Last month our TVSN Blogger Sophie wrote about What Soothes Her Soul (you can read it here). Now for Beauty Month she is back to let you know about her night time beauty routine
Night Time Beauty Steps For Day-Ready Skin
My night time beauty routine is something that I look forward to each evening. It is part of my winding down process before bed, but is also my skin “insurance” in case a good night’s sleep doesn’t happen! Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and works busily overnight to repair the day’s damage. So providing it with the best possible chance of effectively carrying out its night time cycle is something that I am conscious about – in essence, for the benefit of the short and long-term healthy appearance of my skin. Many aspects of my evening routine are targeted at the skin on my face, with other areas also getting some much needed overnight help. These are some of my night time steps, together with a selection of TVSN’s beauty products, for better looking (and feeling) skin during the day.
Cleanse the day away
If I had to skip all steps but one, cleansing is the one step that I would never go without. Cleansing is not only important for removing makeup, pollution and oils from the day, but it also gives our skin care the best chance of absorbing and working effectively. The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm takes the concept of face cleansing and makeup removal to a whole new level, and has fast become one of my can’t-live-without products.
It is a luxurious, botanical based balm-to-oil formula that melts makeup and impurities on contact with my skin. I keep this in the fridge over the warmer weather to maintain its solid balm consistency, but it also feels soothing on the skin when used right out of the fridge. A hazelnut size of balm, liquefied between the palms of the hands, goes the distance in dissolving a complete face of makeup. When removed with a dampened Emma Hardie microfibre cloth, every trace of dirt and makeup is lifted off without any residual oiliness. Even eye makeup, including waterproof mascara, is not immune to this cleanser’s effect! There is no need for a separate eye makeup remover, and I don’t have to worry about waking up with a case of panda eyes the next morning. The scent is an uplifting yet calming blend of citrus and florals that is intoxicating but not overpowering, making the entire cleansing process a spa-like experience.
Although deeply cleansing and purifying, it defies everything that I would expect from such a hardworking and effective cleanser. No matter how long I massage this into my skin, it never leaves me with a feeling of having over-cleansed. My skin is left soft, hydrated and radiant every time; pores are left ultra clean and refined, and the texture and appearance of my skin is smoother and calmer. And despite having oily skin, it does not make my skin any oilier – if anything, it helps balance it out.
The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm can only be summed up as an intelligent cleanser that that takes all the guesswork (and hard work) out of cleansing – a powerhouse at removing makeup and impurities, yet kind and beneficial to the skin.
Relax the senses & nourish the body
An evening shower with soothing aromas such as lavender helps me relax, giving me a better chance of restful sleep. It also gives me an opportunity to treat the skin on the rest of my body. The Nourish Relax Shower Gel is a favourite, with pure lavender and skin-loving ingredients such as African shea butter and antioxidant-rich carrot root.
I have used a few products from the Nourish range (which I love), and I also admire what this brand stands for. It combines organically sourced natural extracts with modern science, but also leaves out many ingredients that the skin could do without but does not compromise on effectiveness. The Nourish Shower Gels are no exception, and although you don’t get the excessive foaming lather of a sulfate-containing wash, I still manage to get soft gentle bubbles with Adelaide’s hard water. My skin is left perfectly cleansed without dryness or tightness. The lavender scent is as pure as I’ve ever experienced in a skin care product – genuine, true-to-nature, yet not an overpowering or “old fashioned” aroma. I have also tried the Geranium & Jasmine Shower Gel from Nourish, which I found to be delicate, grounding and soothing – also perfect for the evening. A relaxation for the senses, with skin care treatment ingredients for the body. This is another reason why I love this range – the health of the skin on the body is considered just as important as the skin on the face.
Jumpstart the skin with an overnight treatment
At times, using the same products night after night and day after day, feels futile. It’s as if my skin has literally gone to sleep, and just isn’t absorbing or utilising what I put on it. This is why I like to change up my routine at least 2 to 3 nights a week, and apply an overnight treatment to help reboot my skin.
I have to confess that Alpha H Liquid Gold has been on my radar for a long time, but I am only just recently experiencing what all the hype has been about. Although my skin is not strictly in the sensitive category, I do suffer from some redness, which fluctuates due to a chronic health condition. I have used glycolic acid-containing skin care before, but nothing as high up on the ingredient list as Liquid Gold. So to be completely honest, I was a little hesitant! I also use an exfoliating scrub twice per week, so thought that was sufficient enough for resurfacing and removing the build-up of dead skin cells. However, Liquid Gold has turned out to be much more than that.
To ease myself into use and to dilute the strength, I applied the Liquid Gold onto a water-dampened cotton pad for the first couple of applications before wiping over the skin. My subsequent applications were done ‘full strength’ onto a dry cotton pad, avoiding use on the same days as my other exfoliating product. And yes, there it was – the momentary tingling as expected, but nothing uncomfortable as I worried it might have been. The change in the texture of my skin after one application was clearly noticeable – smoother, plumper and hydrated skin texture, refined pores, and an overall improved clarity – which kept improving with further use. My skin care also seems to absorb more readily and effectively. And much to my relief, it did not exacerbate my redness (however for any concerns & to check suitability for your individual skin type, the Alpha-H team can be contacted via phone or online, which is really handy).
