It’s Sunday night. Your body is somewhat angry with you for boozy brunches, late-night pizzas, and watching Netflix for hours (doesn’t Netflix get that yes, I am still watching New Girl, thanks for checking again!). You wake up Monday morning with hollow, dark under-eye circles and a few extra zits that you can attest to that second mimosa on Saturday and tempura sushi on Sunday.
I love a lazy, indulgent weekend as much as the next girl – life is meant to be enjoyed, duh! However, I am not for the bad skin days that can sometimes come with them. Come Monday, we’re busy with meetings, errands, and, you know, taking over the world, so the last thing any of us need to worry about is pesky zits or under-eye bags that let our coworkers know exactly how we spent our weekend (no matter how much concealer is used). Even if you are a real adult and don’t destroy your skin like the rest of us come Friday night, why not use the weekend to get your most flawless skin by Monday?
So for you, the glow-getter who wants to glow just as much on the outside as she does on the inside (was that cheesy???), here are 13 skincare hacks that not only will prevent bad skin days, but have you waking up with the glowiest, best skin ever on Monday. Good skin isn’t impossible to achieve – it only takes a weekend.
1. Double cleanse nightly
Even if a double cleanse is a little too extra for your everyday routine, it’s worth the effort on the weekends when you’re putting your skin through more hell than usual. A double cleanse not only ensures every trace of make up, sunscreen, dirt, and oil is off your face, but it’s another chance to expose more good-for-you ingredients to your skin (so choose wisely on which products you use). The key is to start with a balm or cleansing oil that melts away makeup and dirt without dehydrating the skin, and to use a gel cleanser or wash afterward.
2. Get a lot of sleep
It’s often overlooked, but sleep is one of the most crucial factors of healthy, glowing skin – beauty sleep is real. Not only does skin make more collagen when you’re sleeping (boosts glow and prevents aging), but your body increases blood flow while you sleep, meaning more glow. On the flip side, not getting enough sleep can cause inflammation and worsen existing skin conditions (like acne, sensitive skin, etc.), accelerate aging, and result in poor water balance (puffy eye bags, under-eye circles, dryness, and more defined lines). You should be getting at least seven hours every night, but on weekends, aim for eight to nine hours.
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but alcohol actually disrupts your sleep cycles. Even if it makes you PTFO (one glass of red wine and I am always ready for bed!), once the alcohol is absorbed through the system, it will make it harder for your body to get into deep REM cycles. This is oftentimes why you can wake up at noon after a night out and still not feel rested (that, and your internal clock is all out of whack with your usual sleeping times). If you can, have your last drink at least a couple hours before bed and chug water before falling asleep.
3. Eat your greens
Leafy greens are crucial to skin health. Not only do leafy greens prevent aging, but they boost collagen production through nutrients like vitamin C (hello, glow!) and also work to detoxify the skin (helping to prevent pimples, clogged pores, and inflammation). Some more benefits (yes, the list keeps going on): high levels of vitamin A flush out toxins and combat acne, vitamin E and folate protect skin from damage, while chlorophyll and lutein boost hydration levels in the skin.
So you’re busy living your life, I get it. I would never tell you to replace your Eggs Benedict brunch with a salad, but think about where you can add in more good-for-you greens into your weekend lifestyle. Even easy hacks like ordering a side salad with dinner or asking for Eggs Florentine (Eggs Benedict with spinach instead of ham) can start to add up. When you do cook at home, make sure leafy greens are always involved.
4. Try an overnight treatment
If you don’t have a weekly overnight treatment for your skin, you’re missing out on some major perks. Most weekly treatments contain glow-boosting acids that are more concentrated than daily formulas, and therefore can cause sensitivity or irritation if used too often. However, using an overnight treatment once or twice a week can bring faster cell turnover, better exfoliation, and overall, way more glow. Add in an overnight acid treatment to your weekend skincare routine to erase the damage done from the week (stress is damaging too!), and set the scene for Monday with bright, exfoliated, and clear skin.
5. Dry brush the body
Sure, this popular skincare trend is more focused on the skin throughout the body, but it has glow-boosting benefits too. Not only does dry brushing exfoliate the skin, but it also detoxifies the body by increasing blood circulation, promoting lymphatic drainage and stimulating the nervous system. Anything that gets blood circulating and promotes lymphatic drainage boosts healthy complexion throughout the body, giving you an all-over glow. Dry brush before you get in the shower (so you can rinse off the dead skin cells) and make sure to moisturize the body afterwards. Work in quick, circular motions towards the heart for full benefits.
