Do you have a proper night time ritual? As part of my new 2017 promise to myself to live a more thoughtful life, I’ve decided that stumbling into bed after too many glasses of wine is just not going to cut it. The lovely chaps at John Lewis have launched a brand new wellbeing campaign for 2017, to encourage us all to be a little kinder to ourselves: to exercise, recharge, and nourish our bodies, and it’s inspired me to take a look at my night time beauty routine. January is a great time to try new skin and hair care as there are often loads of lovely gift sets in the sale too – the perfect way to try out something new and discover some new favourites before buying the larger sizes.
Let’s start with a little stress relief shall we? It’s difficult to allocate time to spend just relaxing, but it’s important to allow yourself time for pampering and relaxation: it’s the best way to wind down, so set aside an evening just for you. Grab your favourite book and lock the bathroom door!
My approach to a night time ritual is that the products should be properly pampering, so save up those vouchers, or Ebay any presents that aren’t really you, and then buy something you really do want: choose wisely, use thoughtfully, and make sure they’re luxurious and deliciously scented too.
I recommend running a lovely warm bath, lighting a scented candle (go with whatever makes you feel happiest – I love lavender, vanilla… oh and Ted Baker’s Miami candle (£28) smells like warm evenings on the beach and tropical suntan lotion – basically my happy place) then after a quick dunk, standing up and smothering your damp skin with a handful of Elemis lime and ginger salt glow (£37) which is not only richly scented, but will leave you with the softest skin and feeling glowy all over.
Finish by smothering yourself in a rich, nourishing body cream, like Origins Ginger Soufflé body cream which has a soft, whipped texture and a light, warming ginger scent.
We often see shampoo and conditioner as a necessity, but choose carefully and they can become part of your pampering ritual too: L’Occitane Aromachologie shampoo and conditioner contain 5 essential oils: angelica, lavender, geranium, ylang ylang, sweet orange, smell like an aromatherapy treatment for your hair and are great value at just £33 for the pair (both huge 500ml bottles).
Even if you’re not treating yourself to a pampering treatment, after a busy day, it’s great to take a bit of me-time to get rid of all that make up and grime, and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. I prefer to use a proper eye make up remover first before cleansing my face. Origins Well Off fast and gentle eye makeup remover (£16.50) is effective and doesn’t sting – the bottle lasts for ages too.
After that, it’s time for a creamy cleanser. I highly recommend Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish (£14), it’s a cult product for a reason – gentle and highly effective, with a subtle, fresh scent that leaves skin perfectly clean and with the bonus that cleansing with the muslin cloth gently exfoliates too, lifting dead skins cells, leaving you glowy and smooth, and preparing your skin for your night time moisturiser to do its work.
If you prefer a balm, I would highly recommend my absolute favourite: the Elemis Pro-collagen cleansing balm. I’ve mentioned it before, but it literally smells like walking into a luxurious spa. Heaven.
Night time is the time when your skin has a chance to repair itself – so choose a night cream that’s really nourishing and hydrating. Clarins Extra-Firming Night Rejuvenating Cream (£54) isn’t cheap but consistently gets 5 star reviews on the John Lewis website. As with all Clarins product, it has a soft, comforting scent (important when you’re just about to nod off), has a soft, non-greasy texture and a little goes a long way so it lasts for ages.
And last but not least? An application of hand cream (I adore Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille – such a comforting scent) and a generous spritz of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (£16) – my absolute must-have pre-bedtime ritual. It was recommended to me by a friend and definitely works. After a while, you associate the scent with relaxing and letting your mind drift away. I swear by it when I’m travelling as it helps me to fall asleep even when I’m fighting jetlag.
What could be nicer than snatching a few moments just for you after a busy day? For more ideas and products to help you feel fitter, recharged and nourished, check out Flourish – John Lewis’ new wellbeing section. Happy New You!