*this blog post is sponsored by Olay Canada
Rituals are comforting and so essential to us creatures of habit. Nighttime routines are particularly important to reset from the day and ease your mind so you can start the next day with a fresh and clear outlook.
Here is my exact nighttime routine. It varies from time to time depending on where I am, which kid is sick at the time, how late I go to bed, etc. etc… But the basics stay the same. The most critical thing I stay consistent with is a great skincare routine. I always wash my face, tone, and use a retinol. I’ve been using retinoids for the better part of three years now and have cycled through a few different brands. I love using Olay Retinol24 products because of the beautiful results I’ve noticed and the price is so affordable. Olay has a collection of three products; an eye cream, a serum, and my personal favourite, the night moisturizer.
Step 1: Remove your makeup with a cleansing oil
Step 2: Pat your face dry and apply a toner
Step 3: Smooth a serum over your face and wait 2 minutes
Step 4: Eye cream
Step 5: Finally, take a hydrating nighttime moisturizer like Olay Retinol24 and apply all over your face.
Rejuvenating with Retinol
Make sure you’re incorporating a nightly retinol. It’ll transform your skin, I swear. You’ll wake up with what feels like freshly exfoliated skin, making it appear brighter and smoother. Below is a before and after photo… the before photo was taken in November 2019 and the after was taken in March 2020. In between these two photos, the only thing I started doing was incorporation Olay Retinol24 night cream. These photos are completely untouched and unfiltered and you’ll notice my skin is less irritated, my pores are much smaller, and my complexion is even.
Please remember that everyone’s skin is different and results will vary. Trial and error is the name of the game when it comes to skincare. Personally, I have found that retinol has had the most dramatic effect on my skin, especially now that I’m in my 30s. I have combination skin which means that I have a naturally oily T-zone and drier in other areas. Olay Retinol24 products evened out my complexion, not only in appearance but also in the texture of my skin. I use the Olay Retinol24 night moisturizer every single night. At first, I was worried it would irritate my skin like other retinol brands have done in the past. It’s a powerful ingredient and many of the other brands I’ve tried have formulated it so that you can only use it once, maybe twice a week and still experience redness and itchiness. Olay has developed the perfect balance in its products and in my experience, hasn’t irritated my skin. After using the night moisturizer every night, it took less than a week for me to notice an improvement and 28 days for others to notice an improvement. I consider that a win.
Here are my other tips that are crucial to a goodnight’s rest
Drink herbal tea to aid in digestion. My favourites are lemon balm, raspberry leaf, and peppermint. Add a little raw honey for extra healing benefits – it’s antiviral, immune-boosting, and full of vitamins and minerals. I’ll sip on tea for an hour or two leading up to bedtime.
Plug your phone into another room other than your bedroom. I plug mine into the master bath outlet and try not to look at any screens for an hour leading up to bedtime. I find that it raises my stress levels, not to mention all those studies they’ve done on the effects of blue light before bedtime.
Read a book. But like, an actual paper book or write in a journal. I know it’s so tempting to read an ebook, keep scrolling through blog posts (ahem ;)) or post to social media but the effect it has on your ability to turn off your brain and get a good night’s sleep is considerable. I urge you to pick up a novel or journal if that’s what you’re into or something that relaxes you. On my nightstand, I have:
A reading light
A journal where I write down my memories for my kids. I love this idea because I’m writing it for my kids to read when they’re older so they can read all about the hilarious things they’ve said or done.
Thyroid Healing by Anthony Williams. Sometimes, I like to do a little research before bed especially if there has been a symptom bothering me or one of my family members. It puts my mind at ease and gives me tools I can use the following day.
Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende. I love reading fiction novels – always have, always will. It’s the perfect escape right before bedtime because it forces your mind off your daily stressors. I’ll read for about 45-60 minutes before turning out the lights and falling to sleep.