18 Beauty Tricks to Try Only when You’re Sleeping

Real Beauty

Get your beauty rest-literally. Your body repairs and restores itself most during biological processes that occur when you're catching Z's. We consulted doctors and experts for the best overnight miracles.

#1: Zap Zits

Pimples may disappear like magic if you treat them with a product containing an antibacterial ingredient (bacteria can cause acne) and a sebum controller like zinc, says Kansas City, Missouri, dermatologist Audrey Kunin, M.D., associate clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

#2: Soothe Irritation

To reduce redness, makeup expert Jane Iredale recommends dusting on a loose micronized mineral powder with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties and won't clog your pores.

#3: Reduce Wrinkles

A cream or serum with vitamin A or retinol will help counteract fine lines, says Dr. Leffell, M.D., professor of dermatology and surgery at Yale University's School of Medicine, and since it can make your skin sun-sensitive for a few hours, it's best used at night. To treat deeper wrinkles, ask your dermatologist about a prescription for Renova, Retin-A or Avage, a cream that recently received FDA approval. Use every other night to reduce the chance of irritation.

Read More:The Best Overnight Skin Treatments

#4: Protect Your Face

On the nights you're not using vitamin A, try a cream or lotion with antioxidants, which help fight off skin-damaging free radicals. Since you're most exposed to these particles when you're out in the sun and fresh air, nighttime is your best bet for a fix, says Los Angeles-based dermatologist Howard Murad, M.D.

#5: Hydrate Dry, Rough Feet

Rub on a foot cream, then pull on cotton socks to hold the moisture in. (Have trouble sleeping in socks? Cut off the toe ends so your feet can breathe. Your heels will still reap the benefits.)

#6: Get Silky

Plagued by dull or flaky skin? Instead of vitamin A, use a glycolic acid cream to slough away the dead skin cells, which will help increase moisture retention. Check the label: You're not looking for straight glycolic acid, but rather its salt compound form, which will be listed as glycolic acid compound or glycolic and ammonium glycolate. The compound has been buffered to make it less acidic (i.e., less harsh) than glycolic acid - plus it's time-released, so it works all night,  says Dr. Kunin.

#7: Defeat Major Skin Flaking

If your skin's still alligator-rough after regular glycolic acid use, try an at-home microdermabrasion kit with a buffing tool and cream. Follow with a moisturizer containing a gentle emollient like dimethicone or beeswax. The dermabrasion will exfoliate your skin thoroughly, letting the moisturizer penetrate deeply.

#8: Prevent Puff

Do you retain water in your face and eye area? Lisa Okesson, national training manager for makeup company Shu Uemura USA, suggests this old Hollywood secret: Sleep on your back and use a slightly elevated firm pillow to help prevent fluids from pooling in your facial tissues at night.

Read More: 101 Tips For Your Best Skin Ever

#9 Smooth Crepey Lids

Heavy creams can cause whiteheads to form on the thin skin of your eyelids. For that area, many doctors like Neova Eye Therapy, a light gel with a GHK copper peptide to help rebuild collagen. Or wear the lightweight eye therapy mask while you sleep - it releases natural wrinkle-fighting ingredients.

#10: Moisturize Your Undereye Area

Hate the taut feeling of too-dry skin but find soothing eye gels too greasy? Dab on anti-wrinkle concealers packed with hydrators like beeswax, soybean oil, and panthenol.

#11: Save Chafed Elbows

Slip on (and sleep in) ultrathin gel-lined sleeves, which force-feed olive and jojoba oils into that ever-scruffy area.

#12: Solve Sore Fingertips

Washing your hands (and dishes) can leave the tips of your digits cracked. Apply a small amount of ethyl cyanoacrylate - a.k.a. Krazy Glue - over the crack or split to seal your skin, says Dr. Leffell. It'll peel off naturally over the next couple of weeks as the new skin grows in.

#13: Fortify Brittle Nails

Look for polishes infused with the strengthening properties of hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium, and let the coat penetrate throughout the night. It's clear, so you won't end up with smudged color come dawn.

#14: Relieve Chapping

For raw, dry hands, try a foot cream instead of a hand cream, says A-list manicurist Kristi Marie Jones. You'll be better able to tolerate the heavier consistency at night.

#15: Treat Foot Cracks

Apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment to seal cracks on the bottom of your feet, says Dr. Kunin. Top with Epilyte lotion (available at drugstores) to soften the sides of the cracks so the skin is better able to heal.

#16: Get Rid of Calluses

Soak your feet for a few minutes in lukewarm water, then massage in Carmol 20 or AmLactin 12 percent cream or lotion; both over-the-counter preparations contain ingredients to soften your soles' thick keratin layer, says Dr. Leffell.

#17: Hydrate Flaky Lips

Dry lips seem to crack the most at night, says Iredale, making lipstick application uneven and cakey in the a.m. Slather your lips with lip balm overnight to repair damage while you sleep.

#18: Repair Cuticles

"Paper absorbs the natural oils from your fingers, leaving cuticles ragged," says Jones. During the day, hands are too busy for repair work, so try this before bed: Rub a cuticle cream (oils may dissipate too quickly) around your nail bed.

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