You’re done with work and classes for the week and you already decided to accept a night out with your friends earlier in the week (for whatever reason). Clearly, your Tuesday-self was extra ambitious, because your Friday-self is currently exhausted after barely passing that chem exam. Now you’re already too exhausted to even think about getting ready to go out in public. And you’re ready for a nap.
Let’s face it, this happens nearly every Friday night — but you shouldn’t have to pick between getting ready and dozing off for an hour (or two). Instead, optimize your nap sesh and prep your skin while you slumber, so your makeup (or your gorgeous bare skin) looks like the Kardashians applied it themselves.
1. Overnight masks
Obviously, you aren’t going to nap for a full eight hours before you hang out with your girl gang (or maybe you will because you’re a pro at time management). Regardless, “overnight” masks will help nurture your skin while you take a short nap, so your skin looks hella fresh and revitalized when you step into that the low-lit club.
Plus, there are hundreds of different types of overnight masks from sheet masks to collagen eye masks to moisturizing lip masks (which are life-changing for chapped lips, FYI)
Emily Schmidt, a sophomore at Stanford University, explains, “I have actually have slept in masks before for short power naps. I’ll put on an Aztec clay mask and set an alarm for a thirty-minute nap. You just have to make sure that you sleep on your back or side and put down a towel on the pillow. It’s a great way to get in both therapies at once.” Who says you can’t multitask while practicing self-care?
If you don’t want to look like Dwight Schrute in S5:E15 of The Office (after he cuts off and wears the CPR dummy’s face), then there are plenty of sink-in masks that are fit for any napping queen. Plus, sink-in treatments make it look like your skin is effortlessly dewy, because you don’t have to peel or rinse off any of the masks.
2. Put down a new pillowcase
Sure, you tell your parents that you wash your pillowcases and sheets every week. While lying to your parents is wrong, we all know that you lose track of time, and a “week” basically means “every other month.”
If you’re cringing right now, don’t judge us, Karen. You know you’re guilty of neglecting your laundry at times too. However, napping on a dirty pillowcase can make your face breakout, because a week-old pillowcase is essentially a biohazard zone for bacteria that can clog your pores (which is how some pimples are born).
Or you could just embrace your laziness and use a soft t-shirt as a pillowcase. (It’s probably more comfortable than your cheap, but rough, AF pillowcase anyway.)
Seriously, most dorms and apartments are drier than your dining hall’s meatloaf, which can make your skin dry and flaky (even if you don’t experience a harsh winter in your area).
While regularly cleaning and moisturizing your skin will help prevent your face from getting chapped, sometimes that just isn’t enough. So while you nap, place a humidifier next to your bed to help pump some moisture in the air.
John Remus, a senior at Iowa State University, says, “I turn on a humidifier whenever I’m in my room. I take Accutane and my face is really dry not that it’s winter. The humidifier helps prevent my skin from cracking and flaking.” Seeing as I’m John’s roommate, his seemingly poreless skin made me get a humidifier of my own (though Accutane may have helped most with his porefect complexion).
The moisture from the humidifier will help make your skin feel softer and less dull because it’s properly hydrated. You can also put a few drops of essential oils in your humidifier to make your whole apartment smell like a lavender field.
4. Nap on your back
Ever wake up with those weird face creases that make you think you suddenly sprouted 10 wrinkles overnight (or make you question how long you’ve been napping)? Yeah, those pseudo-wrinkles — which take an hour to go away — are from the wrinkles in your pillowcase.
Because a lot of people sleep on their stomachs or their sides, the wrinkles and folds of your pillowcase compress against your face. Thus, your pillowcase leaves an imprint of its own wrinkles on your 22-year-old face.
While we’re all for aging naturally, temporary wrinkles might not be the latest beauty trend. If you can nap comfortably on your back, then you don’t have to worry about waking up with those lines all over your face.
Likewise, napping on your back will keep you from smearing any of your “naptime” serums or masks all over your pillow.
