The ultimate bedtime routine for a better night’s sleep (and better skin)
Beauty sleep is called beauty sleep for a reason. Losing a few zeds - even just a couple of hours here and there - can really impact our body, mind and skin. Whatever the cause - you’re a light sleeper/ you have a baby waking you at ungodly hours/ your inbox is playing on your mind - not sleeping deeply or enough can wreak havoc, very quickly. In fact, improving your sleep can be one of the fastest ways to noticeably restore your skin, boost your energy levels and balance your mind. The most effective (non-medicinal) way to encourage a deep and peaceful night’s sleep? A bedtime routine that incorporates products, ingredients and rituals that promote and support healthy sleep. And that’s exactly what we have here. Practice this hour-long routine regularly to build a healthier relationship with bedtime, or turn to it during periods of stress to encourage a deeper and more restful sleep, that will leave you with glowing skin and a calm mind to boot.
Start with a restorative soak (Zzz minus 60 mins)
If you don’t have time for a long soak in the tub, a steamy hot shower is also effective: the heat eases tension in your muscles and then the cool-down after allows your body to get quickly into sleep mode. However if you have the time, a long bath will really help to get you into the sleep zone: the sensation of being immersed in water is naturally so calming and it allows you to incorporate a specific bath product designed to restore and relax you. Such as Skin and Tonic Slow Down Bath Soak, £9*. For soaking away a stressful day it really is unbeatable. Inspired by the Japanese ritual of forest bathing, it contains an invigorating blend of cedarwood, eucalyptus and rosemary oils so you can soak up the healing powers of the forest. The addition of mineral-rich Epsom salts will detoxify you and boost magnesium levels (key to relaxing muscles and inducing sleep), and natural CBD (made from upcycled whole hemp, no less) will re-balance your body and calm your mind. Submerging in a bath full of this is the perfect tonic to help you slow down, breathe, and let go of your busy day.
Incorporate some massage (Zzz minus 30 mins)
After your soak, try to set aside a good 15 minutes to dedicate to massage. Start by finding the right product to use: a body butter will work but we prefer a body oil. A body oil can be a powerful addition to a nightime routine on many levels: a velvety soft body oil is a real joy to use; plus one that combines soothing, sleep-inducing essential oils (such as chamomile and lavender) physically helps you to wind down. The the repetitive action of slathering the oil over limbs can be really meditative. In addition, massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system which then decreases anxiety. Look for an oil that’s rich in collagen-boosting skin-supporting oils, such as rosehip, and skin-boosting omega fatty acids to hydrate, nourish, support and replenish your skin as you sleep. Don’t forget to massage your feet while you’re at it: touching our own feet can be really grounding. Work a few drops of oil into your hands and then massage the bottom and top of both feet, applying gentle pressure and kneading in slow circles at the heel, the base of the toes, and anywhere else that feels tense. Just be careful not to slip after.
Carefully consider your skincare routine (Zzz minus 15 mins)
Many skincare products are at their most effective at night, so are well worth including as part of your bedtime routine. Plus the ritualistic act of rubbing in a great cleanser, layering products and massaging a nourishing oil can do wonders for calming you. Our recommended products for pre-bedtime use would be an oily balm cleanser, an exfoliating acid, a retinol and an oil. All skin types benefit from exfoliating, and the best time to do a powerful treatment is right before bed, so the acids can go to work retexturizing and brightening your skin while you sleep. Retinol is always best used at night - it increases sun sensitivity. Choose one that’s right for your skin-type - retinol products are a really personal choice and sometimes require some playing around before you settle on the one that’s right for you. Finally a hydrating oil is best used at night - most are too oily to be used under make-up - plus it gives you the chance to incorporate a super-relaxing, ultra-toning facial massage while you’re at it.
Switch off (Zzz minus 5 minutes)
Now that you’re relaxed, keep up the flow by staying away from your phone (scrolling through Instagram will only stimulate you. Plus Blue Light will physically waken your body up again - without you even realising.) Brew a chamomile tea, slip into your cosiest nightwear and settle down to 5 minutes of whatever calms you most: whether that’s reading a book, meditating, burning Neom’s Sleep candle (don’t forget to blow it out before bed) or simply doing sweet FA. Then slide into your deepest dreamiest sleep in ages.
*included in your February Roccabox
By Sarah Edge