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Beauty sleep is a real thing. Your skin needs sleep to heal itself from the day’s damage. When you rest, your skin gets a chance to rejuvenate. A lack of sleep can lead to those dreaded dark circles. Let’s dive into what we can do to not just prevent them, but wake up every day feeling and looking our best.

The Causes and Effects of Poor Sleep

When we don’t get the restorative sleep we need, people can see it in our eyes, particularly puffy ones with dark circles underneath. When we’re sleep-deprived, our body produces more cortisol, a hormone typically released during stressful situations. This in turn increases fluid buildup in the face and eye area.

“Lack of restorative sleep can leave your eyes looking puffy in the morning. Because, when you’re under stress, your cortisol levels rise, and this changes the salt balance in your body,” says New York-based dermatologist and author Dr. Whitney Bowe. “In turn, this can lead you to retain water – hence, puffiness.”

While dark circles can certainly happen due to natural causes such as allergies, aging and genetics, this increased cortisol from not sleeping enough can exacerbate them. This is because cortisol also   increases the amount of blood in our bodies (so they can deal with that stressful situation). So when our blood vessels expand to accommodate that excess flow, dark circles can appear more visible.

What You Can Do to Sleep Better Tonight

Thankfully, there are a few simple steps we can take to sleep better. First is by addressing our sleep posture by sleeping on our back and if necessary, using extra pillows to prevent the aforementioned fluid accumulation. Sleeping on your back also has the effect of ensuring you don’t strain the delicate skin around your eyes when you sleep face down on your pillow.

Next is addressing the amount of extra light and sound that could disturb us and keep us from sleeping as deeply as we could. Sleeping with an eye mask, particularly ones made of silk like this one from SLIP, not only blocks out light but also helps soothe skin and keep the covered area moisturized.

For sound, Bose’s wireless Sleepbuds help to mask sound and most importantly, they don’t stream potentially distracting music or podcasts but rather, a selection of sleep-inducing sounds and frequencies.

Items to Your Enhance Night Routine

Especially in the digital age, one of the biggest impacts on our sleep has a lot to do with our sleep hygiene and the time leading up to us hitting the hay. After a long day, pamper yourself and rejuvenate using the Eyetonic from OTO. The Eyetonic helps to loosen up tense eye muscles through massaging and stimulating blood circulation around the eyes.

Don’t forget to address our general comfort through the space where we sleep. When used at night, the PicoLabb Room Energizer helps to improve circulation, particularly when placed near your feet.

For pre-bed skincare, Kiehl’s has just launched a new eye serum with vitamin C that targets dark circles while also reducing fine lines.

Similarly, Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Eye Light-Pearl™ serum also tackles dark circles, firms up the area and reduces both fine lines and eye bags.


This can be followed up with an eye cream from Elevatione, whose blend of borage oil, green tea extract, and hyaluronic acid helps to reduce puffiness.

At the end of the day, a combination of better sleep habits and the right items for us can change how we approach sleep. By making our night routine a special time to unplug and take care of ourselves, we won’t just wake up feeling 100%, but also look just as refreshed.