Sleep and beauty

Lifestyle blogger, beauty expert and mother of two, Larissa Carlson documents her life through creative storytelling on her blog The Leo Style. Here, she shares her tips and tricks for a relaxing night-time beauty routine. 

My evening routine is engraved into my core. I view my night-time routine as a luxury and some days it takes five minutes and other days it takes 25 minutes. It is the most indulgent time of my day as I lock myself in my bathroom and switch off from the outside world. At the age of 35, I’ve tried many different options of beauty care and through trial and error, I believe I’ve developed an intentional and purposeful skincare routine. Even though the multi-step process is more luxury than necessity, I can proudly attest to the fact that spending more time on my night-time beauty routine has improved my quality of sleep as it helps me to wind down. 

Here are my top tips for a night-time routine:


Set the mood

Set a ‘sleep reminder alarm’ an hour before your bedtime. This means that if you are planning on going to bed at 10pm, set your alarm to pop-off at 9pm so you have an hour to wind down.

Lay your outfit out for the next day so you have one less task to complete in the morning. This is an effective time saver, especially as our entire household does this before bed. There is power in presentation, so when I feel confident with my outfit choice and know that I look good, I feel good, which means I am more empowered to tackle the day ahead.

Drink calming tea. Non-caffeinated herbal teas can help you to fall asleep faster and to sleep for a longer period.

Write in your journal. Every night, I write down three things that happened to me in my day that filled my heart with gratitude. My husband and I share these with each other; it’s a loving ritual we’ve enjoyed for years. This ritual helps me to clear my head of any worries that might be on my mind so that they don’t keep me up at night.

Choose comfy pyjamas. One of the simplest things I did to help me wind down at night was to upgrade my pyjamas and I look forward to jumping into a pretty, comfy pair every evening.


Remove make-up

Something that is a non-negotiable step in my beauty routine is the removal of my makeup. The skin renews itself while you sleep, and when you leave makeup on, you are preventing that from happening. For ingredients to properly absorb, you need clean skin that is free of grime, dirt and oils. I’ve recently ditched makeup wipes, the older I get the more sensitive and delicate my skin is. Wipes can be irritating and strip my skin while also leaving a residue behind. Instead I double cleanse, a technique that effectively penetrates through layers of oily debris for complete dirt removal. This ensures a more intense, professional level of cleaning.


Tone and use a good serum

Toning helps balance the skin’s pH levels and it’s a crucial next step as, after cleansing, your skin can become dry and dehydrated. I never skip toner as it also helps to absorb the next layer of products I apply optimally. It’s especially important, if you have invested in good skincare products and a beauty routine.

Serum works perfectly to hydrate the complexion and aids in cellular turnover for a youthful appearance due to the higher concentration of active ingredients. As I approached my mid-30’s my skin became more hormonal, so I switch up the serum I use depending on how my skin is looking.


Apply eye cream

I use eye cream for dark spots and texture under my eyes which has become something I need to manage more closely as I age. I apply an eye serum to brighten, firm and reduce the appearance of fine lines and to help my skin defend itself from oxidative stress. I then apply eye cream across both the brow and socket bone moving from the inner to outer corner of the eye. The skin in this area is very thin and lacks moisture, so it’s extremely important to keep this area hydrated and protected to help the skin to do its job regenerating and restoring as we sleep.


Nourish your skin

Face oils are occlusive, meaning they seal in all of the ingredients and moisture you apply to your face to keep them from evaporating as quickly. I use a rosehip face oil each night that nourishes, hydrates and brightens my complexion. If I feel like I need the extra nourishment I will use a moisturiser and apply this before the face oil. I love a sleep-in mask and when I use these, I will skip both the face oil and moisturiser. On a Sunday night, as prep to the start of my week, I will assess how my skin is looking and choose a mask that will help with my skin needs.


Create a bed time routine

Have a regular bed time routine, to help ensure quality sleep.

Create a feeling of calm before bed, by listening to music or reading, to help you relax.

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