Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog!
When the sun starts to go down, our brain starts to unwind too and it is that time of the day I really look forward to. Don’t you just love the feeling when you can finally relax, take off the makeup, get your body and face squeaky clean, put on comfy clothes and lounge on the sofa like a couch potato? Well, I certainly am in favour of night time routines because it is all about slowing down and detoxifying the stress that got accumulated throughout the day.
But, there are a couple of things I love doing health wise, skincare and also to prepare my brain for bedtime so I don’t stay up looking at the ceiling amd worrying about all the things that have either happened or I am afraid might happen amd everything in between.
To know more about my HEALTHY NIGHT TIME HABITS, please keep reading.
HAVING A DINNER TIME ROUTINE
It all starts with having dinner 3 hours before I finally go to sleep. We all know that having a desired gap between our final meal of the day and going to bed has positive effects on our health especially since a lot of our health starts from a “healthy gut”. But, it is also about what we eat. For me, dinners were all about carbohydrates. Comforting foods are always satisfying and they do have a melatonin like effect on our mind which is why taking a mid day nap does sound justifiable after having a large platter of rice or couple of butter laden parathas. The problem with including carbohydrates as major part of dinner is that most of it will not even get properly digested leading to bloated stomach, uneasiness during sleep and also acid reflux. Not the mention that the added fuel will get stored as fat and that’s how overtime tummy bulges become stubborn fat.
I like to drink warm(not hot) soups, salad and a small portion of rice or herbed baked potatoes(let me know if you need the recipe). Soup usually changes with my mood but lately I have been keeping it really light with mushrooms, vegetables bit of liquid aminos(or soy sauce) in a vegetable or chicken broth. Read the recipe in this post.
I put my phone on vibration and away from where I am sitting so there is no disturbance and I can mentally enjoy every bite, which is so crucial to rewind and refresh. Just try it for few days and tell me if it didn’t relax your mind even a little bit.
I wait for around 20 minutes then have a big glass of lukewarm water(I don’t drink water immediately after having food, it affects the activity of the digestive enzymes) and then head for a 30 minutes brisk walk. I make sure to do this everyday no matter how tired I am and highly recommend you do the same.
PREPPING MY BEDROOM
I do one more thing before going for a walk and that is to set my bedroom into a calm relaxing mode. Although not being a huge fan of air conditioning 24/7 because of the negative effects on our skin and body, I do love to sleep in a cool environment. To achieve the zen feeling, I switch on the air conditioning set to a medium temperature, add my essential oil pick of the night to my Aroma LED light Diffuser, switch off all the lights except mood lighting(which by the way is an added feature of my aroma diffuser) and put on relaxing music. By the time I am back, my room smells inviting and right temperature just helps my mind to soothe and ease down.
Walking does make me sweat(a lot) so I shower after having dinner as opposed to before as preferred by many. My shower gels often change depending on how my skin is feeling. During summers, I love to deep cleanse with my epsom salt and eucalyptus oil based body wash, reviewed here, and these days I am loving the winter appropriate scent of Seer Secrets Smokey Rose Geranium Hydrating Body Cleanser. It smells reallllyyy nice, warm rose scent that has a citrusy astringent feel due to geranium essential oil. It is affordable, smells lovely, creates generous soft lather and never leaves my skin dry and itchy, plus, my bathroom smells like a luxurious spa.
I am also trying out this USDA Certified Organic Moroccan Beldi Soap which utilises an ancient recipe to make a jelly like soap that has been used in traditional Hamams and very popular throughout Morocco.
Another product I love using for my body everyday is a French Pink Clay Konjac body sponge from The Original Konjac Sponge Company.
Konjac Sponges are naturally pH balancing so they can be used on their own for cleansing the skin, they are very gentle and safer option to use on dry sensitive skin types. But, since there can be many cheap quality ones with artificial colouring, I prefer to stick with Konjac Sponge Company as they are known worldwide for their highest quality products and hence received multiple awards.
SKINCARE RITUAL AND MY FAVOURITE MOISTURISER
Even on the nights when I want to hop into bed because either I m too tired or am having an episode of serious allergy rhinitis, I never sleep with a dirty face. Infact during sickness your body is releasing many toxins through sweating and its important to keep the skin clean.
Also, believe it or not but our skin actually(for real) repairs itself during nightime and having a thorough skincare routine is important because the absorption, repair and regeneration rate is higher.
I have made a habit of cleansing my skin before showering so it allows me to have extra time if I need to apply face mask. Once I am out of the shower, I switch off the air conditioning and start my skincare routine. The products I use for cleansing and are regular part of my night time routine are mentioned below.
Depending on how dry or oily my skin is feeling, I will use a cleansing oil alone or as pre cleansing with a face wash. Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Oil( reviewed here) has grown on me overtime and now I always compare efficiency of other oils with it. Although not fair to the other oil cleansers, I love how it effectively and easily removes all the makeup leaving my skin “clean” and soft without a trace of residue.