6. Get sweaty
Exercise does not only do amazing things for your body, it also does great things for your skin – when you sweat, toxins are released (that includes from pores!) and movement makes blood and oxygen pump through your body, increasing circulation and creating a long-lasting healthy flush of color. Pick a particularly sweat-inducing workout this weekend, whether it’s hot yoga or a hike outside (don’t forget your sunscreen!), and get ready to reap the benefits by Monday. Just a quick tip: be sure to shower or cleanse skin as soon after a sweat session as possible. While sweat is good for the skin, the bacteria that forms when it’s sitting for too long (whether on your face or trapped in gym clothes) can cause acne and irritation.
Whenever my skin is looking too dull, dry, or clogged (whether it’s after a long flight or a long weekend) I like to binge-mask, aka do multiple masks in a row. Take “Self-Care Sunday” to a whole new level with a series of glow-inducing masks to not only rid your pores of any damage done over the weekend, but to also boost hydration, exfoliation, and even texture. In order to not overpower your skin (something very easy to do!) avoid using the same ingredients in different masks, and vary purposes with each mask.
For example, I always do a clay-based mask to start (with the purpose of unclogging pores), then switch to a light exfoliation mask (to get rid of dead skin cells, usually with acids – make sure it’s gentle). After that, I leave on a sheet mask for about 20 minutes, and apply a hydrating mask to finish. Combine hydrating, detoxifying, and exfoliating for the best results that won’t irritate skin.
8. Apply a non-toxic self tanner
The easiest, quickest way to faux a glow by Monday? Self-tanner of course! Not only does a gentle color mask imperfections, but it evens skin tone and makes you appear well-rested (even if you stayed up until 3am bingeing on Suits). It’s a small tweak that makes a big difference between bloated, tired, Monday mornings and that just-got-back-from-vacation glow. Choose a more natural option for less toxicity (and better smell!), in formulas that simultaneously hydrate the skin like oils, mists, and mousses.
9. Massage your face
Ah, one of my favorite topics in the world: facial massage. Facial massage works to de-puff by draining lymph, prevents wrinkles by releasing tension, and actually has immediate effects in boosting blood flow. Grab a facial oil and go to town just using your hands (try a DIY video like this, or try out products meant for facial massage like the ancient practice of Gua Sha or a massage head for your Clarisonic). For extra de-puffing benefits or to reduce redness, try massaging with an ice roller or even an ice cube.
10. Take your supplements
Just because it’s the weekend and you have days off of work does not mean you have days off of supplements. Taking a probiotic has proven benefits for boosting skin health, adding collagen to your coffee or smoothie will even skin tone and reduce wrinkles, and vitamin C helps to heal damaged skin. Keep up with your daily routine to prevent damage, and consider adding in specialized supplements, like adaptogens, for skin health whenever your skin needs some extra help.
11. Eat your water
While there’s debate about whether or not water intake actually affects hydration of the skin, there is a lot to be said about hangover face (read: pimples, dark under eye circles, dullness) that’s caused from dehydration and toxins. Your skin is an organ, and just like every other organ in your body, it’s made up of cells. To get more science-y, each cell is actually made up of water, so therefore, without proper hydration, cells cannot function as well as possible. Alcohol, sun exposure, sugar, sweating, and stress can all cause dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking enough water (aim for at least eight 8-oz. glasses a day).
For an extra skin health boost, make sure you’re eating your water as well. Load up on produce like watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, and strawberries that are all around 85-95 percent water. You’ll not only hydrate your body, but will also get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals that are good for detoxing your skin and boosting glow.
12. Add face oil to your foundation
One of my favorite glow hacks: adding oil to foundation. It’s so simple, and yet makes all the difference in appearance of skin. Adding a few drops of your favorite facial oil to your foundation or patting it on skin right before foundation application will not only make skin appear dewier, fresher, and healthier, but will also be adding more good-for-the-skin nutrients and hydration (important especially because ingredients in certain foundations can actually dry out skin). Just make sure to wear a sunscreen as oils can attract sun rays, and you’ll have your healthiest, dewiest skin ever. Highlighter who!?
13. Get a treatment
If you really want flawless skin, the truth is that treatments get you there faster and better than whatever you can DIY. Experts have the tools, formulas, and procedures that can do more for your skin than any Gua Sha or sheet mask could. I know what you’re thinking, “Duh Josie, if I could get a facial every day I would!” But if you budget right, and find the right treatment, a facial could be more a part of your skincare routine than a luxury.
At the beginning of each month or yearly quarter, see if you can make room in your budget for a facial. Scour deals on Groupon, or ask your dermatologist for any offerings that might be covered by insurance (I paid $30 for a SilkPeel when my dermatologist prescribed it as a treatment for acne!). Plan to skip the Soul Cycle membership for a few days and work out at home, or invite friends over for a potluck instead of going out to dinner in order to find the money without damaging your saving/spending goals. If your skin is worse than usual, or you’re looking to achieve your most flawless skin by Monday, book a facial over the weekend for the quickest and best results.