Beauty Sleep

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Skincare is something I’ve been passionate about since I was in my teens, mostly because I had very problematic, combination skin in those days; in the last four years of being twenty (wow, where have those years gone?), skincare has thankfully become less about taming breakouts and more about maintaining a healthy glowing complexion. There is always a lot of focus on morning skin care in magazines and online, that initial prep to get the day started and to create a base for your make-up, and I feel that night time skincare often gets overlooked when, in my opinion, it has much more an impact on the condition of your skin.

One of my major pet-peeves in life is people who don’t properly cleanse their skin, or even remove their make-up before bed; no matter how tired I am, how long my day has been or how many glasses of wine I drank that evening, make-up comes off before bed and I clean my skin properly before I allow myself to sleep! You will thank yourself for it the next morning, when you’re not scrubbing mascara of your pillowcase and dealing with spots and blemishes caused by blocked pores.

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Let’s look at the facts: sleep is when your body rejuvenates and replenishes cells, it’s the time when the repair work is done and the most healing occurs. So, it’s no mystery where the term ‘beauty sleep’ comes from, because sleeping is literally when your body reboots and for your skin that means replacing cells and hydrating. We all know the difference in the appearance of our skin after a good nights sleep in comparison with a few hours power nap.

So what does this mean for our getting ‘unready’ routine in regards to skincare? Well that’s exactly what I’ve been exploring throughout June. I made it my goal to find a skincare routine that works for me, but also created a visible difference in my complexion when I wake up in the morning. My regular daily routine sees me on the go from 6.30am until 11pm, so one of my major skin problems is that “urban grey”, dull, tired and dry skin that lacks a healthy glow. Rather than having to compensate that with make-up every morning, I wanted to curate a bed time skincare routine that would work during sleep to bright my complexion, hydrate my skin and reduce puffy under eyes. After trying a few different products, in different orders and ways, I finally came to a selection that is really working for me, and in the last two weeks especially, I’ve found myself needing less make-up in the mornings. Here are the products that made the final cut…

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Step 1: Witch Naturally Clear Oil Control Foaming Face WashLove, love, love this cleanser! Simply rinse your face, rub in two pumps of this foaming face wash and rinse off; it removes everything from waterproof mascara to general dirt and grime that build up during the day. It’s fast, easy and no fuss plus the witch hazel is great a treating and preventing breakouts.

Step 2: Liz Earle Hot Cloth CleanserI briefly mentioned my love if this cleanser in my June Favourites last week; up until last month I hadn’t really tried many cream cleansers and it wasn’t something that really appealed to me as a concept. However, Liz Earle always receives praise in the skincare world, and my own mother is a fan of the Hot Cloth Cleanser; with it’s blend of chamomile and rosemary it is perfectly suited for night time skincare. This cleanser is like a mini spa facial in a bottle, not just because it’s soothing scent, but because of the deeply cleansed feeling it gives your skin because of a combination of the ingredients and the hot cloth method, opening your pores and ridding them of all the dirt and excess oils.

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Step 3: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I am a huge fan of Garnier’s micellar water, I used it twice a day, everyday. You might think it a bit excessive to use three types of cleansers in my bedtime routine but this micellar water doubles ups as a toner after the hot cloth treatment, and insures that there is no dirt left on the surface of the skin before I start applying serums and creams, and you would be surprised what can still be clinging on.

Step 4: REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist*. This gorgeous smelling product is actually designed for day-time skincare, and I will share more about it really soon so watch this space, but I have actually also been using a light spritz of this after cleansing to help reduce oxidative stress and replenish that natural glow; also, did I mention it smells amazing.

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Step 5: No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Radiance Boost. I’m so glad I discovered this serum, since I started using it I have seen a visible difference in the brightness of my skin when I wake in the morning. I like how the serum doesn’t fully soak into the skin, almost like an overnight mask, that you wash off in the morning to reveal glowing dewy skin.

Step 6: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief*. This moisturiser is the perfect bedtime treatment for skin, with a serum texture rather than a cream, it soaks right into the skin and is amazingly soothing, hydrating and refreshing. I pat this into my skin, rather  than rubbing it in, to increase blood flow to the surface of the skin and also to reduce excess dragging of the skin by rubbing and pulling. Added tip: place the moisturiser in the fridge for an extra soothing experience, especially after a hot Summer’s day.

Step 7: Clinique All About Eyes*. This eye cream compliments the Moisture Surge, and is amazing for reducing puffiness and the look of dark circles under the eyes, also amazing from the fridge, I have really seen a difference with the brightness around my eyes since I started using it.

Step 8: Sleep! All these steps are pointless unless you finish them off with a recommended 8 hours sleep, then wake up to bright, dewy, hydrated and refreshed looking skin Monday through Sunday, despite how busy you are.

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*Some of the products in this post were sent to me by their respected brands to test and review. All opinions are my own.