5. Lather yourself in non-comedogenic oil
Okay, you don’t have to coat yourself in oil from your face to your ankles (though you could, because certain oils have some awesome superpowers).
Although coconut oil helps moisturize your skin and is especially helpful if you want to take a hot shower after your nap (because hot showers can strip your skin of its beneficial oils), it could block your pores and have a negative impact on your skin.
Because coconut oil is rated a 4 out of 5 on the comedogenic index, you might want to refrain from using coconut oil, unless you’re just using it for a short (typically 15 minutes or less) period of time to either take your makeup off or create a barrier to help prep your skin for a steam shower.
If you don’t plan on showering after your nap, then any oil that has a rating higher than a zero on a comedogenic scale has the risk of clogging your precious pores, thus creating a portal for face demons, i.e. acne, to appear.
Unless you know for a fact that your skin is flawless even when you’re coated in coconut oil, then you should try using a non-comedogenic oil like raw shea butter or aloe vera.
My personal dermatologist recommended that I used shea butter as my face moisturizer during the winter, because my face is super sensitive and even thirstier than my tweets to Tyler Posey.
However, Náosha Gregg, a sophomore at CUNY Kingsborough, says, “Rubbing aloe vera on the skin and leaving it overnight is a great way to refresh your skin.” Obviously, leaving some aloe on your skin will still leave it soft and dewy after only an hour of napping.
Regardless, it’s all about finding the non-comedogenic oil that fits your skin, so consult your dermatologist to find out which non-pore-clogging oil is best for your naptime routine.
6. Spot treat your face
Whether you need rose water to plump up your cheeks, acne healing dots for pimples or retinol for some fine lines, everyone’s skin has a plethora of needs — and no part of your skin is the same.
Kelley Seifert, an alumna of Iowa State University says, “I use Cosrx pimple patches if I’m having a breakout, and pimples are usually more manageable if not completely gone by morning.” Although you might not be napping until the next morning (otherwise you’ll miss your evening plans with your friends), you can start your pimple patch treatment and leave it on while you go out.
With the dim lighting at the bars and a little bit of foundation and/or concealer over the patch, nobody will notice it. (And if they do, who cares?) Pimple patches do more than just conceal and treat pimples, they also protect them from additional bacteria. This bacteria can be introduced when you block your already irritated pore with foundation (which, TBH, is probably expired anyway), which can cause your pimple to stick around for even longer. (Or at least that’s what dermatologist tells me.) I mean, do you really want to piss off your pimple more than necessary?
If you aren’t sure what each square inch of your face and the rest skin needs (seriously, you’re probably neglecting your skincare regime on the rest of your body), then schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to get some suggestions that benefit your skin.
After all, those Instagram-hyped products might help some people but there’s no such thing as a one-size fits all beauty routine. Otherwise, we’d all save our money and just use products from the Dollar Tree.
Even if you think you have flawless skin, it’s always a good idea to schedule a regular appointment with a dermatologist for some preventative care.
7. Hydrate yourself
Drinking enough water is one of the most underrated beauty tips — mostly because we’re all busy being so productive that we actually forget to cater to our basic needs for survival. Clearly, swerving the latest f*ckboy in your life can trump your legitimate thirst.
Nevertheless, getting enough water before a night out with your friends is vital for your skin’s health (and, you know, your liver’s health). However, your own hydration is often overlooked when you’re getting ready for a night out.
Before you take a short nap, drink a full glass of water. If you have a tiny bladder, don’t worry, your urge to pee will be a natural incentive to force yourself to get up from your nap. Just make sure you have a glass of water waiting for you when you do finally force yourself to get up and get ready — because hydration is key to having healthy and healthy looking skin.
After all, getting ready for a night out can be stressful. However, your skin deserves a bit more care before you go out. Makeup, fatty foods and alcoholic drinks can really stress your skin out, which is why preparing your skin for a night out is crucial.
Thankfully, you don’t need to spend hours cursing at your pimples and lathering ten layers of moisturizers on your dry, wintery skin to ensure that you look like your best self before your night out.