Whether you’re still trying to get your body clock to “spring forward” in the wake of Daylight Savings or anxieties and stress around the coronavirus pandemic are keeping you up all night, many of us are finding ourselves without enough sleep these days. Along with a compromised immune system, decreased memory retention, weight gain, and a long list of other horrible things that come with not getting a proper night’s rest, skimping on sleep can have detrimental effects on your skin.
From wrinkles and sagging skin to dark circles and under-eye bags to acne flare-ups and general inflammation, sleeping for anything less than the seven to nine hours a night recommended by the National Sleep Foundation can wreak serious havoc on your skin, with damage appearing immediately the next morning and in the long-run. While there is, of course, no replacement for actual beauty sleep, there are luckily a number of ways to look more rested than you might actually be—even if the only people seeing you are on a Zoom call or FaceTime date.
It’s not always possible to predict how much sleep you’ll get, and often we don’t realize how little shuteye we’ll have until we’re counting the hours until our alarms sound. But on the rare occasions when you know you won’t be getting a full seven or eight hours before you even climb into bed, you can actually start fighting off tomorrow’s dark circles and puffiness today.
Overnight masks, as the name suggests, are worn while you sleep and can be a great way to deliver beneficial ingredients to skin over an extended period of time. The Moisture Lock Overnight Mask ($75) from True Botanicals, for example, is clinically proven to dramatically boost hydration and reset moisture levels using plant-derived hyaluronic acid and AC collagen pre-peptide. The mask is lightweight and won’t clog pores with the waxes found in traditional night creams, but its rich formula ensures that you will wake up glowing and refreshed, even if you didn’t get enough zzz’s.
If it’s bags and dark circles you’re worried about, under-eye patches worn throughout the night might just be the perfect solution. If you have money to spend, look no further than Clé de Peau’s Vitality Enhancing Eye Mask Supreme ($150). The mask covers not only your eyes but your entire forehead as well and calls on Iris Extract and the brand’s signature brightening ingredient, 4MSK, to deliver a smoothed, lifted, and contoured look. If the $150 Clé de Peau option isn’t in your budget, or if you want to save the six masks in each pack for truly trying times, more affordable options, like the FlashPatch Rejuvinating Eye Gels from Patchology ($50), can still offer impressive results.
Using an eye cream on a daily basis is vital to maintaining a youthful complexion in any circumstances, but it’s especially important when you’re not getting enough sleep. The skin around the eye is some of the thinnest on our bodies, and it’s therefore often the first to show signs of age or sleep deprivation, but finding the right eye cream can sometimes be a challenge. There are lots of wonderful options available to consumers, but the key is to look for one that features hyaluronic acid, retinol, peptides, antioxidants, or some combination of them.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Eye Rescue ($60) has long been a fan favorite and thanks to its time-released retinol, vitamin C, and botanical ingredients, helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines and reinvigorates skin. The antioxidant-rich Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream ($135) from Tatcha is another great choice and uses peony and honeysuckle extracts to restore elasticity and hyaluronic acid and red algae to moisturize. Murad’s new Vita-C Eyes Dark Circle Corrector ($62) delivers a high dose of vitamin C and light-reflecting micro-minerals to brighten skin around the eyes and reduce dark circles with clinically-proven results.
While a shot of espresso or double almond milk cappuccino are obvious saviors when you haven’t gotten enough rest, what many don’t realize is that topical caffeine can be miracle worker for tired skin too. Caffeine can decrease puffiness and inflammation, boost collagen production, and even reduce cellulite, and it’s a necessity for combatting tired skin head-on.
One of the best caffeine products around is from none other than cult-favorite brand The Ordinary. The Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG ($7) is lightweight and feels like a standard serum, but it contains an extremely high concentration of caffeine alongside Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s just $7! Peach & Lily’s Cold Brew Eye Recovery Stick ($28), another popular source of caffeine, helps depuff the eye area with help from vitamin C, antioxidants, and soothing turmeric, and in a stick form, it takes no time at all to apply. Just swipe and glow!
CBD is everywhere these days, from cocktails to candy, so it seemed like only a matter of time before it made its way into our skincare routines. The leafy ingredient is key to reducing inflammation and decreasing sebum production, but CBD can be a confusing space, so it’s especially important to choose the right products. “The label should include information about whether the CBD contained the product is an isolate or full spectrum,” advises New York dermatologist Hadley King, MD. “Full-spectrum CBD is generally more beneficial and more effective at much lower doses.”
Lord Jones, a leader in the CBD space that’s adored by a long list of celebs and beauty experts, recently debuted its first-ever facial moisturizer. The CBD Acid Mantle Repair Moisturizer ($75) features a 5-ceramide complex, sunflower seed, and hyaluronic acid alongside 250mg of full-spectrum CBD found in each jar, which together replenish skin barrier and deliver soft, supple skin. For a one-off, more intensive option, try MASK’s Spotless CBD Face Mask ($25), which combines manuka honey extract and helichrysum essential oil with full-spectrum CBD do reduce inflammation and promote skin renewal.
Ice, Ice, Baby
There’s one tool for fighting off the signs of sleep deprivation that everyone, whether a beauty guru or total amateur, already has in her toolbox—or rather, freezer. Ice is an unexpected skin hero but one that many top facialists and skin experts swear by. It can combat redness and acne, minimize pores, increase blood circulation, and calm inflammation, and the best part is, you can turn any beauty product into ice to enhance its existing benefits. Just pour some of your favorite serum or moisturizer into an ice tray, and reach for a cube whenever needed. You can also freeze the small spoons and tools that come with many moisturizers, including Lord Jones’s CBD Acid Mantle Repair, and use them to apply your various skin-care products.
Last but certainly not least, there’s the most important product in any makeup bag: concealer. Whether applied on its own or under foundation and other makeup, concealer is the perfect quick fix for any dark circles, and it can help illuminate eyes to look better than even the most rested. The right concealer can be hard to find, but if you find one you love, stick with it and buy in bulk. Some new fan favorites include Kosas’s Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer ($28), which comes in a lipgloss-like bottle and doubles as a skincare savior with caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, and Pat McGrath’s highly anticipated Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer ($32), which uses Vita-Serum Complex to fight the formation of wrinkles.