While I’m guilty of putting off sleep in favour of texting friends and scrolling aimlessly through Instagram, snatching some ‘me time’ after putting my daughter to sleep, I also understand the importance of getting an early night and how great it makes me feel the next morning when I’ve managed 8+ quality hours. I’ve also worked out that being well-rested helps to reset daily which means I have an easier time coping with stress.
When I sleep well I know that my skin is also getting the opportunity to repair itself and up the ante on rapid cell turnover and collagen regeneration. Another benefit of enough sleep: it lowers stress levels reducing cortisol (too much becomes destructive to collagen – the proteins in skin which give it its structure and firmness).
As well as there being some holistic things I do to give myself a helping hand to wind-down, destress and have the best night's sleep (including no caffeine or sugary food way before time to switch off, a lavender-infused bath soak, sleepy tea, pillow mist, and an hour of no screen time), I also give my skin a helping hand to work even harder. Here’s my go-to routine:
DOUBLE CLEANSE: My skin is often dehydrated and tired after staring at the screen for nine hours, so I start my evening routine long before bedtime and cleanse with a hydrating oil before dinner. Free radicals are pollutants that build up on your skin over the day from stress, diet and screens (and pollution, when we’re all back in the office), which break down healthy proteins like collagen in your skin, and, over an extended period of time, can lead to premature ageing. The best way to stop them from doing damage is to cleanse them off your skin. I double and re- nourish as soon as I can after closing my laptop. At the moment I’m using Facetheory’s Deeply Nourishing Jojoba Cleansing Oil O4. I’m adept at multitasking along the way (I give my shoulders and neck a massage while the oil cleanser is dissolving dirt).
ACTIVE SERUM: I pat my skin dry with a clean towel, then use a targeted overnight serum that is going to help speed up cell turnover. I’ve been using Azeclear A15 Serum which is plant-based and formulated with 15% azelaic acid. Found in wheat, rye and barley, azelaic acid is a nature-identical antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and redness. The creamy texture is the perfect post- cleanse step.
POWER OIL: On top of that I apply the Retin-C Vitamin Oil which has 2% retinoid to speed up cell renewal and vitamins C and E to brighten skin and accelerate collagen production. Retinoids are a key ingredient in any nighttime skincare because they chemically exfoliate skin, speed up cell recovery, and have you waking up with baby soft skin. They also increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight when used during the day, so nightime is ideal (followed by SPF in the morning, of course).
MOISTURISE SMART: Facetheory Relaxing Night Cream M10 is a great two-birds- one-stone product. The purest-grade hyaluronic acid delivers overnight hydration and the antioxidant power of vitamin C can help to brighten skin and protect against inflammation. And then the scented option contains lavender, which can help reduce anxiety and insomnia so works in tandem to reduce sleep issues. I then dab on a few layers of Bioactive Lip Balm BM1, and I’m done.