Who says you should wait until the weekend to pamper your body and mind? Frankly, weekdays are when you probably need it the most! So, how about embracing a relaxing self-care nighttime routine that helps you wind down from a hectic day and sets you up for the day ahead?
The one thing that stands between most people and the idea of a nightly self-care routine is time. Some days, it can feel like you barely get to bed on time to clock a decent amount of sleep. But the secret is in the planning…
How To Form a Nightly Self Care Routine
1. Have a Regular Bedtime
When it comes to nighttime beauty rituals, perhaps the most important one involves sleep. Set a bedtime, and do your best to stick to it. Going to bed at the same time each night ensures that you’ll get enough sleep to be on top of your game the next day.
As it turns out, research also shows that having a regular sleep-wake schedule offers many health benefits, including helping lower your risk of obesity. It also may help keep your heart healthy!1
Once you set your bedtime, you can work backward in your mind to figure out when you should eat dinner and how much time to allow for your self-care beauty ritual.
2. Light Up the Candles
Use candles to create a relaxing, low-light environment in your bathroom. Low light helps signal your body to begin producing melatonin – the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycles.
Too much light at night, including the blue light emitted by computers and smartphones, can suppress this “sleep hormone.” This may make it harder for you to get to sleep.2,3
Tip: Using candles fragranced with your favorite scent is even better! Certain fragrances like lavender or jasmine may help you to relax and de-stress even more.
3. Mask It
A mask is a great way to pamper your skin. Depending on the type of mask and your skin type, you may only want to include this step 1-3 times per week. But if your skin is very dry, and your mask is ultra-hydrating, you can use one more often.
It’s important to prep your skin before you apply a mask.
So, begin your skin care ritual by removing your makeup and cleansing your face.
You can save even more time by using a waterless, cleansing cream that works to move makeup and purify skin simultaneously.
If you use an exfoliator at night, you should also apply this. Then, rinse and pat your skin dry. Now you can apply that mask!
4. Draw a Bath
Now, while you have that mask on, an amazing way to wind down is to take a warm bath. Before you say you don’t have the time – know that even 10-15 minutes will do the trick. Make time, especially if you’re under a lot of stress.
The beauty of a bath is that you can’t multitask. And the warm water and steam will help open up your pores and relax your mind.
In fact, a nightly bath has far less to do with getting clean, and everything to do with creating a zen-like space for your thoughts. Set a timer if time is tight, and then lie back with that mask on, and relax.
5. Complete your Skin Care Routine
Once you’ve enjoyed your soak, it’s time to finish that skin care routine. Gently remove your mask. Then, apply your:
- Eye cream
If you’ve been using a Korean-style serum mask, consider this the serum step. Rather than rinsing, gently massage the remaining product into your skin and apply your eye cream and moisturizer.
6. Ditch Nighttime Electronic Habits
Now that you’re all cleansed and relaxed, try to stick with the low-lighting theme throughout your home. Choose fairy lights, candles, and lamps over full overhead lighting. And most importantly, stay off those electronic devices!
Remember, this is your time. The last thing you need to see is a stressful email or an Instagram of someone else’s dinner. Plus, as you now know, the blue light that emanates from these electronics can disrupt your melatonin levels.
7. Treat Your Hands and Feet
Before you hop into bed, give those hands and feet a little pampering. They certainly work hard for you all day long!
Choose a deliciously rich moisturizer and slather it on generously. For added benefit, pop on some cotton socks and/or gloves to help your hands and feet better absorb all that moisture.
8. Lie Down with a Book on a Silk Pillowcase
Now, where’s that book you never seem to have time to read? Reading is an excellent way to unwind for sleep. In fact, research suggests that reading for as little as 6 minutes can slow the heart rate and ease muscle tension and stress.4
And, why not purchase yourself a silk pillowcase to finish your nightly self care routine? A silk pillowcase allows the skin to slide more freely than cotton. Goodbye to waking up with those stay-fast face creases!
There’s also far less friction with silk, so your skin might be more protected from physical stressors that could cause visible signs of aging. And silk may help your skin and hair retain moisture, as it absorbs less moisture than cotton.5
A Bedtime Routine for a Good Night’s Sleep
It’s amazing the good night’s sleep you can get when you have a self-care routine in place. But this is because your body needs to be relaxed enough to sleep well.
A nighttime beauty ritual is wonderfully two-fold – your skin gets a pampering and your health and well-being get a boost. So, if you start to feel guilty for pampering yourself daily, remember that your health and wellness depend on it!
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