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This Is Why Your Skin Looks Tired — & Here’s How To Perk It Up


Even people with completely clear complexions void of any trace of acne, redness or hyperpigmentation can fall prey to SFS — that’s Sleepy Flesh Syndrome for the uninitiated. Okay, that’s not really a thing, but based on how often we hear complaints about tired skin, it probably should be. You know what we’re talking about: that sallow, dull, sometimes flaky reflection staring back at you in the mirror. The one making you look like a less glowy, slightly more zombie-fied version of yourself.

The good news is that tired skin, while common, is easy to perk back up. Follow the four simple steps below (complete with recommendations for some of our favorite products) to get your glow back, stat.

And, if you want to go the extra (glow) mile, check out our Glowipedia to discover the secrets to your most radiant skin yet. Honey Glow, anyone?

Step 1: Exfoliate


One of the biggest causes of a tired complexion comes from a layer of dead cells coating your face. Yum. In order to unlock the radiant skin underneath, you need to slough away those dulling flakes. You can do this with both physical and chemical exfoliants, but we prefer the latter for its ability to brighten both immediately and retexturize skin over time. Look for products with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acids, or for an even gentler, more hydrating exfoliation, consider polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). Lactobionic acid is the most common PHA on the market and a hugely popular exfoliator in Korea.

MakePrem_SleepingPack_PHA copy

If you want to do double-duty and exfoliate while you take off your makeup, pick up our Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser. It uses AHAs and fruit extracts to melt makeup and get rid of dead skin and pore-clogging impurities. Prefer to exfoliate while you sleep? Slather on the MAKE P:REM Radiance Peeling Sleeping Pack before bed. The lactobionic acid “unglues” dead skin cells and hyaluronic acid and ceramides deliver a hydration boost that acts as a two-in-one alarm clock for tired skin.

Step 2: Hydrate


We don’t need to tell you that it’s important to hydrate from the inside out, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water if you’re not already. Then look for a product packed with hyaluronic acid—a.k.a. the holy grail of moisturization. Hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance in the body, can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it a go-to ingredient for plumping skin for a supple (read: perky) appearance.

Not all HAs are created equal, though, which is why we opt for the Leegeeham Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule. The serum contains five different types of HAs of varying sizes, meaning each one can penetrate different layers of the skin. It also contains a moisture-reserving extract from the Resurrection plant—one of those rare botanicals that have been found to survive even with the most extreme dehydration.


In addition to its hydrating skills, HAs are also solid sources of antioxidants. Your skin is exposed to free radicals throughout the day from UV rays and pollution (another reason your skin looks tired!). Antioxidants help fend off those damaging free radicals and keep your skin fortified and protected. Our Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer contains a hefty dose of hyaluronic acid in addition to antioxidant-packed watermelon extract, so your cells are getting double the protection and your face feels hydrated to the max.

Step 3: Brighten


Lit-from-within skin always looks healthy and awake, and you don’t need to be genetically blessed by the complexion gods to get it in mere minutes — or less. Look for face masks loaded with proven brightening ingredients like vitamin C, citrus fruit extracts, and honey. If you’re a fan of sheet masks, try the ID.AZ Dermtastic Bright-Fit Mask. It also uses licorice root and brightening pearl extract to lighten dark spots and impart radiance.


Or, if you want the glow without the time commitment, use a 15-second splash mask like the Blithe Yellow Citrus and Honey Patting Water Pack. It will invigorate your complexion in less time than it takes you to sip your coffee.

Step 4: Refresh


Even the dewiest among us don’t stay that way all day without a little extra help. Stashing a few key products in your on-the-go arsenal will ensure you can revive tired skin whenever it strikes — like right before that 4 p.m. presentation (been there!).

As any good skincare nerd knows, a mist a must for midday rehydration. The Organic Flowers Damask Rose Petal Mist from Whamisa mixes rose, aloe and botanical extracts for a refreshing yet soothing pick-me-up. Spray and pat it into skin, either under or over makeup anytime you’re feeling blah.


You can also try a next-generation cushion compact like the Yuri Pibu Cucu Maronza Cushion. The BB will give you foundation-like coverage, good for concealing dark circles that could be making you look extra tired, and skin-pepping ingredients including broccoli to brighten, seaweed to moisturize, and black diamond truffle extract to hydrate and protect.

Follow these beyond easy steps and your skin will be radiant enough to make even the most strobed out Insta-star jealous.

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