There's no need to cower under the covers on account of your slept-in appearance if you take advantage of the overnight hours to rejuvenate your look. "When you're asleep, skin cells are regenerated," says Michael Smolensky, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston and author of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health (Owl Books, 2001). At night there's increased blood flow and nourishment to the skin's surface, he says, which means it's prime time to pamper skin and hair. But before you hit the sack, follow this expert advice for solving morning beauty emergencies -- and roll out of bed radiant.
You wake up with: dull, fatigued skin P.M. prevention Being tired slows circulation, which diminishes the skin's sheen and radiance. Prioritize getting at least eight hours of shut-eye every night, and slather on a night cream packed with antioxidants and other nutrients to replenish skin. We like the lavender-scented Elizabeth Arden Good Night's Sleep Restoring Cream ($35; at department stores), Estee Lauder Resilience Lift OverNight Face and Throat Creme ($70; esteelauder.com) and Clinique Repairwear Intensive Night Cream ($45; clinique.com).
A.M. fast fix Wake up tired skin with products containing stimulating fruit extracts, mint or witch hazel. Try That-glow Refresher mist ($18; 800-252-4282) or beComing Fully Restored Multi-Mineral Treatment ($18; 866-1-BECOME). Or use a cleansing scrub like Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with orange extract ($27; gloss, corn).
You wake up with: glaring blemishes
P.M. prevention If you're prone to breakouts, treat your skin nightly with prescription creams like Differin (differin.com). Or look for products with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which remove pore-clogging dead skin cells and oil. (We like Stri-Dex Day & Night acne medication, $8.49; at drugstores). Spot treatments also can help calm redness overnight: Try Sonya Dakar Drying Potion ($45; sonyadakar.com) with lavender and oil-absorbing sulfur.
A.M. fast fix Tinted blemish treatments help you heal and conceal, says New York City and Long Island dermatologist Deborah Sarnoff, M.D. Look for Alchemy Medic Blemish Treatment Concealer with anti-inflammatory botanicals ($15; 800-793-LIFE) or JOEY New York Pure Pores Hide and Heal ($16; 800-563-9691). Or try Biore Blemish Double Agent ($7; at drugstores), a clear salicylic-acid treatment that forms a protective barrier over which you can apply makeup.
You wake up with: a Medusa mane
P.M. prevention Keep long hair smooth by securing it in a loose ponytail on top of your head, suggests New York City stylist Mark Garrison: "You'll get extra volume from your hair being pulled up." You can also mend split ends while snoozing with Neutrogena Overnight Therapy ($6; at drugstores). It contains a wheat protein and silicone blend to keep hair soft.
A.M. fast fix A dab of Pantene Pro-V Frizz Control Smoothing Creme or Physique Frizz Control Curl Cream ($7 each; at drugstores) helps fill uneven surfaces on the cuticle for smoother hair.
You wake up with: pillow creases
P.M. prevention "Sleeping with your face pressed to the pillow impedes proper circulation to facial skin, leaves marks and causes puffiness," says Mary Lupo, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University in New Orleans. "Over time, chronic face sleepers look older." Try to sleep on your back or use silk pillowcases instead of cotton ones; they seem to cause less skin creasing. A.M. fast fix Give yourself an invigorating facial massage with skinsoftening qiora Slow Down Massage Cream ($80; www.qiora.com) or apply a chilled, gelfilled mask (store it in your fridge overnight) for 10 minutes. Editor's favorite: Earth Therapeutics Fire & Ice Full Coverage Facial Mask ($20; earththerapeutics.com).
You wake up with: Sahara Desert-dry hands and feet
P.M. prevention Apply an antibiotic ointment to cracked skin (try Neosporin, $4; at drugstores) to help prevent infection and redness, advises Sarnoff. Then smooth on a moisturizer with ingredients like vitamins A and E, aloe and/or jojoba. Try Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Healing Skin Protectant Lotion ($3,25); at drugstores). For all-night hydration, you also can cover hands with 7 Bath & Body Works Beauty Queen Wave Moisturizing Gel Lined Gloves Hydrating gloves ($38; 800-395-1001) and feet with BeneFit Bathina Sandal Scandal cream and booties ($34; 800-781-2336). A.M. fast fix Slather on a daily moisturizer to repair wind-swept skin. Our favorites: Sally Hansen Radiant Hands, Nails and Cuticle Creme ($6; at drugstores) and Crabtree & Evelyn Aloe Foot Smoother ($18; 800-CRABTREE).
You wake up with: puffy lids
P.M. prevention Pass on sodium-filled foods like soy sauce and chips. "Salt intake causes tissues around the eyes to retain fluid," says Robert Cykiert, M.D., a professor of ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center in New York City. Being overtired or crying can also cause puffiness. To minimize the effect, apply an eye cream with calming green tea extract or cucumber. Our picks: Dr. Brandt Skincare Lineless Eye Cream ($50; sephora.com) and Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Balm ($50; bobbibrowncosmetics.com).
A.M. fast fix Gently massage the area around the eyes to distribute retained fluid, Cykiert suggests. Eye creams can also help reduce swelling: Physicians Formula Cooling Eye Cream ($6; 800-2270333) and Prescriptives Vibrant Instant Eye Brightener ($37.50; gloss.com) both soothe and de-puff.
RELATED ARTICLE: easy ways to get more restful sleep
Wind down and get some shut-eye with these sleep-enhancing aromatherapy products.
* Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Tranquil Pillow Mist ($10; 800-395-1001) is an airy blend of lavender and vanilla essential oils.
* Origins Resume the Position back-to-sleep bedside inhaler ($12.50; 800-ORIGINS) calms with chamomile and lavender.
* Earth Therapeutics Dream Silk Comfort Cream Liquid Pajamas ($8; 800-789-3579) helps soften dry skin and contains the natural de-stressors valerian root and lavender.
* Kiss My Face Early to Bed Natural Shower Gel and Foaming Bath ($9; kissmyface.com) contains a relaxing mix of ylangylang and chamomile.
* The Healing Garden Zzztheraphy Pillow & Room Spray ($7; at drugstores) fills the room with a delicate chamomile scent.
* Issey Miyake L'Eau d'lssey. Soothing Night Fragrance ($52; at department stores) is a subtle floral mist that helps you relax.
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Be one of the first 500 readers to log on to www.neutrogena.com/shapestyle on Feb. 18 at noon EST and win Neutrogena Overnight Therapy (a $6 value)! Lightly spray this leave-in Conditioner on wet or dry hair before bed, and the wheat amino acids will help soften and moisturize your locks -- while you snooze. And, thanks to the patented Micro-Mist pump, there's no residue left on your hair (or pillow) come morning. Log on and good luck!
Colleen Moriarty is a freelance beauty and health writer in Washington Depot, Conn.
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