Aside from a few quirks (snoring; dream-talking; the odd night terror), I’m a relatively average sleeper. I am not, however, an average beauty consumer. Throw a couple of unpronounceable extracts or chemical compounds onto an ingredient list and I will throw my money directly at them. So when my editors asked me to dust off my old test-driving cap to try out a few of the newest beautifying purported sleep aids, I agreed faster than you can say “lavandula angustifolia.”
Over the course of three nights, I effectively rolled in a jelly, a spray and a topical “sleep cocoon” cream in the hopes of crashing harder and waking up dewier. Here’s how each fared — and how I slept.
Why Am I So Tired All the Time? We Asked a Doctor, So You Don’t Have ToThe promise: As with the rest of our body, skin cells repair themselves like dutiful, insomniac ants while we sleep, so the witching hour seems as good a time as any to fight what Dermalogica calls “skin fatigue.” How exactly? By applying a “nourishing cocoon” (or face cream) made of tamarind seed extract, Persian silk tree extract and “motion-activated” French lavender essential oils to your mug. Bonus: It comes in a futuristic space-age package.
The zzz-factor: Z. As in zit. This cream gave me a zit. That said, I quite enjoyed the emulsion’s pleasing lavender scent, even if I have the distinct feeling that its “motion-activated” release conflicts with all the lights-out sleep it’s supposed to induce. But I digress. What really helped me rest easier — aside from the hard-earned smugness I gained from remembering to moisturize pre-bed — was Dermalogica’s new Sound Sleep app, which provides soothing, slightly melodic droning tones, specifically created to pair with their skin-cocoon.
Your All-Day Guide To Better Sleep The promise: You can “lay your worries to rest” courtesy of an unnervingly wiggly blob of neroli, carrageenan, chamomile and lavender oils that you rub all over your frame, pre-bed. It’s also got the known cleansing powers of orange juice.
The zzz-factor: ZZ 1/2. At first, I was confused: Isn’t orange juice a morning thing? Have people been cleaning with orange juice this whole time? And then: WHY WON’T THE JELLY STOP JIGGLING? I stared at it a while before slathering what is essentially Jell-O all over my exhausted limbs. (By the time I stopped side-eyeing the jiggly mass, it was 11:00 p.m. And you are welcome for that image.) Whatever its deal, this stuff was nice-smelling and moisturizing enough to make me rest easy. The warm evening shower probably helped. That, and reverse-spelling “carrageenan” in my head 10 or so times.
Can’t Sleep? Here’s A New Technique That Might Help The promise: This is more of an indirect sell, but an “aromatherapeutic superblend” of lavender, vetiver and chamomile are meant to calm your body, reduce sleep anxiety, and by extension, lessen the next morning’s haggard quotient.
The z-factor: ZZZ. Shoutout to this spray for making my entire mattress and pillow (and nightstand, somehow) smell like a three-star spa. I don’t know that I look any more bright-eyed as a result of its gentle, yet potent spritzes, but I can tell you that I am almost falling asleep as I write this in bed. Now if you’ll excuse me…
The bottom line
So can any beauty products — pricey, gelatinous or otherwise — really help you sleep? Probably not, but if smelling like lavandula angustifolia helps you relax, then consider it money well spent.