You’ve probably noticed that it’s easier to look your best after a good night’s sleep. But, exactly what’s less attractive about your face when you’re tired? What “issues” do you need to compensate for if you don’t want it to show?
Researchers in the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University are studying exactly this question. They note that
Because these facial regions are important in the communication between humans, facial cues of sleep deprivation and fatigue may carry social consequences for the sleep deprived individual in everyday life.
In their study they’ve found that when you don’t gift yourself with a good night’s sleep, you can expect to wake up with:
- Hanging eyelids
- Red eyes (more than any usual redness)
- Swollen eyes (more than any typical swelling)
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Paler skin
- Increased wrinkles/fine lines
- Additional droopy corners of the mouth
So, “beauty rest” really is exactly that, and when you need to look your best plan on getting a good night’s sleep. When that isn’t possible (this coming from a woman who historically has burned her candle at both ends for years), there is still hope. The good news is now you know exactly what you need to cover up so that your sleep deprivation doesn’t show!
So, what do I recommend when you can’t get enough zzzz’s to look your best?
You need a targeted approach to reverse the list above. That means:
First, use gentle exfoliation and deep hydration to instantly brighten your complexion and plump up fine lines and wrinkles.
My favorite facial exfoliating scrub is Replenix Exfoliating Scrub. I can’t tell you how many days this has been my morning savior when I see tired, sallow, and fine-line-wrinkled me looking back in the mirror after a night of waking up with some 3am “big idea” that won’t let me fall back asleep.
For instant plumping hydration, I recommend a product that is rich in hyaluronic acid (because it brings 19% of its weight in water into your outer skin layer for instant plumping, kind of like filling up a water balloon!). My favorite hyaluronic acid-rich product is my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy, which is loaded with hyaluronic acid. It’s also loaded with more active green tea antioxidants than any other product I’ve ever seen and these will help your stressed skin in their own way. Apply my Green Tea Skin Therapy right after washing with the Replenix Exfoliating Scrub.
To lock in the moisture brought in by the hyaluronic acid, apply a moisturizer on top of the Green Tea. Your sunscreen may have sufficient moisturizer in it. If not, then layer a moisturizer under your sunscreen. (Remember, I only recommend mineral zinc oxide sunscreens for trusted anti-aging sun protection.)
My favorite moisturizer and sunscreen options include:
Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream, which will both moisturize and give you perfect sun protection (needed year round).
Or, my Day Creams for either normal or dry skin, or one of my All Natural Face and Body Moisturizers followed by one of my trusted mineral zinc oxide sunscreens matched for your skin type.
Second, target the eye issues.
You need treatments that counter the swollen and hanging eyelid skin and the dark circles and eye redness. You also need a really good artistic trick for color correction.
My favorite eye area remedies include:
#1, Tea bag or cucumber soaks. It’s a time-honored trick that works for eyelid skin swelling/hanging and overall eye redness. It’s relaxing too. To do the soaks, you need to four thinly sliced rounds of cucumber or boil four bags of green or black tea then chill them quickly in the fridge in ice water until cold. Sit back with your head supported but above your heart, close your eyes and place the damp (not sopping wet) cucumber slices or tea bags on your eyes for 10 minutes. Change them as they warm, re-chilling the ones you just removed. Relax while the swelling and redness subside.
#2, Replenix Eye Repair Cream followed by the right under-eye concealer.
Replenix Eye Repair Cream is packed with everything known by science to work for under-eye bags, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. It has the right amount of arnica, retinol, green tea polyphenols, and peptides for delicate eye skin. It’s a brilliant blend of skin care science and nature in my opinion. It also makes a great base for your concealer.
Understanding the art of color correction will help you to a masterful job concealing your under-eye circles. Dark circles are usually more purple than red in color so use concealers with more yellow hues as yellow covers purple best (green hues cover red).
For my fair skin, my trick is to brush on my Antique Beige Baked Mineral Powder over my Replenix Eye Cream and Suntegrity Sunscreen. Normally the Antique Beige is just a little too yellow for the rest of my skin but it’s perfect to counter purple/blue circles. I may also dust my Simply Beige Powder on top and on all my facial skin. My Baked Mineral Makeup has mica brighteners to help throw light and lessen any shadowing from age induced under eye volume loss (a normal consequence of life at my delicate age). This trick works well for me when my sleep did not!
For the sagging mouth consequences of sleep deprivation we’re just going to need to smile more. We’ll feel better on the inside too because sporting a smile helps lift our spirits. (Of course, if age and volume loss is causing chronic mouth sagging there’s nothing like a little filler injection at the corners of the mouth in the marionette lines using Juvederm to give a nice and natural upturn to the edges of the mouth. It’s one of those simple cosmetic procedures that makes a very real, but subtle, difference.)
What’s the bottom line with sleep deprivation and your appearance?
You and I both need our beauty sleep. Make a pact with yourself to give yourself a full 8 hours of sleep every night. It will seriously enhance your beauty and does wonderful things for your vitality and internal health too. When our sleep fails us though, there are some nice tricks to target the specific tell tale signs on our face.
Sundelin T; Lekander M; Kecklund G; Van Someren EJW; Olsson A; Axelsson J. Cues of fatigue: effects of sleep deprivation on facial appearance. SLEEP 2013;36(9):1355-1360.
Axelsson J, Sundelin T, Ingre M, Van Someren EJ, Olsson A, Lekander M., Beauty sleep: experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep deprived people. BMJ. 2010 Dec 14;341:c6614.
Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Hiya Images/Corbis