I think one thing that's really hit me as a working woman and full-time student it how short the days actually are. Seriously, 24 hours is not enough time to get everything done and I relish the evenings of my teen years when I could spend hours before bed with my head buried in a book after a tough day at school. Over the past year, working, studying, blogging, and volunteering all on a daily basis has meant that I've had very little downtime and rarely gotten to bed before midnight or had a lie-in past 8am. It's not so bad now that I'm home for summer but come September I know that I'll be run off my feet once again.
Obviously getting a good nights sleep has a direct impact upon your health and your appearance. Whilst you sleep your skin grows new cells to replace older ones, a vital process which has a visible effect upon the appearance of your skin, so the consequence of those late nights and early mornings is that your body has less time to repair and renew. Those dark circles? Caused by dilated blood vessels, another consequence of poor or limited sleep. Whilst nothing can replace the benefits that a good nights sleep has upon your body, I've found a few bits and pieces that will certainly help you on your way to emulating a well-rested glow...
Everyone's favourite skincare treat - a good mask will give your skin a deep cleanse as well as optimise it for the application of serums, oils, and moisturisers etc. - all of which will be 100% more effective when applied over clean skin and unclogged pores. The Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask* may give your postman a fright when you answer the door with what appears to be a white sheet over your face, but provides your skin with the ultimate rejuvenating treatment. A combination of argan oil, Vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid will instantly lift, firm, and hydrate your skin leaving it noticeably clearer and brighter with a real 'just got back from Antigua' glow.
A good eye cream is essential in keeping away those dark circles, bags, and lines which start to pop up around our eyes once we hit our twenties. My current favourite is Verso's Super Eye Serum*, a gentle and soothing lotion formulated with Retinol 8 and amino acids, which reduces dark circles, puffiness, and lines, increases collagen production, and reverses the signs of ageing. I have really sensitive eyes and find that this serum doesn't irritate them in the slightest, and leaves my under eyes looking noticeably brighter and less puffy come morning. A miracle in a bottle, non?
Your other night-time BFF comes in serum form and is essential in aiding the skin's nightly renewal and maintaining a youthful glow. Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Serum is a bestseller for a reason. You'll notice a definite improvement in the texture and appearance of your skin when using this, all aided by a patented technology which supports the natural synchronisations of your skin's overnight renewal, reduces lines, and leaves skin feeling stronger.
My all time favourite overnight treatment makes a difference after just one use and is seriously worth investing in if your skin is a little on the dull side and in need of a pick-me-up. Origins' Intensive Drink-Up Overnight Mask provides intensive moisturisation, instantly hydrating as well as repairing the skin's barrier in order to prevent future dehydration. If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin then this is your saving grace. Non-clogging, non-greasy, and it smells of apricots and peaches, this stuff is a good night's sleep in liquid form. Thank me later.
To reap all of the benefits of your serum and moisturiser invest in Indeed Labs' bestselling super serum, Hydraluron. Containing a pure form of hyaluronic acid which can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water - increasing absorption and efficacy of any serum, oil, or cream applied on top. In a matter of days you'll notice your skin looking infinitely more hydrated, glowing, and plumped up.
For a worthy investment to set you on the road to clearer, plumper looking skin invest in The Body Shop's Facial Massager. Whether you have the time to make use of this trusty tool before bed, or keep it at your desk for lunch-break use, 10-20 minutes of massaging per day will give your skin a real lift, stimulating your blood cells in order to increase cell turnover, fade scarring, and reduce lines and wrinkles. For best results use after applying your night-time serum/oil/moisturiser in order to gently massage the products into your skin.
Of course, nothing works quite so well as beauty sleep, so give your body a helping hand and invest in the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil*. Pour into your bath or smooth over your body pre-shower for instant relaxation. With notes of vetivert and camomile, this soothing oil will not only set you in stead for a deep and tranquil sleep but stimulate your immune system in preparation for its overnight duties.
If you have trouble getting to sleep then This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less is your new best friend. A soothing formula of lavender, eucalyptus, and frankincense will help you to relax both physically and mentally. The perfect natural solution to preventing insomnia and hypertension - which can lead to troubled sleep.