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You’re not dreaming — it is possible to get dewier skin and glossier hair while you snooze.
updated 2/5/2009 9:35:36 AM ET 2009-02-05T14:35:36

Mend stressed-out skin
Sleep time is optimum for cellular repair because there are more hours for products to sink in and fewer environmental stressors to prevent absorption, says Tina Alster, M.D., a dermatologist in Washington, D.C.

If you have dry to normal skin, after cleansing, apply a dime-sized blob of Vaseline to slightly damp skin. Rub it in until it becomes less greasy (within 30 seconds — we promise!). The petrolatum creates a seal, so moisture penetrates and plumps skin rather than evaporates.

If you have oily skin, opt for a serum that’s noncomedogenic to keep from clogging pores. Try one that has skin-strengthening peptides, too, such as Kinerase C6 Peptide Intensive Treatment, $77.

Deflate puffy, tired eyes
To awaken looking rested, treat eyes before you snooze with a generous dose of a caffeine-packed eye cream (a good one: 100% Pure Caffeine Eye Cream, $19). Because the cream isn’t topped by eye makeup, it can easily seep into skin to tighten and reduce bloating. Next, elevate your head with a couple of pillows before you fall asleep to prevent fluids from building up under eyes.

If your puffiness is caused by allergies — not late-night "Scrubs" reruns — consult your doctor about occasionally taking an antihistamine, such as Claritin, which could help drain excess fluid. If you still have bags in the a.m., do a facial massage around eyes to stimulate blood flow and take down any swelling.

Make drab hair dazzle
Use your downtime to get less frizzy hair with an ultra-conditioning mask. Look for products that say overnight on the label (SELF likes new L’Oréal Professionnel Liss Ultime Nuit Treatment, $35); they are less messy than an in-the-shower mask. Apply to towel-dried hair (it will slide off if hair is too wet), then help the mask penetrate by covering it with a shower cap. “The heat from your scalp will encourage oils to absorb into hair, softening each strand — it’s like getting a salon treatment for eight hours straight,” says Edris, owner of the Edris Salon in New York City.

When you wake up, skip the shampoo and conditioner and simply rinse. You’ll rise and truly shine!

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