Beauty is much more than just the creams we use. Diet, sleep, and stress – to name a few – play significant roles in our beauty routines. Today I’m going to talk a bit about sleep, which just happens to be one of my favorite things!
I go through phases when I have trouble sleeping, but in general I get enough sleep. That being said, my schedule is very sporadic and I almost always have trouble waking up in the morning.
Lately I’ve been exploring different ways to improve the quality of my sleep, to make it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Our sleep quality has a lot to do with our overall health, including our skin health. There’s a reason why “beauty sleep” is a thing. If you don’t get enough or sleep poorly, it tends to affect how we look and feel throughout the day.
So, I’ve incorporated some new habits and products into my nighttime routine. Here’s what I’ve been using*:
1. Silk Pillowcase and Face Mask
I’m not a fan of silk bedding, but I do sleep on a silk pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases tend to drawn in moisture from your skin and can be rougher on the skin than silk pillowcases, making them a good option for sensitive skin. They’re also more gentle on your hair, reducing friction that can cause split ends and that fabulous I-woke-up-like-this bedhead.
I also have a silk face mask to block out light. Watching TV or staring at your computer or phone screen just before bed can make it harder to fall asleep, but I want to be realistic here. I do check my phone in bed, and have a bad habit of scrolling through Instagram before nodding off.
The mask helps to mimic complete darkness and signal your body to start producing melatonin, which is what makes us feel sleepy. I’ve found that using the mask, I’ve been able to “get sleepy” a lot faster than laying awake trying to keep my eyes closed.
I’ve tried a few pillow sprays before, and they’ve all been pretty heavy on the lavender. While I like lavender and its calming properties, it’s not necessarily my favorite scent. What I like about Neal’s Yard Remedies Pillow Spray is its orange notes on top of the lavender. It’s really pleasant to fall asleep to and still gives you that calming effect that helps you catch more Z’s.
I’ve also been using the Sweet Dreams Lotion by Ulla Grace just before bed. I rub it under my ears, my chest and forearms (where you’d put perfume). I don’t usually use the pillow spray and lotion in tandem, it’s either one or the other – too many scents tends to have the opposite effect on me.
3. Herbal Tea & Supplements
I always drink a glass of water before bed, but if you have a bit of extra time, a hot cup of tea is even better. Sleepy Me Tea from the English Tea Shop is a great bedtime option with natural sleep aids like lavender, lemon balm and Valerian root. Valerian root doesn’t seem to have a massive effect on me, at best a very mild sedative. You may, however, want to try it on a night when you don’t have (for example) a huge presentation the next day if you’ve never tried it before.
I have a few beauty supplements that I like, but this one is great before bed. Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Supplement helps boost your body’s restorative process overnight and get the most out of that process. It has hyaluronic acid for moisture retention, pantothenic acid to reduce fatigue and support restorative sleep, and passion flower, lemon balm and chamomile to aid in relaxation.
4. Beauty Products
Because… duh! While I (almost) always do a full skincare routine before bed, incorporating a few “bedtime” products can give you that extra nudge to help your body and mind wind down.
Before bed I’ve been using Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate as a serum every now and then during my skincare routine. After cleanser and toner, and before cream or used on its own.
Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Body Butter is another product I keep by my bedside for dry skin. This is also a great, cleaner alternative to Lush’s Sleepy Lotion that I know a lot of people love.
What does your nighttime beauty routine look like?
*this post contains affiliate links