How to hide fatigue

Fatigue is something we all have to deal with at some stage, and while it’s subjective, prolonged bouts can lead to serious health conditions.

I’m working on an in-depth post about how you can deal with serious fatigue (ie lifestyle, medical intervention and sleep therapy), but today I wanted to share my ‘cosmetic’ tools for dealing with low-level, every day type fatigue. So at least I look alive, even when inside I have as much energy as a sloth.

When I was explaining the idea for this post to one PR, she said, “Oh, you mean mom-face?” Those of you with kids will understand. Yes, this is how I deal with mom-face…

I’m not sure a supplement technically fits into ‘cosmetic’, but I feel it needs a mention. When I’m having a seriously low-energy day, I pop Spirulina, specifically CellNu from Seaverah (R400). It’s indicated for cell performance, recovery and nutrition, so is basically a green juice for your cells. Packed with vitamins B1, B2 and B3, iron, copper and protein, the blue-green algae is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It has many other benefits, too – just Google it and you’ll be amazed.

The main physical signs of fatigue are dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark circles. My approach is this: exfoliate, hydrate, treat and cover (similar to stop, drop and roll, only less dramatic).

Exfoliate. Ok, so I haven’t used glandular, physical scrubs on my face for years. They aren’t good for your skin and even the oiliest of complexion doesn’t need to be scrubbed like a dirty pair of socks. Acids people, acids. I know many people don’t get on with glycolic, but there are so many acids available on the market now, it’s just a matter of finding which works best for you. My skin gets on just fine with glycolic, so I mostly use Pixi Glow Tonic (5% glycolic) (sadly not available in SA) and the Skinderm Pure Exfoliating Glo Pads (R395). Clinique, Clarins and REN all have great acid-based exfoliators and masks. You could also ask your beautician about in-salon peels. My favourite peels are the Biomedical Emporium ones. They can be customized for your skin concerns. Click here for your nearest stockist.

Hydrate. Masks, serums and creams. Literally do what ever you can to get moisture back into your skin. A plump skin is a healthy-looking one, so you’ll want all the help you can get. My hydration heroes are Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask – my all time favourite mask that hydrates and nourishes the skin like nothing else I’ve tried; SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 (R1325) is a healthy dose of moisture and its fairly runny formula makes it perfect for wearing under makeup; and at night I opt for Lamelle Correctives Hydrating HA Plus (R580) because if its thicker consistency. It is deeply hydrating and leaves the skin so plump you won’t believe it the first time you use it. I’ve also used and loved Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Intensive Moisture Quenching Bi-Phase Serum (R685) for ages.

Treat. This means specialised care for your main concern. Mine is usually sallow skin. That’s where great overnight products come in. I’ve been using the Avene PhysioLift Night Smoothing Regenerating Night Balm (R430) and PhysioLift Eyes (R380) for about a month now, and I can’t believe the difference in my skin each morning. Not only is my skin plumper and firmer, my complexion is visibly radiant. The eye cream doesn’t mess about, either. I normally go easy on eye cream at night, as I find it tends to pool under my eyes and give me terrible bags by morning, but this one just doesn’t. I wake up looking like I’ve applied an eye mask for 45 minutes. I also reply quite heavily on retinol for extra exfoliation (I don’t use the acids and retinol at the same time). My favourite is the optiphi Intense Retinol Serum (R1277).

Cover. Hard-core camouflage is needed when you’re feeling less than your best. I’ve mentioned before how much I rate the Catrice Re-Touch Concealers (R93 each), and the Brightening and Dark Circle ones are the best duo for fatigued complexions. Pair them with Sisley’s fabulous Instant Glow Primer (R1025) or for those of you on a smaller budget, The Body Shop InstaGlow Bright Glow CC Cream (R200), and you’ll be glowing like a person who’s had 8 hours sleep. Stay away from mattifying powders, as they’ll dull all the glow you’ve added. Apply your regular foundation over the top, add a pop of blush, curl your lashes and wear a bright lip for top fake-it-till-you-make-it points.

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