Ahhh sleep, a thing of such joy and so essential to looking and feeling your best. At the time of writing this post I haven't had a full uninterrupted eight hours for nearly six months, the last trimester of my pregnancy whilst I could of been sleeping, I was plagued with insomnia and as Baby Green is currently three months old she wakes several times a night to breastfeed.
So I have been missing sleep and I think about what it would be like to have a lie in or more than three hours without being woken up rather a lot. Whilst we all know that sleep is important, so many of us struggle to get enough or to wind down, so I thought I would share some products that either help me to relax and sleep better, get to work on your skin whilst you are asleep or can help the morning after a rough night to cheat a little the effects of your regular eight hours.
There is nothing worse than being tired and also wound up to the point of not being able to sleep, in the weeks after Baby Green was born I found myself feeling very tense in the evenings. Whilst it is not a magic bullet, especially if you have severe sleep problems, I regularly turn to aromatherapy to relax and get a better nights sleep. I have mentioned the This Works Deep Sleep pillow spray (£16 for 75 mls) before, but it deserves another mention as it is a part of my regular night time routine. The blend of lavender, chamomile, Vetiver and patchouli is deeply relaxing, I like to spray it just before I am ready for bed and sit and take a moment to inhale the aroma, the whole ritual is helpful to give the body the signal that it is now time to rest. Another brand I talk about often is Tisserand, because they create great quality aromatherapy products, the Sweet Dreams blend is one of my favourites to help me drift off. It combines lavender, jasmine and sandalwood and its such a unique and soothing blend. The best bit is that they have created lot's of different products in the same scent to mix and match, so you can start with a relaxing bath featuring the bath oil* (£10.95 for 100 mls), there is a beautiful matching body oil* (£9.95 for 100 mls) which pampers the skin with Moringa and Jojoba oils, last step you can choose from an aromatherapy roller ball* (£5.95) which is brilliantly handy for on the go or the vaporising oil* (£6.95) brilliant if you want to scent the whole room. This range won several awards this year including a Beauty shortlist and Natural Health award and it is so well deserved, I come back to these products time and time again for their excellent performance and value.
The days of long elaborate night time skincare routines are sadly behind me, I am usually rushing around doing a million jobs as quickly as possible, however a few key products have been making a big difference to my skin overnight and making my complexion look better than expected in the morning. Oils are brilliant for overnight use, skin always looks a little better than it did before and even a few seconds massage is helpful to awaken tired skin. There are so many great blends that work well on the skin overnight, as a rule of thumb I save my more active blends for night time and use simpler ones in the morning but many are useful for both. The Nourish Radiance Firming oil (£25 for 15 mls) is an all round player, perfect for an evening facial massage it get's to work on the skin overnight making it brighter but it is equally as brilliant either on it's own or added to moisturiser in the mornings. This is a great blend that works exactly as it should, the oils are extremely high quality and Nourish never fails to appeal to me for it's great value. Macadamia, rosehip, borage, Damask rose and Frankincense, what can I say other than gorgeous! If you prefer a night cream or like to layer your products the A'kin Purely Revitalising Firming night cream (£28.50 for 50 mls) is a heavy hitter that will improve the look of the skin overnight. It is designed for mature skin types but could be used by skin in need of hydration after partying too hard and makes a rather lovely hydrating mask too, so you can remove any excess before bed. The Echium oil gives a dose of omegas whilst the hyaluronic acid binds moisture to the skin making you all round fresher by morning.
The morning after the night before....
If despite your best intentions you have woken up not looking your best all is not lost, I have minimal time in the mornings and am usually trying to get out the door to do the school run but I have a few go to products that have been helping me look and feel better with minimal fuss. The Odacite serum boosters are rather clever little products, designed to be added to your moisturiser enabling you to customise your routine further to tackle your skins needs. The selection available is quite impressive with something to tackle every skin issue. The Pomegrante Rose Geranium Serum concentrate (£33 for 5 mls, Content and Naturisimo also stock and ship worldwide) is great for dull and tired skin. Just a drop or two mixed with your daily moisturiser adds a real glow to the skin, making you instantly more awake. The only downside to the Odacite boosters is the price, so if your budget can't quite stretch I have also been reaching for the new Ooh! Oils of Heaven Rosehip oil (£19 for 30 mls). Roship is tried and tested for adding radiance and I like to mix this one with my moisturiser to give an extra helping hand to my skin, if you prefer you can also use it on it's own. I am testing out the rest of the Ooh! oils including the new Cacay oil so I will be reporting back on them soon. Lack of sleep can often leave the skin look a little pale, the This Works Energy bank sun flash (£28 for 30 mls) gives a dose of colour that is natural and not at all obvious. You can mix it with your skincare or apply it neat, it is a very versatile product and has some great natural ingredients including chicory and vitamin C. I love this, whenever I wear it I get comments on well I look, a real confidence booster. Once skin is sorted I like to give a little attention to the eye area, as it does tend to give you away when you are lacking sleep. Eye products often struggle to tackle lines, darkness and puffiness all at once. I favour oils and creams in the evening and a gel in the mornings. Skin Owl Eye+ (£36 for 0.8 oz, available at Cult Beauty with International shipping) is a wake up call for the under eyes, it is instantly tightening so great for puffiness and contains cooling cucumber that feels fantastic when your eyes are feeling sore too. I am a little bit in love with this product, it really helps to brighten dark circles and the ingredients list is a thing of beauty. Interestingly you can use this as a make up primer too which is great as I love a multi purpose product.
If you have tried any of these products let me know your thoughts in the comments.