Short On Sleep? 5 Pro Tips To Save Your Skin From Going Haywire

Photographed by Ryan KoopmansPhotographed by Ryan Koopmans.

When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.

Sleep. We all need it and often don't get enough of it, but a lack of sleep can seriously affect the look of your skin — from dark circles to puffy eyes and less-than-vibrant skin, when you're tired, you look it. After all, it's called "beauty sleep" for a reason! Here are my tips that are sure to get you looking awake and well rested, even when you're not feeling it.

Problem: Under-Eye Puffiness
Did you know that yawning from being tired is one of the causes of puffy eyes? When you yawn, it encourages your eyes to water, which creates swelling and puffiness. And, excessive yawning can actually be the equivalent to crying during a sad movie because of the fluids it creates, so before you stay up past your bedtime to watch that last show or to read just one more chapter, consider the side effects. It’s just one more reason to get a restful night of sleep.

Solution: Heat, Followed By Cold
First, take a hot shower — heat from the water dilates lymphatic vessels to help assist with drainage of fluids (wastes and toxins) that build up in vessels. When you wash your face in the shower and the water is directly hitting you with some force, this helps to stimulate excess fluids to move out of the eye area. In addition to the heat helping with the circulation, your vertical position in the shower helps drainage move out of the face area to reduce swelling. Next, when you get out of the shower, apply something cold to the eye area — this could be a bag of frozen peas, or ice cubes in a plastic bag — and hold it on the eye area for at least 10 minutes. The cold will shrink and constrict capillaries to encourage drainage and make your eyes look refreshed and rested.

Problem: Dark Under-Eye Circles
Insufficient sleep doesn’t cause dark circles, but it can make them appear worse. A lack of sleep makes the skin look dull and lifeless because of decreased circulation, and blood vessels under the skin can become more apparent.


Solution: Massage In Your Eye Cream
When applying eye cream in the morning, use circular motions to stimulate stagnant blood flow that can contribute to darkness. A good concealer doesn’t hurt, either.

Photographed by Sara KerensPhotographed by Sara Kerens.

Problem: Dull, Tired Skin
When you don't get proper sleep at night your skin can look tired because the circulation has been impaired. During waking hours, your body is upright for 16+ hours each day and from gravity, this may cause blood to move away from the facial area due to the vertical position. Sleep is a great equalizer because the body restores a balance of blood flow when lying flat. When sleep is compromised and your body doesn't have a chance to balance, the skin may lose its natural glow.

Solution: Use A Bright Blush
First, when applying moisturizer, increase the pressure of your fingertips and massage in circular motions. It’s important to focus circulation so nutrient-rich blood can deliver what it needs to the skin to make it look bright and fresh. Next, a bright pink blush color applied lightly on the apples of your cheeks will bring an instant glow to the skin. When choosing your outfit for the day, avoid wearing clothes close to your face with yellow-based colors like mustard, olive green, khaki and burnt orange, as they can make the skin appear more dull and sallow. Cool colors like pinks and purples are great to make the skin look brighter.

Problem: Breakouts
Since sleep reduces stress and stress is one of the big aggravators of acne, it's no wonder that more blemishes appear when you're sleep-deprived. Stress not only causes acne flare-ups, but also worsens the overall skin condition by inducing the adrenal glands into overproduction of cortisol, a steroid, which makes sebaceous glands produce more oil. This is the reason why during stressful periods and lack of sleep, people experiencing an increase in acne get more inflamed, puss-filled papules than simple whiteheads or blackheads. To reduce stress-induced acne, getting proper sleep is a must!


Solution: Add Salicylic Acid To Your Routine
If you can’t catch some Z’s — and fast! — this powerful ingredient gets into the pores to reduce acne-causing bacteria while also smoothing and brightening the skin. With acne, especially for adults, you never want to use harsh products and over-dry your skin. Adjusting your routine ever so slightly with one acne-fighting product may do the trick without being too aggressive. My client Demi Lovato loves Renée Rouleau BHA Clarifying Serum.

Lastly, drink a cup of peppermint tea. It is known to boost blood circulation giving your skin a vibrant glow as well as clearing your mind, when you’re exhausted and need it the most. Make getting your beauty sleep a priority and you’ll look and feel better for it!
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