Beauty rest: Look well rested with these tricks
There's a reason the handsome prince couldn't resist Sleeping Beauty. Well-rested women look better than their sleep-deprived counterparts — it's a proven fact. We asked the experts for tips on getting more sleep and faking that healthy glow when 100 years of sleep (or even eight hours) just isn't an option.
When it comes to beauty, there's actually nothing like getting enough sleep to get that fresh, well-rested look.
"The term 'beauty sleep' has been proven real more and more lately by medical researchers," says Dr. Jessica Krant, founder of Art of Dermatology on Fifth Avenue and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City.
When we don't get enough sleep, explains Dr. Krant, we experience more stress; more collagen and elastin breakdown; more skin dullness, dryness and wrinkles; more hollowness under the eyes — even more weight gain.
So how can you supercharge your slumber? Dr. Howard Murad, founder of Murad Inc., shared these tips for getting more beauty sleep:
- Focus on the positive. Every night before bed, write down three positive things to help put your mind at ease.
- Help quiet your thoughts by taking a natural sleep aide, like melatonin or gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These ingredients will help you fall asleep faster and stay in slumber longer, and they help the body to relax.
- Take supplements. Give your body what it needs to build and preserve stronger cells. Focus on supplements that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to prevent cell damage. These include amino acids; essential fatty acids; and vitamins A, B and D.
- Treat yourself to a stress-busting emotional self-care experience. A massage or hot bath before bedtime will help break the insomnia sleep cycle.
Skin care tips
If sleep still eludes you, try these dermatologist-provided skin care tips to help restore your glow.
- Eye cream. Use a peptide-containing eye cream with light-diffusing ingredients to mask dark circles, the hallmark of lack of sleep. — Dr. Katie Rodan
- Exfoliate. Dead skin tends to make the complexion look dull, gray and tired. Use a daily sonic cleansing system, exfoliating pads with glycolic or salicylic acid or a facial mask. — Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules
- Apply a warm compress. Apply a warm washcloth over your face and let it sit for 10–15 minutes. The steam will revitalize your skin and make you feel more awake. — Dr. Marina Peredo
- Cold water. Splashing very cold water on your face in the morning helps constrict the tiny blood vessels in the skin around your eyes so they will leak less fluid and start to reduce the puffiness that has accumulated overnight. It will also give a rosy, fresh glow to your cheeks that people associate with alertness. — Dr. Jessica Krant
- Cool and massage the eye area. Use a product like Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On to help reduce puffiness and wake up and revitalize tired eyes.
- Moisturize. Lack of sleep literally causes skin to be drier. A gentle, rich moisturizer will soak into the outer layers of your skin and plump up the cells so you won't look as dry and wrinkly. — Dr. Jessica Krant
Hair and makeup tips
Finally, the right makeup and hair can help conceal the effects of a rough night. Give your face a final touch-up so you can start your day looking fresh and fabulous.
- Use a water-based cream concealer. Oil-based concealers tend to separate during the day. — B. Bernadette, make-up artist, NYC
- Skip heavy makeup. Avoid (or at least minimize) foundation and heavy powder, which give your skin a sallow, dull look. A little pink blush on the "apples" of your cheeks can go a long, long way. — Dr. Katie Rodan
- Pull your hair into a ponytail. Pull hair back away from your face instead of hiding behind an unruly mess. A simple top bun or a chic ponytail will make it seem like you put time and effort into your appearance instead of just rolling out of bed. Pulling hair upward also gives your face a virtual face-lift, giving the illusion of healthy, well-rested skin. — Janelle Chaplin, Original & Mineral
Dr. Kathy Fields of Rodan and Fields says, "Sleep on your back to avoid sleep crush on your face (put a pillow under knees so you don't roll over) and use chamomile eye pillows to reduce swelling around eyes."