5 Ways to Create a Blissful Nighttime Skin Care Routine
Next to drinking enough water and protecting your skin from the sun, developing a personal nighttime skin routine is one of the first things I recommend to my clients to promote healthy skin function. Your face goes through so much throughout the day-- pollution, sun, makeup, sunscreen, giving and receiving communication, thousands of expressions. Your face deserves to be cleansed of the day and prepared to repair itself while you slumber. This time and space to adequately repair can go a long way in creating a healthy, glowing complexion. Additionally, the benefits of taking that time for self care are huge for you soul!
Many people skip a nighttime routine, because, by the time they realize it's time for bed, they are too exhausted to consider more things to do.
Here's a few ideas to make a nighttime skin routine a true joy:
1. Do your routine BEFORE you get tired. If you know you are in for the night, do your skin care routine after dinner and before you start to settle in. You will greet it with more patience and care, and you will let your body know that it's time to wind down. When you finally go to bed, you will be so pleased that all you need to do is get under the covers. If you are out late, try to do it right when you walk in the door, so that you don't have any time for excuses.
2. Choose products that you LOVE. Find products for your routine that you are truly excited to use each night. This is personal for everyone, and some factors include scent, texture, feel, results, and even the way it looks in your cabinet or on your vanity. When you have products you love, skin care becomes exciting instead of a chore. i.e. Imagine anticipating the seductive aroma of your moisturizer so much that you can't wait to get home to do your routine!
A typical routine includes cleansing, toning, serums and/or moisturizing, but could be as simple or complicated as you like. Most importantly, you skin needs to be cleansed and hydrated.
If you are unsure about what product to use, ask for samples of things that interest you, or ask friends or professionals for their recommendations. Or ask me!
3. Facial Massage.While cleansing is an important part of any nighttime routine, relaxing your facial muscles and getting your lymph flowing is also highly beneficial to your skin's nighttime repair processes. Massage and touch releases stress and tension in your face also promotes more restful sleep, a major factor in skin health. Though this could (and likely will!) be it's own blog post, this process also does not need to be complicated. It can be done as part of Oil Cleansing (see below), or one it's own. Start by apply a facial oil and gently massaging your jawline and doing a tapping motion with your fingertips all around your face. Some nights this may just be a quick part of your routine, and others you might want to spend a few minutes massaging your face or using a gua sha* tool.
4. Try Oil Cleansing. If you aren't already sold on nighttime oil cleansing, let me assist in sharing this delight with you! Have you ever removed makeup with oil? Do you notice how it works almost like a magnet to grab the pigment and wipe it away clean? It's the same with the rest of your skin-- oil attracts oil and dirt, and when you use oil to cleanse your skin, you get an incredibly deep clean without stripping your skin. It also softens your pores and makes congestion more easily extracted. It's such a luxurious way to cleanse your skin and start your routine, and it leaves your skin incredibly soft.
Not just any oil will do, I generally recommend using something non-clogging and high in linoleic acid, such as Hemp Seed Oil to offer balance and repair. Or course, my superstar nighttime oil cleanser is the Clear Horizon Cleansing Oil.
How to oil cleanse:
-Wash and dry your hands.
-With dry hands and dry face, massage a dollop of oil into your skin. You want to use enough that it has some slip and doesn't immediately absorb, but not so much that it's overly slippery.
-Massage in for at least 30 seconds. (Many nights that will be all you have time or energy for, but once or twice a week, this is a great time to give yourself a facial massage. Lay down on your bed and take your time massaging your face for a few minutes. Or use a gua sha tool* to go a bit deeper. Do this in the bath for even greater relaxation.)
-Run a clean washcloth under warm water and wring well. Place the cloth over your face to steam for a moment, then gently remove the oil with the washcloth.
-You are done! Your face will feel clean and soft!** For some people, oil cleansing can be the only step in their routine, as it provides cleansing and moisture.
*gua sha tools are a traditional chinese medicine tool often made from jade or other stone that can be used to massage your face. See more info here.
**If you are wearing a lot of makeup, you may need to cleanse twice. Once to remove your makeup, and a second time to cleanse your skin.
5. Make A Ritual of It. Create a nighttime ritual that involves more than just skin care. Allow it to be how you wind down from the day and prepare your whole body for restful sleep. This could include lighting a candle, taking a bath, drawing a tarot card, saying prayers, writing 5 things you are grateful for from your day, stretching, or journaling. Make it about you, and make it simple and something you enjoy.
These 5 tips can help you create something truly special for yourself. Of course, no one is perfect, and we all have our dirty nights when the last thing we are going to do is wash our face. However, developing a ritual that we can enjoy and do as regularly as possible creates a great benefit to the skin's health. And once you have found something that works for you, I promise, you will be addicted.
Have questions about creating the best nighttime routine for you? Want to share your nighttime routine?