Connecting With Your Skin: An Important Night Time Ritual

Connecting With Your Skin: An Important Night Time Ritual

My mother was always disciplined about her skin care routine. Her number one rule was always to wash your face before going to bed. I have done it since I was 15, but that doesn’t mean I always liked it. By the time I was ready for bed I was often exhausted. Cleaning my face felt like just another chore. Still, I did it because my mom drilled it into me. As a youngster, I never enjoyed or appreciated the nighttime ritual. But as an adult, I’ve come to love and embrace the ritual as “my time”, when I take a few minutes just for me to make sure my face and my body gets the attention and maintenance it deserves.

As women, we’re nurturers by nature. We often work outside the home, we run errands, we drop the kids at school and activities, we buy the groceries… and after all of that, head home for our “second shift”. By bedtime, we’re all spent. I am no different. Still, I have come to love my nighttime ritual, which has evolved from simply cleaning my face to cleaning it the right way and taking a minute to add nourishing moisturizers and rejuvenating nutrients to keep it as healthy as possible. One obvious benefit of my ritual that I’ve come to love the most is that it allows me, often for the first time all day, to take some real time for myself and connect with myself and my skin, to really look and see things I might not otherwise notice if I rushed. The ritual can vary depending on your needs, but the important thing is to take the time to look and figure out those needs.

Like my mom, my nighttime ritual still begins first with cleansing my face. This is the time to really look at and touch your skin and “listen” to what is telling you (is it too dry, is it blotchy, is that a new wrinkle!). After cleaning your face, I recommend a regimen of floral water to tone, nutrient packed eye and facial serums to nourish, and a high-quality moisturizer to lock it all in while you sleep. Following this ritual at night as opposed to in the morning provides several additional benefits. Skin renewal rates double at night as collagen and melatonin production rises, aiding in cell regeneration and repair. It is well worth the 15-20 minute investment to optimize the benefits of your skin care regimen. I’ll walk you briefly through each step:

Cleansing:

Cleansing your skin with an oil based cleanser may sound counter intuitive but is actually highly effective and leaves your skin well balanced and feeling amazing. Unlike soaps, astringents and other common facial cleansers, cleaning your face with oil is much less harsh. The oil actually dissolves the excess sebum, aka skin oil, that clogs pores and removes environmental impurities, leaving your epidermis, or outer skin barrier, clean and nourished.

Toning:

One important yet simple step to beautiful skin is balancing the ph level. Our skin is naturally acidic, the chlorine and minerals found in tap water (baths and showers) can upset the balance in skin’s ph. Toner helps bring that ph back into balance, cooling and soothing your skin while tightening pores. Toners hydrate, nourish and improve skin tone while making your skin more receptive to absorb skin serum and moisturizers, as damp skin is more permeable than dry skin. 

Eye Serum

Eye serum is another step many forgo but is important. Quality serums protect the natural lipid barrier of the delicate and thinner skin around the eyes by delivering potent nutrients deep down where it is most helpful. The skin around the eye is prone to wrinkling. We can’t erase the wrinkles we already have but we can restore elasticity and nourish the area as a whole, resulting in less noticeable wrinkles and more supple looking skin.

Facial Serum

Facial serum is one of the most important steps in my nighttime ritual. Using a quality serum full of botanical revitalizing oils provides concentrated nourishment for healthy skin recovery while replenishing lipids and sealing in moisture. Serums direct potent botanical oils to the deeper layers of the skin. You don’t need a lot and they should absorb quickly.

Moisturizer

Now that you have cleaned and nourished your face with healthy botanical oils, we need to lock them in. As our body temperature rises at night, we lose moisture through our skin. A good moisturizer acts as an occlusive, meaning it acts as a protective coating on the surface of your skin locking in moisture and the botanical magic of the serums. Again, you don’t need to use a lot, just enough to lock the serum in.

Mask

Once a week, you should use a mask to deep clean pores of dead skin cells, dirt and oil and give it an infusion of anti-inflammatory and skin brightening ingredients. This is an important step many overlook.

This nighttime ritual may sound like a lot of work, but typically takes no longer than 15 minutes (unless you want to take more time). It’s a great way to make sure you take a very small portion of your day just for yourself while pampering your skin in the process. Taking time to assess what your skin needs is so important. Take a few minutes everyday to love your skin and it will love you back.