Before you decide to stay up for just one more rerun of Law & Order, consider this: Getting fewer than seven hours of sleep takes a heavy toll on your looks. "Decreased blood supply makes your skin's color a little green; overall fluid retention shows up as puffiness around your eyes," says David J. Goldberg, M.D., director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey. "And there's that intangible quality of just looking unhealthy when you don't sleep." Yikes.
On the flip side, getting a full eight hours (or more) gives your skin the time it needs to renew itself: "While you sleep, the reparative nutrients in your blood are delivered to your skin," says Goldberg. To make the most of your pillow time, apply a night cream before bed. "When that blood is pumping, your skin is most receptive to the ingredients," says Goldberg. "Also, the product is less likely to rub off while you sleep than when you're running around." Here, our top overnight creams, plus a few additional bedtime beauty boosters.
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1. Fill in the blanks: L'Oréal Collagen Remodeler Contouring Moisturizer for Face and Neck Night Lotion, $20, uses collagen molecules to plump away wrinkles overnight and over time.
2. Wake up refreshed: Prescriptives Good In Bed Skin Restoring Night Moisturizer, $65, has skin hydrators and a touch of self-tanner to counteract any skin sallowness in the morning.
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3. Have a natural night: Free radicals can break down collagen and elastin, your skin's support system. Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Firming Night Crème, $24.99, fights free radicals to leave your skin firmer.
4. Have a slumber party for your skin: Fine lines are not invited. Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Overnight Regenerating Cream, $13, reenergizes skin with vitamin C, lycopene, and magnesium.
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5. Skip sleeping in a shower cap: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Crème Serum Night Overnight Repair Formula, $10, conditions your hair while you sleep, without telltale pillowcase stains.
6. & 7. Make your dentist happy: Ingredients in Crest Pro-Health Night Toothpaste, $3.49, and Crest Pro-Health Night oral rinse, $8, will protect against stains, stinky breath, and gingivitis.
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8. Wear makeup to bed: Ramy Sleep in Beauty, $48, is foundation to sleep in: With skin-smoothing peptides and breakout-busting salicylic acid, it covers and corrects skin flaws.
9. Watch pimples disappear: Joey New York Quick Whitehead Dissolver Duo with Anti-Aging Formula, $25, has a day lotion, with pore-penetrating salicylic acid, and a night treatment, with bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.