Five ways to instantly perk up tired-looking skin, according to a beauty editor

Five ways to instantly perk up tired-looking skin, according to a beauty editor

As a beauty editor, I get asked one question over and over again: how do I make my skin look less tired? It’s something we all want to know the answer to. Clearly a dull-looking complexion and lacklustre skin is a problem for many of us.

So what’s the answer? As you might expect, the right skincare can help. If you can’t get a full eight hours of undisturbed sleep, or if chugging two litres of water a day isn’t having much effect, you may need to make some changes to your skincare routine to make your products work harder and smarter.

From trying and testing hundreds of products and expert advice over the years, here’s what I find really works when it comes to quickly giving tired-looking skin a brightening boost…

Treat your skin with vitamin C

Many products take weeks to show positive results on skin, but vitamin C formulas can make an instant change to the brightness of your base. This wondrous skincare ingredient accelerates the production of collagen and elastin to help keep the skin plump and firm, and it also provides an instant glow.

Overdoing the vitamin C, or using too high a concentration of it, can cause sensitivity, so my advice is to pick one vitamin C-packed product and get your full fix from that. Personally, I like to use it in a serum in the mornings, and then use a vitamin C mask once a week.

I love: Germaine de Capuccini Timexpert Radiance C+ Glow Force Mask

This luxe mask only needs 15 minutes on the skin to do some serious brightening work. I use it before special occasions and on Sunday mornings when I want to set my skin up for a good week.

The mask usually costs £14.15 but you can snap one up from just £4.95* when you subscribe to our OK! Beauty Box. You’ll also get four other pampering treats with a value of over £110!

Layer your skincare properly

I used to slap on a moisturiser and hope for the best, but by midday my skin would look crepey and parched. Since I started layering my skincare properly, I’ve really seen a change in the look of my complexion. 

As a rule of thumb, this is the order to apply your products after cleansing: 

  1. Treatment/mask (if using)
  2. Eye cream
  3. Serum
  4. Moisturiser
  5. SPF

Use tanning drops

This is my go-to hack for when I want to really give my skin a little boost by the next morning. If you have a light to medium skin tone, tanning drops will help give your skin a “just back from holiday” effect. Dark skin tones can also benefit from tanning drops if they want to give their complexion more warmth – just make sure to find a product offering a deep or a dark shade.

Mix 5-7 drops into your serum or your night cream before you go to bed. I find this gives the most even, natural effect on skin.

Try facial massage

Whether you use a tool like a gua sha or just your fingers, facial massage is absolutely not a fad. Just five minutes each day can help stimulate lymphatic drainage and collagen production, and reduce puffiness under the eyes and around the jawline. 

The mornings when I find the time to massage my face, I always notice my skin appears more awake and my features more defined. It’s well worth doing. If you’re not sure how to get started, there are plenty of free videos online showing how to give yourself a skin-boosting massage in just a few minutes. 

Swap foundation for a CC cream

I used to think that on the mornings where my skin looked lacklustre, the only way I could make it look better was to slap on a thick foundation to conceal the tiredness. The problem is that heavy foundations can look cakey on the skin, and actually make it actually make skin appear more dull.

My top tip? Go for a lightweight CC cream instead, with a formula that offers skincare benefits as well as glow-boosting coverage – it can really make a difference to the tone of your base. Follow with a dab of light under-eye concealer and you’ll be reeling in the compliments in no time.