If, I am doing a second cleanse(on days when I wear makeup), I love Murad Essential C Cleanser. It cleans nicely, lathers up softly, feels amazing on the skin and to top it off, it has a very subtle refreshing scent that is neither men cologne like nor floral. It has mixture of skin soothing ingredients like Sodium PCA, Allantoin, Phospholipids, two forms of Vitamin C, A and E. This 200ml large tube lasts forever, so much so that I often feel tired of it, lol. My combination skin never feels dry and I can see visibly brighter tone overtime along with my brightening skincare routine(faster than if I used leave on skin brightening products alone).
Hyaluronic Acid is very important for the health of our skin, read more on this top skincare ingredient, here(must read article). For oily skin during sweaty summers, I really like using Purito Pure Hyaluronic Acid 90 Serum. Some of the positive points among many that I would like to share are that this is a very very light weight, fragrance free serum with 90% concentration of Sodium Hyaluronate and also has other skin benefitting ingredients such as Lactobacillus Ferment and Chlorella which are sourced from Seaweed, Apple Fruit and Ascorbic Acid that provide antioxidant protection and brighten the skin along with Collagen and Peptides for plumper looking skin.
I layer Purito Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Pixi Glow Tonic(you can read all about my experience with it, here. Isn’t it supposed to be used in the toning step, you may wonder? YES! But, for everyday gentle exfoliation, you can layer Pixi Glow Tonic on top of water based serums without “overly stimulating” the skin. You don’t need to use it only with a cotton pad. Just pour 3-4 drops in your palms and pat on the skin. If you haven’t tried it then do it now, there is nothing better than incorporating chemical exfoliants in your skincare routine.
As an oil based serum that has not one but 3 skin brightening oils, I can’t recommend this extremely affordable Propolis based dry oil. It has Rosehip Oil, Pomegranate Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil and has a silky texture that doesn’t make my skin oily a bit. The trick is to use not more than 2 drops, warming it between the fingers and then gently massaging in the skin.
I finish my skincare routine during less humid days with Propolis Sleeping Cream(I shared a lot about it here). It has antioxidant rich Moringa, Pumpkin Seed and my current favourite oil, Sea Buckthorn with Hyaluronic Acid and Propolis that is rich in amino acids and sterols.
As a body moisturiser, I am currently using this Shea Butter Lotion and finishing with Forest Essentials Body Oil. These two leave my hands and feet very smooth and although oils are not fast absoring, but they work better than body soufflés and lightweight lotions.
Can’t leave my hair all messed up so I wake up the mext morning with a bird’s nest and cry over hair breakage, I tie a loose braid which is also good for keeping skin clean.
Off to hopping on my bed like a kid and some more ME time, as if my routine wasn’t already, lol.
UNWINDING WITH A WARM CUP OF CALMING TEA(RECIPE INCLUDED)| TELEVISION TIME AND YOUTUBE
I am a firm believer of relaxing teas during bedtime. By the term “relaxing” these teas actually have a calming effect on our body. They act as muscle relaxants and also help with digestion. Mint is one of these herbs that activate digestive enzymes that break down food and prevent flatulence and gassy feeling which may be very uncomfortable to go to bed with, sometimes even if our diet is not contributing to it.
I drink mint teas atleast few times a week at night if not every night. All you need is;
2 cups of water(300ml)
10 mint leaves with stems(thoroughly washed)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 green cardamoms
Bring water to boil. Add hand crushed mint leaves, fennel seeds and green cardamom crushed in mortar and pestle(you don’t have to powder them up, just break down so the oils and flavour start to release). Lower the flame and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Strain and enjoy fresh cup of tea.
Fennel seeds and Cardamom along with Mint help with digestion and acidity plus they are gentle detoxifying herbs too.
If you do not want to make you own tea, try this blend of mint, cardamom, fennel, cinnamon tea that has dried herbs in a silken bag and you can see the herbs actually rehydrating in your hot cup of water.
While I am doing so much to soothe my mind and body, why not follow the same pattern with TV shows and YouTube videos?
I prefer to watch light hearted shows such as That ‘70s Show, Black-ish and the good old Friends that just puts my brain in to a happy calming place. When it comes to Youtube, this may come as a surprise but I don’t watch skincare related videos. I don’t want to educate myself or think a lot when I am trying to sleep. So, cooking shows are my go to. They don’t require brain storming and eventually I end up learning something new to whizz up in my kitchen(although I don’t have much time to share “real cooking” appropriate recipes on my blog. You can DM me on Instagram if you love cooking and we can share some tips and recipes.
LATE NIGHT SNACKING
Like everyone else, I do crave for something salty and spicy to munch on. But, I have learnt to control that(well, on most days) and turn myself to fruits and a small chunk of bitter sweet chocolate (try start with this 55% dark chocolate if you are a newbie or this 90% deep chocolate with some sweetness)
Oranges are one of my favourite type of snack and you can claim that it is my favourite fruit. They are very hydrating too and filled with natural sugars. Don’t go for the extremely sour ones that may irritate the throat. My favourite kinds are Clementines.
I hope you found these tips helpful in someway and would add atleast a couple in your night time routines.
Thank you so much for reading.