I Have 3 Kids Under 5 & These Fast Skincare Hacks Make Me Look Like I've Slept


Any parent will tell you the sleep deprivation that goes along with parenthood is pretty bad.

Scrap that. It sucks. There's literally no way to sugar coat it. (I’m sorry.)

Undoubtedly, having children is a magical experience and it's kind of worth all the broken sleep and bad nights.

But as someone who is perpetually sleep-deprived thanks to three kids under five, I recommend nailing a few fast skincare hacks you can lean on after one of those nights.

You know, when you realise it's now light outside and your eyes literally feel like they’re about to fall out of your head and you can't help but feel like your children might be... broken?

Keep scrolling for what I do the morning after a terrible night's sleep. These are useful for fellow sleep-deprived parents, but also literally any weary person.

Why is Sleep So Important for Skin?

Despite feeling like utter crap, a bad night's sleep isn't great for overall skin health.

Sleep is one of our most underrated beauty products - and it’s free!

When we sleep, our skin cells go into mitosis (they divide and multiply), which essentially forces our skin cells to go into renewal mode.

Poor sleep reduces the skin's ability to perform this function, but it can also increase our stress hormone cortisol, leading to added inflammation in our bodies. And extra inflammation can lead to skin conditions such as congestion, dullness, and the appearance of ageing.

My Tired Mum Skincare Hacks.

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Aside from being a dermal therapist, I'm basically an expert on how to look and feel alive on minimal sleep and with minimal effort.

I've previously written about my two-minute skincare routine for busy mums, and the fast makeup routine that helps hide a crap night spent up with the kids.

So now, let me tell you exactly what I do in the morning skincare-wise when my children stayed up partying like Scott Disick the night before.

Tip 1: Everything Must Be Cold.

Honestly, I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to my skin care. However, something I always do is keep emergency sleep deprivation skin care in the fridge.

Why? Mainly because cold face masks and eye masks are INCREDIBLE when your face feels like it’s going to fall off from tiredness.

Trust me. It’s instantly energising. Even if it's only a placebo.

I have two sheet masks I love to use after a bad night. They’re super bougie and expensive, so I only save them for these emergency situations.

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First is the Société Rejuvenating Peptide Mask - they’re actually ones you’re meant to use post-clinic treatment to help your skin heal.

However, I’ve always used them post-bad nights with the kids because… same same. HA.

I also like the Aceology Frose Infusion Gel Mask because they’re half the price and a 7/10 dupe for the Societe ones. 

Tip 2: The Best Under Eye Patches for Puffy Eyes.

Société Eye Peptide Masks are also amazing and like the mini eye version of the full face mask above.

I keep these in the fridge too and never use them all the time, only for emergencies.

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However, if you’re after a cheaper alternative, our Senior Editor Amy loves the Pixi DetoxifEYE Depuffing Eye Patches - these contain caffeine and hyaluronic acid, both super beneficial ingredients for the under-eye area sans sleep.

Under-eye patches instantly help you look awake. Plus, they hydrate the under-eye skin ready for you to pop concealer on top.

Tip 3: Ice Rolling & Facial Massage.

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Staying with the cold theme, I love to roll my face with the Aceology Ice Globe Facial Massager Set after I'm done with my masks.

Keep these in the fridge and then gently run them over your slippy, serum-y skin in an upwards motion (gotta go against gravity!).

They're much easier to use than leaving your head in the freezer wishing someone would come save you. They’re cute too. But you could also use cold spoons.

I highly recommend ice rolling while you make yourself a coffee.

Tip 4: Best Skincare for Dehydrated Skin.

Fun fact: Sleep deprivation generally leads to dehydrated skin.

So, I always go hard with the hydrating skincare products in my morning routine after a bad night.

Got dry skin? You can do this every day. My normal/combo skin type doesn't usually need a lot of hydrating ingredients daily.

Two of my go-to products are a good hyaluronic acid serum and a thick moisturiser so my makeup doesn’t cake off and fall to the ground. 

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SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel - 30ml and Beauté Pacifique SuperFruit Moisture Skin Enforcement Serumare great options because they contain skin barrier-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 (panthenol). They help the skin hold onto water, which can plump the appearance of dehydration fine lines.

Next step is the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser which is a holy grail moisturiser that never fails to disappoint.

It’s so incredibly hydrating and gives your skin a juicy, glowy look. And foundation and concealer glide on like the dream you didn't get to have because your kid Wouldn't Stop Crying.

And that’s it. Are any of these products or tips life-changing. Not really. Can they replace sleep? Absolutely not.

But half the battle with sleep deprivation is in how you feel, so if these hacks can make you feel that bit better, everything else seems more manageable. Kind of.

Want more easy skincare tips and product recommendations? Check out these stories below!

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