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In need of some tips on how to look less tired that really do work? Here’s my list of 14 simple ways to stop looking tired all the time. The first set of tips deal specifically with facial care and the second focus on lifestyle changes – every tip is an absolute winner.
HOW TO LOOK LESS TIRED
It can be really disheartening to look in the mirror, see a tired, worn-out face looking back at you and think, ‘why do I always look so tired and washed out?’ especially if you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
Or that ego-crushing feeling when someone – often your mother – greets you with, ‘ooh, you look tired!’ It cuts particularly deep when you are (were) feeling totally fine.
I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating it can be. So I’ve spent time researching how to look less tired.
There are plenty of great ways to fix a tired-looking face, particularly how to make your eyes look less tired.
14 POWER TIPS TO HELP YOU LOOK LESS TIRED
FACIAL CARE POWER TIPS TO FIX A TIRED-LOOKING FACE
First, here are some facial care tips to help you fix a tired-looking face and make it look fresh again.
1. ENLIVEN YOUR SKIN THROUGH REGULAR EXFOLIATION
To look less tired, you need to give your skin cell renewal a bit of support through regular exfoliation.
This is particularly important as you age and during the winter months. No one wants to start looking tired and haggard as the winter months draw on and the years pass by!
I’m a massive fan of using chemical exfoliants rather than physical exfoliants. My current exfoliant of choice is glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid dissolves the top layer of dead skin cells and resurfaces the skin. This allows new, active skin cells to come to the surface, making your face look brighter and your skin plumper.
I've been using Pixi Glow Tonic for a few years and LOVE it. It acts like a super gentle exfoliator, and my skin feels clean without feeling like it's been stripped of all its natural oils. I use it a few times a week, generally in the evenings, to ensure my skin is super cleansed.
Once you’ve dealt with freshening up your skin through exfoliation, you can look at what you can put on it to make it look less tired.
2. HYALURONIC ACID IS YOUR NINJA HYDRATING ANTI-TIREDNESS WEAPON
Dry skin tends to look like tired skin because it doesn’t have the bounce and glow of hydrated skin.
Of course, simply increasing your water intake is a big step towards keeping your skin hydrated, and I mention this in the lifestyle tips.
However, using a hyaluronic acid product can also give your skin a huge helping hand to stay hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid has become a bit of a buzz ingredient over the last few years, and it’s easy to understand why. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that occurs naturally in the body. Humectants attract and lock in moisture.
So if you use hyaluronic acid with a good water-based moisturiser, your skin will look lovely and hydrated.
I am a HUGE fan of the cult beauty hyaluronic acid product Hydraluron by Indeed Labs.
I tend to use it whilst my skin is still damp to lock the moisture in, followed by moisturiser over the top.
Hydraluron makes my skin look more plump and smooth, which goes a long way toward helping me look fresher and less tired. When I started using it, friends asked me what I had done to make my skin look good. I think they suspected I'd been at the injectables!
I always keep an eye out for Boots having a special offer for Hydraluron, but I also use Amazon Subscribe & Save because it's a product I wouldn't say I like running out of. If I get lucky at Boots, I skip a delivery of Subscribe & Save.
TOP TIP: MOISTURISE WHILST YOUR SKIN IS DAMP OR WET
Following on from the above tip on rehydrating, another great tip to make your skin look less tired is to moisturise whilst your skin is still damp, as damp skin absorbs moisturiser more easily.
3. GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL MASSAGE
Now facial massage is something I only recently tuned into as a way to stop my face from looking tired. I must admit I’d been very ‘yeah whatever’ about the benefits of facial massage until then. What changed my mind was going for a facial massage at my local beauty salon.
The results of 45 minutes of a therapist doing nothing more than massaging my face quite literally blew my mind. My nasolabial lines had disappeared, and my skin looked plumper and more alive than in weeks.
The effects of the facial massage gradually faded over the course of a week, so that is when I looked into how to do facial massage on myself to make my face look less tired and more fresh and glowing.
Facial massage works by boosting the circulation of blood to the skin and firming and toning the skin by giving it a bit of a workout.
It can help reduce puffiness, encourage lymphatic drainage (lymphatic fluid helps remove toxins and waste), and release endorphins, making you look and feel fresher and more awake.
Most of us don’t have much spare time for facial massage in the morning, but it’s well worth adapting how you apply your facial moisturiser to spend a minute massaging it in.
I find the best time to do a little facial massage is in the evening, when I can usually spare a whole five minutes!!