The results of Liquid Gold don’t reflect the simplicity of the application – just 3 nights per week onto clean skin, applied like you would a toner, with no other skin care required. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t tried it myself, but now that I have, I wish I had only tried it sooner!
I like to change up certain aspects of my skin care routine depending on the time of the year and my skin’s needs. For example, in the lead up to summer, I incorporate a vitamin C product into my regimen, and facial oils over the cooler months. However one thing my skin craves year round is hydration. If I don’t hydrate sufficiently, my skin becomes far oilier and congested, my pores stretch, and my skin seems more irritated. Additionally, I find that if I don’t address hydration, my other skin care just doesn’t go the distance. Hydration can be tricky to deal with over the summer months, when I don’t feel like applying anything heavy or greasy on my skin.
The SKINN by Dimitri James Hydro-Vital Deep Moisture Replenishing Serum and Hydro-Vital Deep Moisture Replenishing Cream have addressed my hydration needs and concerns during the warmer weather. This range has been formulated to not only hydrate the skin, but also help the skin retain this moisture. It contains an extract from a resurrection plant – something that I have heard a lot about in recent years for its unique ability to deal with dehydration (highly recommend reading about it).
The serum has a dual chamber that dispenses an equal amount from each chamber per pump. The texture is unique – slightly gel-like, yet silky and lightweight, and completely absorbs into the skin without any sticky or tacky feel. The texture of the cream is similar to the serum – comparable to a gel-cream, yet it packs a punch of hydration when it hits the skin, and soaks right in without any greasy feel. The scent is light and fresh, and I can pick up a hint of watermelon – no doubt from the watermelon extract in the ingredient list. When I wake up in the morning, I can really feel the effects of these products – plump, smooth and deeply moisturised skin, less oiliness, and a calmer looking complexion.
I have only been using the Hydro-Vital range since late last year, but can see it becoming a constant fixture in my skin care collection. It’s something that is effective on its own as a thirst-quenching skin treatment, but is also lightweight enough to be layered with other products.
Eyes need focus
Whoever came up with that saying “the eyes are the windows to the soul” also forgot to mention that they eyes are the key to our age! The skin around our eyes is very thin and fragile, therefore prone to showing signs of aging much faster than the rest of our face. Additionally, my eyes show the first and most obvious signs of a lack of sleep, and concealer is a great help, but often needs something more. So a hydrating eye cream, such as the Genie H’eye’drator Eye Cream, can make all the difference.
This eye cream has an ingredient line-up targeted at providing moisture and antioxidants, as well as soothing and nourishing effects. This includes sodium hyaluronate, shea butter, vitamin E, cucumber extract, aloe, safflower and sweet almond oils. The consistency is beautifully thick, and has a lush whipped appearance. A very small amount is needed for both eyes – a little goes a long way, yet disappears effortlessly into the skin underneath the eyes. It feels like a rich eye cream, yet isn’t heavy or greasy. I’ve had mixed experiences in the past with eye creams – some have caused the skin around my eyes to burn and tingle, or caused my eyes to sting. However I did not experience any irritation with the Genie H’eye’drator – if anything, it feels quite soothing, especially when used right out of the fridge (optional, but perfect for this warmer weather & for any puffiness).
The effect under my eyes is felt both right after application and the following morning – the skin feels firmer, smoother, and as the name suggests, hydrated. It also minimises potential problems with under-eye concealer the next day – it applies more smoothly, and is less prone to sinking into fine lines and accentuating any dry spots of skin.
In keeping with the philosophy of the Genie brand, this eye cream certainly delivered fast results, and I didn’t have to wait days or weeks to notice a difference. It provided much needed hydration to my eye area, especially needed during this skin-dehydrating time of the year.
While most of us have a great skin care regimen for our face, one of the areas that we tend to neglect (and therefore show our age sooner or more obviously) is our hands. I put my hand up (no pun intended) to being a too-frequent hand washer, and I tend to skip hand cream application a bit too regularly! So applying hand cream right before my head hits my pillow is an absolute no-excuses-allowed step for me. This way, I know that my hands will be nourished and hydrated constantly for a few hours, and I can wake up with hands in a far better condition than what I went to sleep with.
The Flora Mare Hand Cream does a fantastic job of hydrating and nourishing my hands, without leaving my hands feeling greasy or slippery. The consistency is thicker than a lotion, and gives you enough time to spread over the hands before soaking right into the skin. The difference in smoothness and hydration is noticeable right away, and my hands are infused with the signature Flora Mare scent that I recognise from other products in the range, which I would describe as a modern, clean floral aquamarine. I also love skin care brands that utilise ingredients such as algae and plants from the ocean, as I tend to see effective results on my skin from these products, and this cream is no exception.
Establishing a night time beauty routine has been all about listening to what my skin needs throughout the changing seasons of the year, and finding the right products that work for my skin. That way, it doesn’t feel like a chore – it’s something that I enjoy doing every night, giving my skin the best opportunity for recovery from sunset to sunrise.