Skincare Saviors: Looking Radiant When You Feel Like Sh*t: Part I (Face)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

There was simply no other title, folks, but I have no doubt you know what I mean. This entire post is dedicated to my skincare heroes, devoted to making my tired, stressed out, hungover skin look fabulous. No matter how little sleep I've gotten or how much alcohol has been consumed, these little miracles deliver healthy, glowing, well-rested (looking) skin every.single.time.

I've been using a lot of these for years now, but decided to wait until now to write up and post because what other time of year wreaks such havoc on our skin? Whether it's exams and papers for students like myself,  holiday planing-induced stress, or too much indulging at festive parties, the problem really comes down to lack of sleep. Believe me, I have decades of experiences in sleep-deprivation, and it's through those years that these products have really proven themselves. This should go without saying, but obviously I don't mean that you should replace sleep with excellent skincare--use your common sense, folks.

I love all the products here, but the key strategy for me is to layer all the skincare together into one fabulous, decadent treatment. My typical all-nighter routine consists of using one product from each category, and I swear it works every time. But if you're in a different situation (got home late and completely drunk) pick and use one or two items depending on how much willpower you've got. Remember, I'm only showing you options--adapt my suggestions to your own needs. I've got a lot to get through, so I'll try and keep it short!

Next installment will be all about eye products and my foolproof all-nighter skincare routine!

In order of usage (after cleansing and drinking as much water as you can stand)...

Masks and Mists: Out of everything shown here, these facial treatments are what make the most difference. Certainly, depending on your no-sleep circumstances, you may not be willing to take the time to do one (some are really fast, I swear!), but if it's at all possible, I absolutely encourage it. As far as facial sprays go, your skin needs all the help it can get, so go for something with a little more oomph (and not just glorified water). 

Asian Sheet Masks: I adore these sheet masks, and that comes from our late-night romps together. Every single time I'm up all night for exams or papers, one of these babies gets popped out and slapped onto my face for half an hour or so. Nothing feels quite as good as when you first lay it on--cooling, soothing and oh-so-hydrating, and you can still feel the effects once you take it off. (DO NOT WASH OFF SHEET MASK RESIDUE, PEOPLE--it's the equivalent of rinsing pasta in tap water after you've cooked it). They may seem a little extravagant, but I swear by these things, and they're actually very affordable (especially if you buy them online).

Super by Dr. Nicolas Perricone 3 Minute Facial: This product isn't a mask in the conventional sense, but it's good for speedy results, whether you do it the night before or the morning after. Nothing too intense or labor-heavy, simply rub some all over the face, leave it on for a few, and wash off to reveal a brightened complexion.

REN Glycolactic Peel Mask: This treatment has gotten a lot of well-deserved love, as it delivers glowing and plumped-up skin and it's another quickie. It's the most expensive of the ones here--but also with the most payoff--so I tend to reserve it for special occasions, or if I've pulled two all-nighters back to back. (Don't do it, folks. Just don't). 

Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Mist: I used to think mists were overrated and insipid, but this one completely changed my mind. You can really feel the tingling, cooling effects and a few sprays can take the place of a light moisturizer--feels especially fabulous in hot, humid environments! This is one that I'll spray throughout the night (if I'm studying) as a great pick-me-up--especially if I'm having trouble staying awake.

Serums and Such (Really loving the alliteration today!): Your skin should be looking pretty fantastic after that mask, so here's where we rub in something to really keep that glowy, elasticized effect going all night and into the next day. 

Skyn Iceland Antioxidant Calming Serum: Skyn specializes in stressed skin, and it's on no-sleep nights that I really show the brand some love. This product isn't as dewy as the next one, but there's something about it that really gives your skin bounce and vitality, and the scent is out of this world.  

Lancome Bright Expert: This is a sample tube as the full size is expensive, but this is a terrific combination of long term and short term skincare effects. Long term, it evens out any splotchiness or ruddiness of the complexion, and short term (like immediately) it creates a beautiful, healthy sheen--one of those products that makes you instantly feel prettier.

Physician's Formula Dark Spot Corrector: Who knew Physician's Formula did skincare?! This doesn't feel like it penetrates beneath surface level skin, but as you can tell by the purple color, it's terrific for neutralizing any gray in your complexion. I reserve this for the morning after, and even though it doesn't feel thorough, the color correction does a lot for hiding any ashy signs that you haven't slept. 

Moisturizers: At this point, a radiance-enhancing, firming moisturizer isn't essential. Depending on what you used, the amount of hydration you need is up to you. You can use a glowy, specialized for crappy skin product (as shown here), or it can be strictly moisturizing. 

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Sleeping Facial: Alright, so the "sleeping facial" part is complete gimmick, but marketing aside, this stuff is great for creating glowy, elasticized skin. It really seems to restore that springiness associated with younger, firmer skin and has become my go-to for long and drying plane flights. It smells heavily of roses, so stay away if you've got a sensitive nose, but the hydration really penetrates and lasts.

ROC Stress Repair Night Cream: I did a whole post on this, and while I'm not actually sure that it repairs stress-damaged skin, it has terrific softening and smoothing properties. Plus, I really think the placebo effect of using something for stressed skin makes me feel a little more put together. (Wishful thinking!)


This post was a bit of a nightmare to get together, just because there was so much I wanted to say and include. Even with splitting it up into two posts, I'm still not completely satisfied with the organization, but I couldn't postpone putting it up any longer.

Thursday's post will be Part 2: Eyes and My Up All Night Routine!

Hope you're well!

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