Follow a few of these evening beauty tips, and no one will know you spent most of the night looking for monsters under the bed.

latin woman washing her face
Credit: Anastasiia Kazakova/Shutterstock

Turns out that the whole idea of beauty sleep isn’t a fairy tale. Recently, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Cleveland, teamed up with cosmetic company Estée Lauder to do a study on the effects of sleep quality on skin. One of the most interesting findings: People who slept poorly showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging, including fine lines, uneven pigmentation, and sagging as a result of reduced elasticity.

These results came as no surprise to Elma Baron, M.D., the research dermatologist who led the study for UHCMC. “Just like other organ systems in the body that are negatively affected by lack of sleep, your skin also suffers,” she says. But clocking nine hours a night? Yeah, right. The second best thing: using effective products at bedtime, when your body goes into repair mode. Follow this advice and things will be less alarming in the a.m.

Bedtime Beauty Clean And Clear Face Wash
Credit: Peter Ardito

1. Take It Off 

Even if it’s the only thing you do, cleansing is a crucial step before bedtime to remove makeup and impurities that can cause clogged pores, which in turn can trigger acne and ultimately lead to an irregular complexion, says Leyda Bowes, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami, Florida. We like Clean & Clear Night Relaxing Deep Cleaning Face Wash ($6), which gets the job done fast and has a calming fragrance. But if you’re too tired to even step up to the sink, leave a product such as Huggies One and Done Clutch ’n’ Clean wipes ($7) on your nightstand to quickly erase the day from your face.​

Bedtime Beauty Yes To Coconuts Eye Balm
Credit: Peter Ardito

2. Be Kind To Your Eyes

Dr. Bowes recommends sleeping with your head slightly elevated to reduce the natural pooling of excess fluids that lead to a tired, puffy look. And consider a product such as Yes To Coconut Hydrate & Restore Ultra Hydrating Overnight Eye Balm ($16), which promises to keep the delicate skin there nourished throughout the night.

Bedtime Beauty Lancome Mask And Lather Balm
Credit: Peter Ardito

3. Lock In The Moisture

Your skin loses 20 percent more water at night than in the daytime because of how hard it’s working to repair itself, says Dr. Bowes. One way to ensure that the telltale signs of dehydration don’t show up on your face: Apply an antioxidantrich cream such as Lancôme Énergie de Vie Nuit The Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask ($65) every night after cleansing. And don't forget to give the places prone to flaking and cracking—lips, elbows, heels, and cuticles—a little TLC. We’re fans of Lather Quiet Night Relaxing Balm ($9), which provides aromatherapy benefits to boot.

Bedtime Beauty Nuance Retinol Capsules
Credit: Peter Ardito

4. Add A Dose Of Retinol

This ingredient is proven to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover, resulting in fewer lines and a more even skin tone. Nuance Salma Hayek Overnight Time-Release Retinol Capsules ($19) gives you a premeasured amount of the potent stuff and can be mixed with your favorite night cream.

Bedtime Beauty Curel Wet Skin Moisturizer
Credit: Peter Ardito

5. Address Your Toughest Skin Issues While You Sleep

You can’t solve chronic dry skin overnight, but new OTC lotions are promising a rapid improvement when applied daily. Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer ($8) is supposed to be applied immediately after stepping out of the shower or tub, prior to toweling off. Use it as an excuse to draw yourself a warm, relaxing bath before crawling into bed.