You know that getting a good night of beauty sleep is essential for looking your best. But sometimes, you have to fake it.
Whether you’re stressed out, overloaded with work, or are just guilty of sleep procrastination (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us), falling short on shut-eye can leave your skin sallow, and your eyes dark and puffy. Which isn’t exactly a great look.
But you don’t have to spend the day looking like an extra from The Walking Dead. And you don’t need to pile on cakey concealers or color correctors, either. Instead, try the simple, natural, and fast refreshers that these pros swear by.
Let Magnesium Work its Magic
Lack of sleep adds to stress levels and increases inflammation. As a result, your eyes look puffy, and your skin doesn’t look fresh. But magnesium is known as the anti-inflammatory mineral and the anti-stress mineral. It plays a role in oxygen uptake, electrolyte balance, and energy production—so it’s a natural detoxifier. Getting enough magnesium is important for sleep.
Take a quick bath with magnesium salts. Not only will it soothe overly tired muscles, it will lower inflammation to minimize puffiness.
If you have time, take a quick bath with magnesium salts. Not only will it soothe overly tired muscles, it will lower inflammation to minimize puffiness. Another option? Add powdered magnesium citrate (it’s one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium) to a mug of hot water and sip throughout the day.
–Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health
Hydrate, Exfoliate, and Massage
I work in the beauty industry, so I have to put my best face forward everyday—whether I’m well rested or not. When I haven’t slept well, I start my day by drinking 20-30 ounces of room temperature or slightly chilled lemon water. Water wakes up the body, helps flush out toxins, helps nix puffiness. When I hop in the shower, I focus on exfoliating with a gentle scrub to get rid of dullness and make my skin look bright and dewy.
Then, to de-puff even more, I do light massage movements while applying my serums and moisturizer, focusing on moving the lymph fluid from the center of my face towards the periphery, when I’m applying my serums and moisturizer. Finally, I’ll curl my eyelashes to open up my eyes even more, and swipe on a bold lip color (like fuchsia or brick red), which brightens up my whole face.
–Liz Donat, esthetician and founder of EMD Skin Solutions
Wear Your Coffee Instead of Drinking It
Drinking coffee might perk you up, but its dehydrating effects won’t do much for puffy skin. Instead, make a simple coffee face scrub: Combine a cup of ground coffee and two tablespoons of sugar, then add enough coconut oil and a spoonful or so of whatever until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Then, gently scrub your face. The coffee and the sugar both act as exfoliants to get rid of dullness, while the caffeine causes the blood vessels under your eyes to constrict, which helps get rid of dark circles.
–Kristia Tolode, model and blogger
Splash Cold Water and Drink Green Tea
Skip your usual morning cleanser and splash your face with ice cold water, which will wake up your complexion and tighten your skin. Around your eyes, try applying a cream with green coffee extract or rosemary, which help to de-puff and increase circulation.
Instead of your usual morning coffee, try green tea. Coffee dehydrates with no real health benefits, but green tea is loaded with free radical-fighting (aka, age-defying) anti-oxidants. You can also dab a bit of organic grapefruit essential oil on your pulse points, which findings show could actually cause people to perceive you as looking younger and fresher.
Finally, if you do opt to wear makeup, choose foundation instead of concealer. A light layer of foundation allover is the quickest and easiest way to look alive in one step, because it evens out your skin tone.
–Jeannie Vincent, makeup artist and educator at Follain
Hydrate and Stop the Swelling
The appearance of sleepiness usually starts around the eyes, but it can be from dull skin as well. A good night’s rest can help your face look refreshed, but aside from beauty sleep, it’s important to care for your skin.
To combat dullness, it’s important to exfoliate and moisturize. It can also be helpful to use a skin spritzer, whether it’s a canned water mist (like Evian) or one from a skincare brand (Caudalie’s is a favorite). This helps wake up your skin and keep you fresh, and the blast of cool liquid on your face can be energizing, too!
As far as the eyes? Remember, makeup only goes so far. If you have time in the morning, apply cool cucumber slices or wet tea bags (green or black tea is best, because the caffeine helps!) that have been in the refrigerator on your eyes. That will help with swelling and increase blood flow.
And even though you might not be in the mood if you’re tired, a workout helps boost blood flow, too!
–Mandie Mutchie, health coach and makeup artist
About the author
Marygrace Taylor is a health and wellness writer based in Philadelphia. She’s covered healthy sleep and sleep hygiene for Amerisleep and other outlets since 2014. She also writes about diet and nutrition, women’s health, and fitness for outlets like Healthline, Men’s Health, and Prevention.View all posts