep a Real Thing?

And while your body is busy using water the flush out toxins through your kidneys and keep your cells working to flush waste out of themselves [3], the majority of the healing of these cells happens at night. That means while you’re snoozing, your body is doing the rebuilding work of the cells in your body, and that includes the delicate cells that keep your face elastic and supple looking.

Even missing just a few hours of sleep a night can cause your body to fall behind on healing. In studies, where rats were extremely sleep deprived, they developed lesions on the skin which suggests a deficiency in the healing process of the skin [4].  While sleep deprivation is a known stressor, it also provides your body the time and conditions to heal itself. In human studies sleep, deprivation showed a loss of nitrogen in the body. While this might not sound alarming, in controlled studies sleep deprivation leads to a wide deterioration of body tissue, and this means that while your body is supposed to be healing its cells, without sleep cells start to deteriorate and die off [5].

Think of your eyes when you don’t sleep. The skin around then starts to look puffier, darker and sometimes can look older just after a few days of missed slumber. While some people find it hard to get the whole recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night, outside of the amazing benefits like extending your life and healing your body as a whole, you could be missing out on a powerful anti-wrinkle session that your body could be doing.

How to Get Your Beauty Sleep

One way to make sure you’re getting enough sleep is to prioritize it as if it was your favorite show at night you that wouldn’t want to miss. You manage to set the alarm and get up and go to work on time every day, so think of sleeping as your more enjoyable night job. Setting the alarm for starting your bedtime routine like washing up, changing or doing wind down activates like reading or self-care will help you turn off your electronics and get into bed. Establishing a routine, as you do in the morning to get to bed on time, is a great way to make sure you get to bed on time and get the right amount of sleep to ensure your body is doing all it can to fight signs of aging and heal your skin on a regular basis.

What Are the Best Sleep Apps?

There are sleep apps that are available to help you get your recommended sleep and can help you establish a bedtime routine as well as let you know when to get in bed, how well you slept and just how long you did as well.

There are 3 that really stand out for when you are looking to get a little extra help to fall asleep.

Sleep Better

Sleep better is a Runtastic app and I love this because this app monitors sleep in airplane mode. It allows for much less distraction that way. It’s also very in depth with how it tracks and helps you find your custom wake up window so that you’re waking up rested and easily.

It also helps you track what habits you have been doing during the day that are helping or not working with your sleep cycle to help you make changes to get the best sleep possible. This is my favorite app because it helps build better habits for sleep which I think works the best for getting your beauty sleep.

Sleep Cycle

This app works by analyzing your motion through the phone by placing it on the bed. It can help determine how deeply your sleeping and what phase of sleep you are in. It’s great for monitoring irregular sleep cycles and lets you know the quality of sleep through the night. I think one of the best features is the “intelligent snooze.”

Intelligent snooze wakes you up when you are in the best phase of sleep for an easy gradual wake up call up until your desired wake up time. It’s a nice change from the jarring alarm most people use.


This app is rated very highly and focuses on mediation for overall well being as well as sleep. If you want to know more about how meditation can help you in your daily life or just a quick how to mediate you can check out our guest blog post from Mad Wellness. The free version of this app contains a 7 day meditation and a free sleep story to help lull you into a deep and restful sleep. If you’re interested in meditation in both your everyday life and in creating deeper sleep this app is for you.

Anti-aging isn’t just in an expensive bottle at the beauty store. Take care to hydrate and sleep well on a regular basis so that you can heal your skin and keep it youthful from the inside out. While beauty creams and treatment can help with anti-aging, the best treatments start from the inside.

If you, like so many people, struggle to drink enough water and get enough sleep take advantage of the many free apps there are out there to help you build healthy anti-aging beauty habits. The best part is most are free and you can try them all until you find one that is right for you. The app that’s right is the one that actually helps you drink more water and get more sleep!