When we hear the phrase “get your beauty sleep,” we often conjure up images of mid-century ladies setting their hair for the night, and applying cold cream before bed. While using certain skin care products and rituals can certainly remain staples in a modern bedtime beauty routine, we now know that “beauty sleep” goes beyond skin deep.
With the stressors of our busy lives, getting enough sleep and getting good quality sleep can be challenging. Did you know that “40% of people age 40 to 59 reported that they are getting less than recommended amounts of sleep?” Not getting enough sleep affects us in many ways: it impairs our ability to properly digest food and assimilate nutrients, throws off our cortisol:blood sugar balance which interferes with our bodies’ ability to manage stress, has a negative effect on our mental and emotional wellbeing, and directly impacts our skin.
In fact, research conducted at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio has shown a definitive connection between sleep and skin aging. This study showed that people who do not receive enough sleep appear visually older than people who receive plenty of rest. In addition to having more fine lines and wrinkles, sleep-deprived people also experience reduced skin elasticity, and uneven texture and tone. The reason is that without adequate, lucid sleep, the skin is less able to recover from factors such as oxidative stress and environmental damage.
One of the best ways to fall asleep faster, and sleep more soundly to ensure adequate beauty sleep is to create a nightly bedtime beauty routine.
Here are our top 4 tips:
1. Find a mindful way to clear your mind from the worries of the day.
This may mean journaling, a restorative yoga practice or yoga nidra practice, guided meditation, or enjoying some light reading. This doesn’t mean numbing your mind by binge watching TV shows or scrolling through social media. Purposefully clearing your mind is a great way to help you move any stressors, excitement, or excessive energy out of your mind so that you can fall asleep faster.
Mind-numbing activities don’t actually clear your mind or relieve stress. In fact, spending too much time on social media or screens can be emotionally stressful and overstimulating, which is the opposite of what’s needed for a proper bedtime routine for adults (and children and teens too).
2. Create a relaxing bedtime bath ritual.
Warm baths are ideal for one’s bedtime beauty routine. The combination of dim lighting, soothing feeling of being submerged in warm water, and the addition of detoxifying bath salts, soothing body wash like The Spa Dr® CLEAN Body Wash, and aromatic candles or essential oils help to relax the mind and body.
The warm water also raises your body temperature, so that when you step out of the bath, your body temperature drops quickly. This actually helps you get to sleep faster. You can also apply a mud mask such as The Spa Dr® Purifying Mud Mask to the face and decolletage while in a warm bath, as the warm temperature and steam will add to the mask’s benefits.
3. Soothe your skin before bed with lotions and oils.
Applying a nutrient-rich body lotion like The Spa Dr® HYDRATE Body Moisturizer or oil blend like Daily Essentials Step 4 – ENHANCE: Glow Boost after the bath not only helps to seal in moisture to support overall skin moisture, but also has other beneficial effects.
The practice of massaging oneself with oil in particular before bed dates back thousands of years to the Ayurvedic practice of Abhyanga. Benefits include “increased moisture for softer skin, improved texture, tone and overall skin appearance, and better sleep and overall health” just to name a few. Moisturizing before bed also helps soothe nerve endings, which makes it an ideal part of one’s bedtime routine for anxiety. Make sure your facial skincare routine contains soothing and hydrating botanicals and oils as well.
4. Look to your herbal allies to promote relaxation and sleep.
Many plants contain natural properties that help to soothe and relax the mind and body. Sip a cup of tea (preferably more than an hour before you go to bed) containing herbs such as passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). You can also diffuse lavender essential oils, or sleep with a lavender sachet under your pillow.
Remember, your bedtime beauty routine is not just about the products you apply to your skin.
It’s so important to focus on the “sleep” part of beauty sleep, because when you don’t get enough good quality sleep on a daily basis, your topical efforts can only go so far. We hope these bedtime beauty routine tips help you get to sleep faster, and give you many nights of peaceful, blissful beauty sleep.
Rachael Pontillo is an IAHC and AADP Board Certified International Health Coach, Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner®, licensed aesthetician. A bestselling author of the book Love Your Skin, Love Yourself. She’s the creator of the popular skincare and healthy lifestyle blog, Holistically Haute, and the online boutique skincare certification and business course, Create Your Skincare.