In partnership with Sephora Canada. When you're young, making your skin look great after a couple of all-nighters takes little more than a good moisturizer and a dash of brightener. (Or, as our Liza Herz insists, "a splash of water.") In your late 40s, when skimping on slumber drains the youth from your complexion the way pulling the plug empties your bath, the fake-fix isn't so simple. That said, I can still totally fake a good night's sleep. And that's no humblebrag. It took a village of mostly Asian skincare, but I got that glow back in a catnap. Hemsworth dream notwithstanding.
how to fake a good night's sleep
Start with your cleanser. I love the convenience of micellar cleansers, but I can't deny the benefits of using a cream or oil cleanser instead. Cream or oil formulas offer a deeper cleanse that leaves skin soft, supple and radiant. I'm digging a new-to-Canada Korean-French brand: Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil ($39 at sephora.ca), which has a balm texture that liquifies into oil as I work it over the skin, and milk-ifies when I rinse. Afterward my complexion looks refreshed and glowy. The next step is to make that glow last longer than two minutes.
Exfoliate – but gently. When you're past 40, sleep-deprived skin can become quite sensitive. So I've discovered at 47. When my skin is dehydrated-red and papery from sleeplessness, my favourite glycolic-acid toner stings like a b*tch. But this Japanese Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel ($42 at sephora.ca) is gentle + effective. Massaged over clean, dry skin, the watery gel tranforms into weird wet-paper-esque bits that buff away flaky dry patches. At the same time, fruit-based alpha-hydroxy acids help evict more stubborn dead cells that have outstayed their welcome. I think AHAs in a rinse-off work best with regular use; either way, my tired skin looks and feels smoother. But this effect won't last either without the next steps; this is prep.
Apply an intensely moisturizing sheet mask. The key words there are "intensely moisturizing." Most of the Korean sheet masks I've tried in the last few months give my dehydrated skin no more than a sip of water. Nice for a second, but useless when skin is really parched. This Too Cool for School Egg Cream Sheet Mask ($8 each at sephora.ca) makes my skin as happy as my now discontinued fave from Olay Pro-X did. It's thick and goopy (and smells nothing like egg), and my skin eagerly goes glug, glug, glug. You can leave it on for 20 minutes; I leave it on for my entire nap, probably about an hour and a half, then massage any excess into my skin. And oh, the complexion joy – every trace of dehydrated redness is gone. But I know that effect wouldn't last very long either without the next steps.
- Sheet Mask tip 1: Slide the unopened package between your upper thigh and the couch to warm it before you use it so you don't shock yourself with the chill!
- Sheet Mask tip 2: Save the package in a plastic baggie and use the extra serum under your face cream.
- Sheet Mask tip 3: Apply a hydrating serum before the mask for a little extra TLC. I happened to have a new one from French brand Caudalie on hand. I used it because it has no silicones that might lessen the absorbtion rate of the moisture in the mask I immediately put on top of it.
Apply your hydrating serum(s). Rebuilding a fake-night's-sleep glow on parched, stressed-out skin requires the kind of layering we need with clothing to defend ourselves against winter cold. Layers seem to build a better, more durable barrier, and are more comfortable than one massively thick topper. So as soon as the mask moisture is fully absorbed, I smooth on Laneige Water Bank Serum ($46 at sephora.ca). It's already on my current skincare roster and performs well as a daily hydrating dose. (Estée Lauder Shape + Fill Serum is also part of my everyday routine, so I use that, too.)
Apply hydrating face cream. When I've had more sleep, my naturally dehydrated complexion does just fine with Laneige Balancing Emulsion for Normal to Dry Skin ($36 at sephora.ca), a light, emollient fluid. But if I've skimped on sleep for several days, Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream ($42 at sephora.ca) is better – and surprisingly lightweight and refreshing.
Finish with moisturizing BB cushion. You better not try to take my Laneige BB Cushion SPF 50 ($44 including refill at sephora.ca) away from me. I will cut a b*tch. Unlike most foundations that callously emphasize dry, flaky patches on skin, the Laneige BB Cushion is kind and forgiving. It won't completely hide flaky bits, but it doesn't mean-girl you for them either – it's like the BFF who always has your back. Plus: SPF 50. Boom. (Aside: the Lancôme Miracle Cushion BB texture is very much like this one, but a little more sheer.)
All of these skin-saviours are available at sephora.ca (which, as you must know by now, has a free-shipping minimum of $50, and ships within four days from a new Canadian warehouse). Of course, if you usually get decent sleep, you probably don't need them all. *grin* But if you're having dehydrated or dry-skin issues, this is a good lineup to check out if you're looking to try something new. xo
Do you deprive your poor self of sleep on the regular? Have you tried any of these items? How do you make your skin look rested when it isn't?