Your Face is More Attractive After a Good Night's Sleep

face is more attractive after a good night's sleep

Your face is more attractive after a good night's sleep - at least that's how it looks with that first glance in the mirror.  Is it an allusion or do you really look better? If so, what specifically changes? Do you look worse when you are sleep deprived? Yep! Scientists have confirmed it. 

According to the results of a new scientific study, you are more attractive after a good night's sleep! 

Said another way, when you are sleep deprived it shows on your face for everyone to see - and not in a good way.

You've probably noticed that your face is more attractive after a good night's sleep - it's easier to confidently start your day looking good, rested and vibrant. But what exactly is the difference; what's less attractive about your face when you are sleep deprived? What "issues" do you need to compensate for if you don't want your sleep deprivation to show?

Researchers in the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University have studied exactly this question. They note that

Because these facial regions are important in the communication between humans, facial cues of sleep deprivation and fatigue may carry social consequences for the sleep deprived individual in everyday life.

Why does your face look bad when you don't get enough sleep?

Facial appearance changes you can expect to see in the mirror when you are sleep deprived include: 

  1. Hanging eyelids
  2. Red eyes (more than any usual redness)
  3. Swollen eyes (more than any typical swelling)
  4. Dark circles under the eyes
  5. Paler skin
  6. Increased wrinkles/fine lines
  7. Additional droopy corners of the mouth

So, "beauty rest" really is exactly that! If you need a predictably attractive face when you wake up after sleep, you need to plan on getting enough sleep to achieve the goal! When that isn't possible (this coming from a woman who has historically burned her candle at both ends for years), there is still hope. The good news is now you know exactly what you need to cover up so that your sleep deprivation doesn't show!

As a dermatologist, what do I recommend to help hide the skin changes of being sleep deprived?

You need a targeted approach to reverse the list above. 

Step 1. Exfoliate and deeply hydrate your skin to instantly brighten your complexion, and plump up fine lines and wrinkles.

Best exfoliation to help make your face more attractive when you don't get enough sleep

My favorite facial exfoliating scrub is my Triple Action Exfoliating Facial Cleanser which instantly brightens dull sleep deprived skin. I can't tell you how many days this has been my morning savior when I see tired, sallow, and fine-line-wrinkled me looking back in the mirror after a night of waking up with some 3am "big idea" that won't let me fall back asleep.

For instant plumping hydration, I recommend a product that is rich in hyaluronic acid (because it brings 19% of its weight in water into your outer skin layer for instant plumping, kind of like filling up a water balloon!). My favorite hyaluronic acid-rich product is Instantly Luminous Multi-Action Serum. Made with multiple molecular weight hyaluronic acid combined with water sponge glycerin and sodium PCA (part of your skin's Natural Moisturizing Factor). This product works wonders. I wear it every day. It plumps up your sleep deprived crepey, dull, tired-looking complexion instantly - really!

why does my face look better at night

Combine this with an antioxidant recharging superhero product that replenishes your depleted sleep deprived skin instantly. The best option is my Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy. It's loaded with more active green tea antioxidants than any other product - the equivalent of 500 cups of green tea polyphenol antioxidants per ounce of cream. There is nothing that compares.  This product combo comes together in my popular Layered Up Besties. 

Layer a moisturizer under your sunscreen and your set!

best face moisturizer and sunscreen

My favorite moisturizer and sunscreen combination is to layer my Daily Face Cream under Sheer Strength Pure Physical Tinted SPF 30+ Sunscreen. The tinting blends into all skin types, gives your skin a silky feel, absorbs excess oil throughout the day to prevent shine, and is the perfect primer for makeup. Get both in my Fort Knox for Your Face Kit. 

Step 2. Target your sleep deprived 'eye issues'.

You need treatments that counter the swollen and hanging eyelid skin and the dark circles and eye redness. You also need a really good artistic trick for color correction.

Dermatologist's 3 favorite eye area remedies to reverse the signs of sleep deprivation 

#1: Use chilled tea bag or cucumber soaks to reduce puffy eyes from too little sleep.  

Your face is more attractive after a good night's sleep

It's a time-honored trick that works for eyelid skin swelling/hanging and overall eye redness.  It's relaxing too.  To do the soaks, you need to thinly slice four rounds of cucumber or boil four bags of green or black tea then chill them quickly in the fridge in ice water until cold. Sit back with your head supported but above your heart, close your eyes and place the damp (not sopping wet) cucumber slices or tea bags on your eyes for 10 minutes. Change them as they warm, re-chilling the ones you just removed. Relax while the swelling and redness subside.

#2: Apply Advanced Corrective Eye Repair Cream to target the causes of under eye circles from too little sleep. 

get rid of puffy eyes and undereye circles from no sleep with this

Advanced Corrective Eye Cream is packed with everything known by science to work for under-eye bags, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. It has the right amount of arnica, retinol, green tea polyphenols, and peptides for delicate eye skin. It's a brilliant blend of skin care science and nature in my opinion. It also makes a great base for your concealer. 

#3: Use makeup and/or concealer to hide the under eye circles

Understand the art of color correction and you will do a masterful job concealing your under-eye circles. Dark circles are usually more purple than red in color so use concealers with more yellow hues as yellow covers purple best (green hues cover red).

under eye mineral makeup concealer

For my fair skin, my trick is to brush on my Antique Beige Baked Mineral Powder over my Advanced Corrective Eye Repair Cream and Sheer Strength Tinted Sunscreen. Normally the Antique Beige is just a little too yellow for the rest of my skin but it's perfect to counter purple/blue circles.  I may also dust my Simply Beige Powder on top and on all my facial skin.

My Baked Mineral Makeup has mica brighteners to help throw light and lessen any shadowing from age induced under eye volume loss (a normal consequence of life at my delicate age). This trick works well for me when my sleep did not! 

For the sagging mouth consequences of sleep deprivation, we're just going to need to smile more. We'll feel better on the inside too because sporting a smile helps lift our spirits. (Of course, if age and volume loss is causing chronic mouth sagging there's nothing like a little filler injection at the corners of the mouth in the marionette lines using Juvederm to give a nice and natural upturn to the edges of the mouth. It's one of those simple cosmetic procedures that makes a very real, but subtle, difference.)

What's the bottom line with sleep deprivation and your appearance?

You and I both need our beauty sleep. Your face and my face really are more attractive after a good night's sleep! Make a pact with yourself to give yourself a full 8 hours of sleep every night. It will seriously enhance your beauty and does wonderful things for your vitality and internal health too. When our sleep fails us though, there are some nice tricks to target the specific tell-tale signs on our face.


Sundelin T; Lekander M; Kecklund G; Van Someren EJW; Olsson A; Axelsson J. Cues of fatigue: effects of sleep deprivation on facial appearance. SLEEP 2013;36(9):1355-1360.

Axelsson J, Sundelin T, Ingre M, Van Someren EJ, Olsson A, Lekander M., Beauty sleep: experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of sleep deprived peopleBMJ. 2010 Dec 14;341:c6614.

Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Hiya Images/Corbis