issue 9 : here comes the night
By Katherine Nugent
“Never go to sleep without taking off your make-up,” – this was the first beauty rule thrust upon me by my mother when I successfully begged for my first mascara at the age of 12. It’s a rule that’s now second nature to me and one that most women in my life follow religiously. As I approach my late twenties however, I’ve finally come to the realisation that while it’s tempting to simply swipe a make-up wipe over my face and be done with it, this rushed pre-sleep habit is a terrible waste (and I’m not only talking about the environmentally harmful impacts of single-use make up removers).
If cultivated properly, the moments before laying your head down and travelling to the Land of Nod can be transformative, both for your body and your mind. Not only have studies shown the benefits of repeated evening rituals on mental well-being (including inspiring a sense of grounding, improving mood, boosting motivation and counteracting mild anxiety), they have also identified their powerful potential for bettering our physical selves including our largest organ, our skin.
The human body marches to a particular beat. Commonly called our ‘body clock’, the Circadian Rhythm is the natural rhythm to which our bodies move, and if we make the small effort to perform a few simple things to support our systems and nocturnal cycles in harnessing the magic of the moon-shine time, our bodies will thank us for it.
I know, I know . . . With our increasingly busy and fast-paced lives, carving out even a few minutes before bed can seem impossible. But in those moments before sleep when you feel yourself reaching for your phone, put your time to better use than Instagram scrolling and incorporate some of the below suggestions into your routine.Trust me – soon you’ll come to cherish these nighttime rituals and before you know it, they’ll be second nature to you.
1. Roll on, Sleep – Jade rolling is a therapeutic beauty practice that can be done at any time in the day. While doing this in the mornings can help with de-puffing and invigorating your face before applying make-up, massaging your face with this ancient Chinese tool before bed can have the added benefits of being sleep-inducing, with the repetitive motions having an almost meditative effect.
2. Soak It All In – At night time, our skin is at its most permeable. This is the optimum time in the day for product absorption so now is when you want to be applying your richest and most rejuvenating creams, oils or gels. Take your time when applying products. This shouldn’t just be a task to complete – it’s a ritual to enjoy, so be mindful in it and give your skin the respect and attention it deserves.
3. Rest & Recovery – Our skin repairs itself as we slumber and with 20 – 30% more skin cells developing at night than during the day, before bed is the peak time to slather on those products that will best support your skin in its replenishment. One amazing multi-tasking night treatment is Herbivore’s Moon Fruit which incorporates fruit enzymes and kokum shea butters to brighten and hydrate the skin at the same time, optimising the nightly repair process.
4. Take Note – We all know that we glow from the inside out and a troubled mind can physically manifest in troubled skin. Conclude your day with some uplifting thoughts and take the time to note down three things you’re grateful for that day. There’s no need to overthink this – it can be something as simple as the little boost of energy you got from your morning coffee.
5. Create your Cocoon – Create an environment that’s conducive to a good night’s sleep. With the stresses and pressures of modern-day life, more and more adults are struggling to achieve good quality sleep. It’s not possible to maximise on the natural benefits of your sleep state if you can’t successfully doze off so do whatever you can to help yourself. Make your bedroom (or at least your bed) a sacred haven free from laptops or phones, light a scented candle or spritz your pillows with a soothing sleep-enhancing spray like Supermood’s Beauty Sleep Sweet Pillow Scent. If your bedroom is nearby a street where light and noise can seep through, invest in an organic bamboo silk eye mask from Wearth and a pair of reusable ear plugs made from recycled material from Happy Ears. When it comes to getting a solid eight hours of shut-eye, even little changes can make a big difference.
6. Consistency is Key - Not exactly a ritual in itself but probably the most important point of all – whatever elements you decide to incorporate into your bedtime routine, do your very best to be consistent with them. Begin your practices at the same time each night and perform them in the same sequence. To really reap the rewards of the seeds you sow in the nighttime, you need to tend to them regularly, nurturing them so that they can flourish when the moon’s beams fade and the sun’s rays take their place.