It can be really disheartening to look in the mirror and see a tired, worn-out face looking back at you. Especially if you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Here’s a list of simple, practical tips on how to stop looking tired all the time without resorting to slapping on loads of make-up.
How to stop looking tired all the time
You know that ego-crushing feeling you get where a friend or family member – quite often your mother – greets you with “ooh you look tired!”
It cuts particularly deep when you are (were) feeling totally fine.
If this resonates with you, I bet you’ll want to find out how to stop looking tired all the time.
Well, there are plenty of things you can do to get rid of that tired face!
Even if you don’t feel particularly tired.
Because sometimes it’s the lifestyle choices we make that cause our faces to look washed out instead of fresh and peachy.
Before we dive into my tips to help you stop looking so tired all the time, let’s explore the reasons why you might look so tired.
Why do I look so tired?
There are many things, besides a lack of sleep, that can make you look tired. They include:
- 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 do look in the mirror and wonder why you are looking 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 my list of some of the simple changes you can make to stop yourself looking tired all the time.
Tips to stop you looking tired all the time
1. 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 well mean getting up EARLIER at the weekends, but try it, you might like it.
Here’s my post on how to get a better night’s sleep.
2. Give your skin a lift
No, I’m not talking facelifts… though of course be my guest if that’s the way you want to go.
I’m talking about giving your skin cell renewal a bit of support through regular exfoliation.
This is particularly important as you age and during the winter months.
I’m a massive fan of exfoliating with glycolic acid.
It dissolves the top layer of dead skin cells and resurfaces the skin.
This allows new, active, skin cells to come to the surface.
Which makes your face look brighter and your skin look plumper.
I’ve been using Pixi Glow Tonic for the last couple of months and I absolutely LOVE it.
In fact, I’m using several products in the Pixi Skintreats range and they are firm favourites.
3. Work on those dark circles
Dark circles can make us look far more tired than we’re actually feeling.
They are often hereditary.
Plus they become more visible as we age.
This is because the skin under our eyes is super thin and gets thinner as we age, so the blood pooled beneath becomes more obvious.
Allergies and a poor diet can also contribute to dark circles looking worse.
So the best bet to lighten up those dark circles is to focus on living a healthy lifestyle.
Also make sure to use a moisturiser that is specifically for the eye area.
It will be lighter in consistency than a facial moisturiser. It will also be more of a hydrating product than a heavy, oily product.
The other top tip is to only use a TINY amount of it.
It’s so easy to get carried away dotting moisturiser under the eye.
But the skin is SO thin there, it only needs the tiniest amount of moisturiser, otherwise, you’re just adding to your under-eye problems.
4. 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 8 below) or sugary drinks (see tip 7 below).
Aim to drink a good size glass of water first thing in the morning and a smaller glass last thing at night.
Then drink water steadily through 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.
5. Get a good dose of the sunshine vitamin
We get top-ups of vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.
If we’re lucky we get bucket loads of it in 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:
- In the summer months consider having some time outside, either early morning or late afternoon, without sunblock on.
- In winter try and get in a ten or 15-minute walk once per day.
- *Look at taking a vitamin D supplement. My whole family take a vitamin D spray daily – DLux3000 oral spray
6. 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.
Which means that if you’re 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 know, I have just bought one – and there are plenty of others around on the high street.
This is the pillowcase that I now own in mint green: The Ultimate Collection silk standard pillowcase
Of course sleeping on your back is the other remedy to ‘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.
7. Cut down on sugar
Ok, I know sugar is the current baddie of the food world.
But there is good reason for this.
Let me count the ways that too much sugar will have you looking (and feeling) wrung out.
- A rapid rise in blood sugar is a cause of skin inflammation
- Skin inflammation causes biochemical changes in skin cells which accelerate the ageing process
- Sugar attaches itself to collagen in a process called glycation, which cause the skin to look stiff
- Glycation means a loss of elasticity, which means deeper wrinkles
- Sugar spikes cause you to briefly feel full or 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 confectionary aisle in the supermarket and not even 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
8. Cut the caffeine
Yes, I know.
It’s the thing we all want to reach for 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.
Go for decaffeinated versions – though be careful to choose naturally decaffeinated rather than chemically decaffeinated with solvents (er, yuk).
Clipper Tea does a lovely decaf black tea, which is naturally decaffeinated using carbon dioxide.
I buy mine Clipper decaf tea through Ocado.
9. Breathe 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.
I’ve got a whole post on the benefits of deep breathing for relaxation, it includes a video on a really easy deep breathing exercise. Read it here: Just breathe!
10. 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 sat at a desk, sat in the car, sat 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 that it is heading for sleep, so it winds down all its processes.
Sitting 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 in 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 just get your body moving.
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. I’ve got a post on simple ways to build exercise into daily, have a read: How to build exercise into daily life.
11. 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 quality of sleep, sleeping in dry air can take moisture from skin and eyes, leaving you waking up looking like death warmed up.
So, first up, switch that heating right down or off at night.
Secondly, invest in a humidifier if you spend hours in centrally heated buildings.
Go for a cool-mist humidifier, because
- A. they are cheaper.
- B. they don’t generate heat like warm mist models.
So there you go
11 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.
How to stop looking tired is part of a growing series of Mums Make Lists posts on wellness.
Wellness is essential to being a happy human.
But it can be hard to find the time, let alone the brain bandwidth to focus on ourselves when we’re busy with careers and caring for others.
So, do take time to look at some of the other wellness posts to inspire yourself to keep yourself well in all ways.
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*Speak to your doctor or health practitioner before taking any new supplement.
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