How To Fake 8 Hours Sleep When You've Only Had 3
By Emma Stoddart Posted on 31 Aug 2018
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18 – 64 should get 7-9 hours sleep nightly*. Yes, that’s right – up to 9 hours of blissful shut-eye every single night. Sounds idyllic, but the reality? A poll survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s in May this year found on average Brits get just 6 hours and 19 minutes of snooze*. The research also reported that busy lives, hectic work schedules and stress are the primary reasons for why we’re a tired and burnt out nation.
The effects of this epidemic are far-reaching. Research has found lack of zzz’s can impact negatively on cognitive function, mood, health and also skin. A study conducted by the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm in 2017 found that after just two days of sleep restriction, participant’s photos were perceived as less healthy and less attractive than their well-rested images*. ‘‘Beauty sleep’ is more than an expression,’ explains Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. ‘When we snooze, the body goes into repair and regenerate mode – this allows skin to focus on general housekeeping and essential tasks like undoing the damage of daytime environmental aggressors, like UV and pollution.’ Dr Bunting also warns that sleep deprivation signals stress to the skin, which can lead to breakouts.
The good news? We’ve spoken to the beauty industry’s best skincare experts and make-up artists to find out the sneaky tricks to cheat 8 hours sleep. Read on to find out how to look radiant and refreshed – even if you did take your laptop to bed for a life-admin nightcap…
How to treat tired skin
‘Tired skin is dry, dull and prone to redness,’ says Dr Sam Bunting. ‘It’s also often bumpy and spotty in the lower U of the face as lack of snooze triggers a surge in cortisol, which can trigger acne’. Her top tricks? ‘Start the day with a thorough cleanse to prep skin for actives.’ We rate Dr.Sam’s Flawless Cleanser, £16, as it’s gentle enough to cleanse sleep-starved skin, without contributing to dry patches or blemishes. ‘The other key thing is to use vitamin A derivatives, such as retinol, which will refine texture and reduce fatigue-induced blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles’. Dr Sam Bunting’s retinol product of choice? ‘Medik8 Crystal Retinal, £79, works wonders’.
When you need a fast fix to perk up worn-out skin, makeup maestro and backstage regular Lynsey Alexander swears by an SOS mask. ‘A sheet mask kept in the fridge is brilliant as the coolness helps take down the redness from the blood capillaries and the mask will have an instant luminising effect.’ Try Lynsey’s favourite, Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask, £16.50. ‘It literally melts into tired skin, leaving it feeling smoother, fresher and energized.’
The best products to tackle puffy eyes
Puffy eyes and dark circles and the tell-tale signs that you’re starved of sleep. Dr Maryam Zamani, Oculoplastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Doctor, explains why: ‘Without adequate sleep, the skin’s blood vessels dilate and because the skin in the preorbital area is so thin, that becomes visible as dark circles.’ And the puffiness? ‘Healthy sleep allows for toxins to be drained from the body, including the eyes’, so the less you sleep, the less drainage can occur. For a quick solution, Dr Maryam Zamani advises using MZ Skin Hydra-Bright Eye Mask, £65, and to apply it straight from the fridge to depuff, soothe and hydrate. ‘Follow this with a light lymphatic massage around the under-eye area and puffy, dark circles will diminish quickly’. Dr Sam Bunting also suggests a caffeine hit: ‘Using topical caffeine, such as Origins GinZing Eye cream, £22, will depuff and constrict vessels.’ Basically, the beauty equivalent to a shot of americano…
How to get rid of dark circles with make-up
Now we’re on to the big guns - here’s how to make yourself well-rested the old fashioned way - with the judicious application of makeup. Avoid the unwelcome ‘you look tired’ comments from colleagues and follow makeup artist Lynsey Alexander’s and Dr Sam Bunting’s advice for acing your base below.
Does facial massage really work?
Skin expert, Nichola Joss, whose magic hands have graced the likes of Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Meghan Markle, is a firm believer in the benefits of massage for sleepy skin. ‘Facial massage stimulates all the lymph flow, resets the endocrine system and removes toxins and fluids from the entire body’, explains Nichola. ‘This will add vitality and energy to skin and muscle tissue.’ Nichola recommends a slightly unusual but cool (ahem) technique - ‘If my face is puffy and looks sleep-deprived, I dispense my serums into an ice cube pot in the freezer. Using a small muslin square, I then gently massage the cube all over my face’. You can even do this around your eye area: ‘Start from the outer corner near the temples and glide in towards the inner corner of the eye, adding more pressure as you go up the bridge of the nose and along the eyebrow’. Don’t have time to freeze your serum? ‘Store a jade or rose roller in the fridge,’ recommends Nichola. ‘The chilled stones feel so therapeutic on a tired face and take down puffiness immediately.’
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