Dr Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum is my favourite facial massage oil. It has the most uplifting fragrance of any facial oil. It is made up of a blend of different oils, including almond and argan oil, plus wonderful rose essential oil.
My skin always looks plump and calm after I've massaged with it as part of my evening skincare routine.
TOP TIP: LEARN HOW TO MASSAGE YOUR FACE FROM AN EXPERT
There are lots of facial massage how-to videos on YouTube. The one I really like is by Abigail James: YouTube video.
It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul, but they can also be the biggest factor in looking tired and washed out.
So next, I’m going to focus on things you can do to make your eyes look less tired.
4. RETHINK YOUR EYE CREAM: THE TYPE, HOW MUCH AND HOW YOU APPLY IT
The skin under the eye area is really thin and delicate, which is why it really shows signs of tiredness. It’s also why we need to treat it really gently and carefully.
The formulation of eye cream is lighter than most facial moisturisers, which is why it is worth buying a separate eye cream.
Good ingredients to look out for in eye creams are hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10.
Coenzyme Q10 is an absolute power ingredient in beauty products because it is packed with antioxidants and helps to repair and regenerate skin cells.
This is one of the best, most reliable eye creams out there, mainly because Coenzyme Q10 is one of the best beauty supplements and active ingredients in skincare. I LOVE this stuff! Full disclosure, I spent a couple of years as the Senior Press Office for NIVEA, so I know first-hand the science behind NIVEA products and the active ingredients used in the products. I swear by this eye cream, and it's the only one I use.
LET’S TALK QUICKLY ABOUT DARK CIRCLES UNDER THE EYES
Dark circles under the eye are a particular culprit for making you look more tired than you are.
The thing with dark circles is that they are often hereditary. Plus, they become more visible as you age.
This is because the skin under the eyes is thin, and it gets thinner as we age, so blood pooling beneath it becomes more obvious.
Allergies and a poor diet can also contribute to dark circles looking worse.
Caffeine is a good active ingredient for temporarily reducing dark circles, as it is said to help boost circulation and constrict blood vessels.
Of course, the hope with eye cream is that it will reduce the look of puffiness and improve the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
This is one of the best caffeine eye serums out there. It makes the under-eye area look brighter and healthier and like you've had more sleep. The serum has a really light formula combined with a high 5% concentration of caffeine, the active ingredient that will work its magic to reduce puffiness and dark circles.
The Ordinary is the most brilliant range of really well-priced skincare products. There's no fancy packaging or marketing to bump up the prices.
One thing that is often overlooked is HOW MUCH eye cream to use and HOW to apply it.
TOP TIP: HOW MUCH EYE CREAM TO USE
You should only use a pea-sized amount of eye cream. Less is definitely more, as you don’t want to overload the skin.
TOP TIP: HOW TO APPLY EYE CREAM
A great trick I was taught by a leading facialist during my time PRing leading beauty brands is to use your middle finger to apply eye cream, as it gives a lighter touch than using your forefinger.
So, using your middle finger, start by applying the cream around the orbital bones (that’s the bones around your eye socket) and then start gently tapping or lightly massaging the cream in, going from the inner corner of your eye and making your way to the outer corner.
5. TREAT YOUR TIRED EYES TO SOME EYE DROPS
One of the best ways to get rid of tired eyes in the morning is to use eye drops. They are also a great way for your eyes to look less tired during the day, especially after a day spent staring unblinkingly at screens.
Eye drops will moisturise your eyes and clarify the whites of your eyes so that your eyes not only look less tired. They feel less tired too.
Well, that’s it for your facial care tips. So let’s move on to some lifestyle changes you can make to ensure you stop looking so tired.
LIFESTYLE POWER TIPS TO STOP YOU FROM LOOKING TIRED ALL THE TIME
Here are some really valuable to know overall lifestyle changes you can make that will help ensure you look less tired.
6. GET REGULAR AMOUNTS OF SLEEP
Ok, so starting with the seemingly obvious here.
But wait before you roll your eyes…
On average, adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
There is no such thing as ‘catching up on sleep’.
So figure out how much sleep makes you feel good the next morning, and then try and stick to this amount.
Day in, day out.
This may mean getting up EARLIER at the weekends but try it. You might like it.
Here are some great ideas on how to get a better night’s sleep.
If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, you could try taking a supplement. I’ve read recently that taking marine collagen is a good way to improve the quality of your sleep.
Apparently, marine collagen is a powerful natural sleep aid because it has lots of the amino acid glycine present in it, which can help balance body temperature, which in turn helps promote good sleep.
See my tip number 14. for information on how the temperature of your room can help you get a night of better sleep too.
