How you choose to wind down at the end of the day has a huge affect on your skin. If you leave your makeup on, forget to cleanse, skip moisturizing and constantly go to bed late, dehydrated and tired…your skin is sure going to struggle!

Consider the fact that sleep is when our body and skin repairs itself. The human growth hormone is released and our skin cells get to work repairing, regenerating and generally becoming healthier and newer. We should make the most of this time to give our skin the most help we can give it, so we can wake up even more refreshed and beautiful.

What’s more, proper sleep makes us more energized, happier, healthier and more ready to face the day the best we can.

Here’s what you should be incorporating into your bedtime routine for healthier skin!

Remove makeup

This one is crucial as I’m sure you already know! Leaving day-old makeup on overnight will dehydrate your skin, encourage bacteria and nasties to thrive, and will seep into your pores as you sleep.

Remember that repair and regenerate process we talked about? Well, your skin can’t exactly do that if it’s covered in dirt and makeup all night.

Use a gentle makeup remover to remove all face and eye makeup. Oil and balm cleansers are a lovely way to completely remove heavy makeup while preserving moisture.

(Product suggestion: a balm cleanser and makeup remover with botanicals and free of nasties)

Gently cleanse

Once your makeup is completely gone, cleanse your skin with a cleanser to suit your skin type.

For acne-prone skin, choose a cleanser with healing ingredients such as tea tree oil. Don’t make the mistake of totally stripping the skin, as even blemish-prone skin needs oil and moisture!

For dry skin, choose an oily, emollient cleanser. Rub the cleanser into the skin with your fingers before removing with warm water and a face cloth.

(Product suggestion: this is a gorgeous, natural cleanser with antioxidants and blemish-fighting ingredients for clean, nourished skin).

Now for nourishing serums

Consider your skin and your particular needs. Do you have very dry, dehydrated skin? Choose a moisturizing serum or treatment with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

For irritated, sensitive skin, choose soothing products with oats and aloe. For anti-aging try vitamin C and collagen serums.

Go to your local beauty store and ask the experts to give you some samples to suit your skin type. Layer your serums over your face gently and leave them for 5 minutes to sink in.

Think of this step as “feeding” your skin with a meal of nutrients and ingredients to help your skin be the best it can be. Serums treat current skin concerns as well as preventing future ones.

Add a rich night cream

Now’s the time for moisturizer. Use a rich cream with nourishing ingredients and moisture-locking goodies such as hyaluronic acid which will draw moisture to the skin without creating a clogged mess in your pores.

If you’ve got dry or aging skin, you can really go for it and use a very rich, thick cream (I swear by Weleda Skin Food!). Because you’ll be sweetly slumbering away you don’t need to worry about layering makeup or walking around with a shiny face.

For extra nourishment you could add a few drops of oil to your night cream. Rosehip oil is moisturizing, evens the skin tone and helps to fade acne scars.

(Product suggestion: this is a very rich, emollient face cream formulated without fragrances or drying alcohols. It’s great for really pumping your skin with moisture as you sleep, as well as treating with nutrients to help prevent deep lines and wrinkles).

Avoid screens

This is a hard one, as I understand how easy it is to become glued to screens at night. Whether it’s catching up on your Netflix series, texting a friend, scrolling social media or catching up on work or study, screens dominate most of us.

But when it comes to sleep…they’re destructive. Blue light can tell your brain to produce less melatonin, (the sleep hormone), making falling asleep tough, and quality of sleep insufficient. When you’re constantly running on short, shallow sleep, fatigue, mood issues, irritability and even dry, dull skin can result.

Try to give yourself an hour before bed when you don’t look at a screen unless you’re quickly setting an alarm. Turn the screens off, take a shower or bath, indulge in a leisurely skincare routine and read a book.

I know this is completely unrealistic for many people who have little children, night shift jobs and generally a hectic life. But do what you can to give your eyes a decent rest before sleep. Even if it means going to bed an hour early to just read, chat to a partner or simply enjoy the quiet rest.

Take a bath

If you’ve got a bath at home and some time at night to spare, absolutely have a warm, long soak.

Baths have been proven to be very helpful for sleep as the change in body temperature helps us to become relaxed and sleepy, ready to fall into a deep sleep quicker and easier.

What’s more, the relaxation and time alone without screens gives you a chance to process the day just been, mentally prepare for the following day, and generally wind down and feel emotionally nourished. Use essential oils such as lavender to help induce sleepy feelings and relaxation.

Prioritize deep, sufficient sleep as best you can

Modern life is incredibly stressful and busy for most of us, with barely enough hours in the day to get everything done and tend to all of our responsibilities. This is all the more reason that we must prioritize sleep, so our bodies and minds can be strong and refreshed, ready to take on the day.

Do everything you can to prioritize sleep. Putting yourself and your sleep first isn’t selfish or indulgent, it’s simply taking care of your health so you can care for those around you and be a great, functioning person.

Assess your habits and shuffle them around to accommodate deep, beautiful sleep. Perhaps that means forgoing that glass of wine in the evening, only drinking coffee in the morning, or making a strict “no work from this hour” rule. Proper sleep is one of the keys to beauty, great skin, longevity, great health and happiness.

In summary…

As long as you get as much sleep as you can (try your best to get those 8 hours!), remove your makeup, use a rich and nourishing nighttime skincare routine to suit your skin type and limit technology before bed your skin will love you. Remember to wear an SPF every day, keep inflammatory foods (sugars and refined carbs) to a minimum and manage stress. Once you’ve done that? Live life and make the most of it!