As Spring Quarter sets in, the sun lasts longer, and the nights spent doing homework become longer once again. I can feel and see my skin losing the effortlessly stress-free glow it had over Spring Break. Although it was one short week, my skin cleared up, the dark circles under my eyes faded away, but now they're back.
If you’re anything like me, you are up past midnight most nights and early mornings. I have noticed the toll little sleep has had on my skin over my first year at NU. Just so me and you can seem like we actually get seven hours of sleep each night, here’s a list of products with ingredients I look for in my skincare.
1. Under eyes: Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Eye Cream
The first things really affected by lack of sleep were my eyes. Although dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a number of things, lack of sleep is the common culprit. Insufficient sleep can cause blood vessels to mix with fluids that settle in our tissue as we sleep, leading to dark circles, according to Humana.com.
Of course, you’ll need an eye cream to combat dark circles. But not just any eye cream; one that will actually help. The Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Eye Cream is a great option because it has vitamin C, B3 and peptides. The vitamin C will help with hydration and brightening. Vitamin B3 helps with eye wrinkles, hydration and protection of thin skin in this area. Peptides, which contain collagen, are great for the skin. They also help with wrinkles, as well as firming and evening out the skin tone.
Cleveland Clinic suggests that you can also try propping up your pillow as you sleep to fight that fluid build up, and even try a cool compress. I like to keep my under-eye patches in the fridge. This will also help with natural puffiness in the morning.
2. Wrinkles (yes, wrinkles): collagen
Sleeping acts as a sort of reset for your skin. When you’re getting your beauty sleep, your skin is working. As we sleep, our skin produces new collagen, which for some people is like the holy grail in the skincare industry. Collagen is a protein that gives structure, support and strength to your skin, muscles, bones and connective tissue. As we age, our collagen production decreases, and so does the elasticity of our skin. This is when we see wrinkles and fine lines.
I’d recommend trying a product with hyaluronic acid, which is often found in dermal fillers, or injections typically used to fill wrinkles. For a more budget friendly option, try The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum. This will help with keeping your face “plump” and minimizing any fine lines.
Applying sunscreen everyday – no matter how unpredictable Evanston weather is – will also help minimize wrinkles. But really, wrinkles are going to come no matter what. So, I beg of you, don't stress too much about this.
3. Breakouts: better sleep, exfoliater
My skin always feels the worst after a week of poor sleep. And somehow, another zit pops up at – what always seems like – the worst time possible. According to healthtalk.org, there is no research to support that lack of sleep alone causes breakouts. However, lack of sleep can easily lead to an increase in stress and a spike in the body's cortisol levels, which causes inflammation and higher levels of sebum. In the end, it can all lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
For clogged pores, an exfoliator works great to remove any “gunk” in there. Try out the Paula’s Choice travel size exfoliant with salicylic acid. This will help break down dead skin cells and oils stuck in pores, as stated in MedicalNewsToday.
At the end of the day, skincare can only do so much. Taking care of your wellbeing is the No. 1 thing you can do for your skin and for your overall physical health. And, it's financially free! You will always have assignments and tests to study for, but as my mom likes to say “you can never make up for sleep.”