7. GET A MOVE ON!
It is amazing how well your face can look if you exercise regularly.
But I know that starting an exercise routine when you’re not in the habit can be a big thing.
You need to be in the right frame of mind to get that exercise habit started.
But there is something simple you can do to help your body and, in turn, stop looking tired.
Moving around instead of spending endless hours sitting at a desk, in the car, or at home can give your body the pep it needs.
Staying static for long periods causes lethargy and drains our energy levels.
Your body thinks it is heading for sleep, so it winds down all its processes.
Sitting and staring at a screen for hours can lead to dry, tired eyes that have fine lines all around them.
So get up and move around.
If you’re desk-bound at work, get up for five minutes every hour and walk around.
Combine one of those walks with getting your ten minutes of daylight.
If you’re at home or in the car a lot, look at ways you can build walking into your everyday life.
It is amazing how much better you can feel if you move your body.
I know how hard it is to build exercise and movement into your daily life, especially when you feel like you don’t have a spare moment.
But it is SO important. There are loads of brilliant workout plans you can follow, like this 5 day workout plan for women
8. BREATHE MORE DEEPLY
We all do it.
But we don’t all do it in the right way to get the oxygen we need.
Especially if we’re running around and stressed.
Shallow, quick breathing leaves us lacking in oxygen.
Alongside raised blood pressure and increased heart rate, a lack of oxygen can cause bad circulation… see where I’m going with this… which can make us look tired and washed out.
So taking a few minutes to take some deep breaths can really help.
Next, some dietary changes you can make that will have a positive effect.
If you suffer from nasal congestion, which can disturb sleep, you could try using menthol crystals in a diffuser in your bedroom so that you can breathe more deeply as you relax into sleep.
9. CUT DOWN ON SUGAR
Ok, I know sugar is the current baddie of the food world.
But there is a good reason for this.
Let me count how too much sugar will make you look (and feel) wrung out.
- A rapid rise in blood sugar is a cause of skin inflammation
- Skin inflammation causes biochemical changes in skin cells, accelerating the ageing process.
- Sugar attaches itself to collagen in glycation, which causes the skin to look stiff.
- Glycation means a loss of elasticity, which means deeper wrinkles
- Sugar spikes cause you to briefly feel full of energy, followed by a massive slump in energy
Make no mistake. For most of us, it is an addiction.
But it can be done.
I know because I’ve done it.
It’s not that I live without sugar in my life, but I have managed to cut it right back.
But I can walk down the supermarket’s confectionary aisle and not flinch.
Even when I’m hungry.
That is a MASSIVE change in eating habits for me.
Here’s my post on the best way to go about it in my experience: How to quit eating sugar
10. CUT THE CAFFEINE
Yes, I know.
We all want to reach for it to ‘wake us up’ in the morning.
But caffeine, it’s not so good.
First off, it is a diuretic.
This means it makes you pee more.
Which means that caffeine is causing you to dehydrate.
As you’ll know from tip 4, keeping hydrated is super important when working out how to stop looking tired.
Second up, caffeine kills off antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect your skin’s elastin.
Lose the elasticity in your skin, and you’re on the way to ageing your skin. FAST.
So keep caffeine, through coffee or black tea, intake to no more than a couple of small SMALL mugs per day.
Switch to green tea, which has less caffeine than black tea. I am a huge fan of Clipper Green Tea.
Go for decaffeinated versions – though be careful to choose naturally decaffeinated rather than chemically decaffeinated with solvents (er, yuk). Clipper is my go-to brand, it uses carbon dioxide to decaffeinate tea, and the bags are eco-friendly.
Related: Easy tips for quitting coffee
Clipper Tea is a lovely decaf black tea. The tea is decaffeinated using carbon dioxide, which is a completely natural process as opposed to using chemical solvents. I can testify to this process making the tea taste far better, as I drink Clipper Decaf on the regular.
I also like that Clipper uses environmentally-friendly bags. They are unbleached and don't contain plastics, so much better for the environment and the human drinking the tea!
11. KEEP HYDRATED
Dehydration causes us to look and feel tired.
But we don’t always cotton on to this.
If our blood volume lowers, we don’t get as much blood to our brain, so our heart has to work harder to get the blood there.
This means blood is diverted away from fewer places where it is needed less urgently, places like our faces.
So we end up looking washed out.
But this is easily remedied by, you’ve guessed it, drinking more water.
Water is the key, by the way – not tea or coffee (which are diuretics, see tip eight below) or sugary drinks (see tip seven below).
Aim to drink a good-sized glass of water first thing in the morning and a smaller glass last thing at night.
