Ever felt like switching on the emergency sirens when looking in the mirror after a crazy workweek? Sometimes the effects of back-to-back, extra-long shifts will end up on your (gasp!) face: lines, discoloration, dull skin and puffiness.
With the following five quick tweaks to your daily regimen (and the help of a few terrific and highly affordable products), you can wake up looking refreshed and, yes, younger! Before surrendering to slumber each night, be sure to take these steps:
1. Get clean. Never, never, never go to bed still wearing makeup, even if you worked a double shift or are so tired after a night working the ER that you don’t even remember your name. Wearing makeup to bed clogs pores, letting toxins penetrate more deeply. Cleansing cloths from Oil of Olay and Ponds make this task super easy. Use and throw away!
2. Moisturize. As we get older, our skin needs even more pampering. Once your face is clean, it’s better able to absorb a moisturizer. Try one that contains retinoids, a form of vitamin A. You can get a prescription-strength product from your doctor or try a drugstore brand like RoC Deep Wrinkle night cream. These products cause sun sensitivity, which is why it’s ideal to use them at night. You don’t really need a different cream for under the eyes; just make sure you apply eye cream with a light hand because that skin is often thinner and more sensitive. Aquaphor can be used to take off makeup and give you the added benefit of moisturizing the eye area.
3. Sleep right. Even though you may want to fall face down on the mattress after dealing with demanding doctors and needy patients all day, it’s much better for your face if you sleep on your back. Sleeping on one side too much—or on your stomach—can lead to more wrinkles. To avoid morning eye puffiness when fluid collects in that area, either raise the head of your bed several inches or sleep on a couple of pillows.
4. Be kissable. As we age, our lips often become dry and lined. When brushing your teeth, give your lips a scrub, pat dry, then apply a lip treatment like Carmex.
5. Tame stray hairs. Nothing makes you look older than ungroomed eyebrows or those chin hairs that would make a billy goat proud. Plucking and depilatories often cause redness, so grooming at night lets your skin calm down by morning.