Beauty Sleep is real: An Optometrist on quick fixes to fake a good night’s sleep

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Suffering from puffy, bloodshot eyes and a sallow or pale complexion? You probably didn’t get enough beauty sleep last night. We speak to an optometrist about her top tips and quick fixes for faking a good night’s sleep – when routinely sleeping 8 hours per night just isn’t an option…

New scientific studies reveal that ‘beauty sleep’ isn’t something we’ve made up – it’s a scientific fact! This rings true for Nicola Alexander Cross, Optometrist and co-founder of Peep Club who says that this especially true for the skin around the eyes. “The area around our eyes is especially vulnerable to lack of sleep,” shares Nicola. “Since the skin is thinner and the blood vessels are closer to the surface than the rest of the face – so our eyes are often the first place that reveal a particularly bad night’s sleep when our body hasn’t been able to heal, replenish and rebuild. “Bloodshot eyes and dark circles are often the first giveaways – both occur because the body is not able to reach optimum levels of blood flow around the eye area and so the vessels dilate to try restore balance – as a result appear more obviously. Puffy eyes or ‘eye bags’ are another common side effect – as the fluid around the eyes is not able to flow as it should and gets retained in the space around the eyes – causing puffiness. Little-to-no sleep can also cause a sallow or pale complexion as the cells within the skin aren’t able to replenish with optimum levels of moisture and nourishment,’ Nicola continues.

Nicola’s top tips and quick fixes to fake a good night’s sleep

1. Make the most of your sleep

“Ideally, from a purely cosmetic perspective, you want to sleep on your back to prevent asymmetry and creation of fine lines from pillow creases. In addition to this, try to elevate your head slightly – this will help encourage the drainage of fluid from the face and reduce ‘puffiness’ from lack of sleep. For example, after facial surgery like rhinoplasty, patients are often encouraged to sleep in this way to help reduce swelling”.

2. Apply a cool compress around the face

“This could be something as simple as a cold flannel or something more sophisticated like an ice roller. The cool compress will help calm the dilated blood vessels to reduce the blood shot look of the eyes and lessen dark circles”.

3. Soothe away the red eyes

“Try a gentle, preservative-free lubricating eye drop or spray like the Peep Club Instant Relief Eye Spray. Not only will it refresh your eyes to help you feel more awake, but it will also noticeably reduce redness and in a safe and gentle way. Stay clear of whitening drops – these might be a quick fix but can have long-term damaging consequences if they’re overused”.

4. Caffeine to fight inflammation

“Not only a pick me up come morning but caffeine works wonders for your skin due to its vasoconstrictive properties, meaning that it reduces swelling and prevents fluid from stagnating. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Hyaluronic Acid is also a powerhouse when it comes to hydrating as skin appears smoother when adequately hydrates. It’s also important to encourage skin to produce as much collagen as possible, this is where ceramides, plus vitamins B3 (otherwise known as Niacinamide), A, C and E are integral”.

Reboot skin the morning-after with Faace’s Tired Mask. A daily or weekly treatment to transform tired skin into glossy and glowing – no sleep required. The mask combines caffeine to perk, vegetable glycerin to lock moisture into the skins outer layer, vitamin c to add radiance, lactic acid to gently exfoliate and pomegranate and rosehip, for a gentle dose of natural Vitamin A. 

5. Hydrate the skin

“Try replenishing the hydration in your skin as soon as you can – to compensate for the hydration lost due to your incomplete sleep. Keep a humidifier bedside if you can to accelerate the hydration process (such as Peep Club’s Hydrating Portable Humidifier – especially designed for overnight use). Kick of the day with a tall glass of water. And prioritise highly moisturizing and hydrating products first thing in your routine – ideally layering them to help gently restore the bounce to the skin”.

6. Exercise 

“Kick-start the day with some exercise to get the blood flowing and restore oxygenation throughout the face and body. Any kind of exercise that gets the blood pumping for a good 15-20 minutes will be enough to help give a boost of oxygen to the cells that could use after a sleep-deprived night”.

7. Find a good concealer   

“When it comes to makeup – use the tried-and-true technique of colour correcting. A concealer with yellow, peach or green undertones can go a long way when it comes to hiding discolouration around the eyes. Draw attention away from the eyes completely by choosing a bold pink or red lip – a classic technique for hiding a night of poor sleep”.


Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.

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