Then drink water steadily throughout the day.
Learn to understand when you feel thirsty – thirst can often be mistaken for hunger.
I always have a stainless steel (#PlasticFree) Chilly bottle in my bag when I’m out and about.
Plus, I always have a glass of water on my desk when I’m working.
12. GET A GOOD DOSE OF THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN: VITAMIN D
We get top-ups of vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.
If we are lucky, we get bucketloads of sunshine during the summer months.
But come the winter, it is bye-bye vitamin D fix.
You most likely think of Vitamin D as being important for bones.
However, it is also important for guarding against illness AND stopping us from feeling tired and lethargic.
There are three things you can do to up your vitamin D intake:
- Consider having some time outside in the summer, either early morning or late afternoon, without sunblock.
- In winter, try and get in a ten or 15-minute walk once per day.
- *Look at taking a vitamin D supplement
And finally, to help you in the fight to stop looking so tired all of the time… I’ve got a couple of great tips for things you can buy that will help save your face from looking washed out, crumpled and tired.
13. CHANGE YOUR PILLOWCASE
Cotton is often the fabric of choice for bedding.
But it’s not great for allowing your face to glide over its surface.
If you are a front or side sleeper, you wake up with your face looking ‘slept in’.
The answer is to go for a silk pillowcase.
Don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you have to change your minimalist or Scandi chic bedroom into a boudoir (unless you want to).
John Lewis has some lovely silk pillowcases, I have a couple of these, and I would now never have anything other than a silk pillowcase on my pillow. It does make a difference to how my face looks when I wake up.
I’ve even been known to take a silk pillowcase when we go on holiday.
This is the colour - Tea Rose - pillowcases that I have, they look beautiful against our white cotton bedding and silk really does help ensure your face is wrinkle-free after a night's sleep.
Of course, sleeping on your back is the other remedy to a ‘pillow-face’.
Having tried to switch to sleeping on my back more times than I care to mention, I know that this is easier said than done.
14. SIDESTEP RADIATOR FACE
Ready for your final tip on how to stop looking tired all the time?
Ok, so ‘radiator face’ is a term I’ve made up for that horrible dry feeling you get when you spend hours in a centrally heated building.
Dry indoor air is not a friend of fresh-looking skin.
It can also make your eyes look dry and bloodshot.
Sleeping in dry, radiator-heated air is particularly bad for us.
Not only do we need a nice cool room to maintain a good sleep quality, but sleeping in dry air can take moisture from the skin and eyes, leaving you waking up looking like death warmed up.
So, switch that heating down or off at night (this is also a great way to save money on utility bills!!).
Invest in a humidifier if you spend hours in centrally heated buildings.
Go for a cool-mist humidifier because
- They are cheaper.
- They don’t generate heat like warm mist models.
This humidifier is a best-seller on Amazon, with good reason. It's nice and compact in size, so it is relatively unobtrusive in a bedroom. But even though it is small, it has a really good humidity output. Plus, it is really quiet, so it won't disturb you if, like me, you are a light sleeper bugged by any extraneous noises when trying to sleep.
So there you go, 14 simple ways to stop looking so tired
14 easy-to-do tips on how to stop looking tired all the time.
Tips for simple things you can start doing RIGHT NOW to start looking a bit more fresh-faced.
*Speak to your doctor or health practitioner before taking any new supplement.
Now you’ve looked through my tips to help you stop looking so tired all the time, let’s explore the reasons why you might look so tired.
Because it’s really helpful to understand the reasons why you might look tired and washed out all the time, in order to make the changes that really count.
WHY DO I ALWAYS LOOK TIRED?
Now, alongside giving you the great tips above, I thought it might be well worth sharing with you a few thoughts and facts on the things that can make you look tired.
Many things besides a lack of sleep can make you look tired. It can be particularly hard when you are told you look tired when you’re not tired or deprived of sleep!!
The reality is that many everyday stressors can make us look more tired than we actually are.
Some of them are actually super easy to deal with, if you know how. Some, like stress and anxiety, can take longer to address.
THINGS THAT CAN MAKE YOU LOOK TIRED:
- Overwhelm and excessive busyness
- Lack of exercise
- Hereditary dark circles under the eyes
- Poor diet
- The weather
There is a very clear correlation between how we feel and how we look. So if you look in the mirror and wonder why you look so tired, it is worth taking a step back and seeing where you’re at in life.
Then you can start to address the issues and start to like what you see in the mirror again.
Then take a look at a list of some of the simple changes you can make to stop yourself from looking tired all the time.
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Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.