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Before Bed Beauty Rituals

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I need to develop a nighttime beauty routine. I used to have one of sorts, then motherhood happened and although I make sure I always remove my make-up, I often don’t do much else. I frequently forget to apply potions and lotions and I am useless at looking after my hands.

If you read my 20 facts about me on my instagram you’ll know I let my eczema breakouts affect my confidence more than I should. I have been suffering from contact dermatitis across my palms for months now (see image two in the slider – apologies in advance if it put you off your morning cappuccino), I have no idea what’s causing it and it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable. An effective treatment is layering on a thick emollient and wearing white cotton gloves to sleep in, hardly sexy nightwear (James calls it my “Micheal Jackson” look) but my mitts are significantly smoother and softer by the time my alarm goes off.

In an attempt to make an evening regimen relaxing “me time” rather than a chore I’ve reinstated my beauty station just outside the en suite bathroom, I am currently trialling various products that I hope will give quick results, thus meaning I don’t give up after a week. I’m very loyal to a dab of Bobbi Brown Extra Repair eye cream and I’m determined to store the aforementioned gloves in a pretty pot so that a) they are hidden and b) I actually put them on as they are essentially in front of my face so I can’t forget. I hope to add bottles of age defying goop that’s a pleasure to apply in the not too distant future.

Basically I just want to be Nicole Kidman’s character (from a dedication to pampering perspective) in the HBO series Big Little Lies. Did you see that woman’s application of creams?! I swear there was all sorts of neck/chest action going on, as well as several products seemingly specifically for hands. I know I know it’s just a fictional programme but I’m kind of coveting the whole sitting in one’s lace negligee whilst moisturising and massaging away fine lines and fatigue.

I am part way there having half-inched some silky pieces from the Rosie for Autograph range that I used to style a photoshoot (perk of the job folks). Unfortunately I will never resemble Rosie Huntington Whitely (I bet she doesn’t wear Jackson gloves with her satin chemise and matching kimono) but I’m determined to make more of an effort to wake up looking rested rather than crumpled and somewhat scaly.

Do you have a bedtime beauty regime? do you have separate creams for your various limbs? Do you use a neck cream?! What does it…do? Do you apply hand cream before bed? Which one?

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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54 thoughts on “Before Bed Beauty Rituals

  1. Other than the usual cleansing and moisturising I don’t do an extensive night time routine. Although I am about to add some new skin care products from The Ordinary so am hopeful that will change.

    However, I do always put on a hand cream before bed – L’occiatane dry skin hand cream which is 20% shea butter. My hands are really dry and get tight after contact with water and I find this cream so soothing. It’s lovely! Β£20 a tube but it does last a while so I don’t mind.

    An eye cream is next on my list. I’m 34 on Friday and it’s really time I invested! Happy hunting! Xx

    1. Jennifer I’ll check out the L’Occiatane thanks! I would hugely recommend the BB eye cream – I’ve tried loads and this is the only one that doesn’t irritate/seems to actually do something! x

  2. If you find an amazing product for your hands please report back, my hands seen to be riddled with eczema at the moment and really dry where there isn’t any, nice! But until it gets really painful I end up not taking good care of them and just want to flop into bed!

  3. I am useless at a bedtime routine. If I’ve been wearing makeup I’ll cleanse and tone but most days I don’t so I end up forgetting. I do however always apply my serum and moisturiser so my skin doesn’t feel dry. I’ve got quite sensitive skin and I’ve recently been using this amazing natural range from the Edinburgh Natural Skincare company after my friend bought it for me. It is AMAZING. It smells so good and I have no adverse reactions. I use the anti ageing face serum (http://www.edinburghskincare.com/product/symmetry-anti-ageing-face-serum/) and the night cream (http://www.edinburghskincare.com/product/ultra-rich-anti-ageing-face-cream-night-formulae/) is wonderfully thick and silky so my skin feels so good. I also apply my faithful Oil of Olay ultimate eye cream. I will say I always pop on some hand cream as my hands get really dry and old lady like if I don’t. At the moment I’m using Molton Brown but it’s normally a case of whatever I have. Then it’s a slick of eight hour cream on my lips and sleep time. I need to get better with the cleansing part to remove all that dirt but can never be bothered with long processes! x

    1. I’ve never heard of this range Lottie – will take a look. My facial skin seems to be the best when I don’t really do anything, but then I think how much I need to start with the anti-ageing stuff! x

  4. I cleanse, tone and moisturise every evening (if I have time). I now use an early anti-aging moisturiser. In the morning, I use serum instead of moisturiser. If I fall asleep whilst feeding my son then I’ve usually only washed my face (with melting gel cleanser). Where do you store all of your products? I want my dresser to be neat and organised. Is everything away in drawers and only the pretty things are left out? I find that that is not helpful when you are in a rush. I’m trying very hard to have a neat dressing room but it’s so difficult at the moment. Do you keep the cleansers et all in the bathroom or at your table? X

    1. Hi Gem

      At the moment most things are in my bathroom cabinet, the plan is to do the washing/cleansing in there, and then sit down at my dresser to apply the creams and potions. I have two concrete pots that I can chuck everything in (that isn’t pretty – ha!) so it will only take a second to shove things back in. But you are right – when I’m in a rush I tend to just throw everything down haphazardly so it looks a mess. You should see the state of everything having returned from holiday – I am basically still half packed x

  5. Confession time – I never take my make up off at night (hides face in hands in shame). I know this is disgusting. I’m 39. I need to sort my life out.
    I am VERY lucky that I have pretty good skin but I live in fear of waking up (probably on my 40th next year) with all the damage appearing at once. Aaaaaaargh! Charlotte you have prompted me to get a grip and start using all the creams I buy and not just have them look pretty. πŸ™‚

    1. Ha ha Nikki I sometimes leave eye make-up on – especially when my eyes are sore (I wear lenses) as the last thing I want to do is shove cleaner on them when they are itchy….instead I would rather wake up with them smudgy and a bit grubby looking πŸ˜‚

  6. have you tried any of the Dermalogica range? I swear by it, anything from the Age smart range is amazing, as super hydrating, its a bit pricey but it really does work, the skin perfect primer is ridiculously good, ive been wearing it alone as make up whilst its been so hot! Have one of there facial mapping sessions and you wont turn back x

    1. Laura my friend Kelly uses a lot of Dermalogica – she’s a beautician and does all of the facial mapping etc. I’ve always been a bit nervous of it as it seems to have lots of botanicals etc but I really should ask her for some samples. Age Smart sounds like just what I need (!) x

      1. I have very sensitive skin and it’s honestly one of the only brands that my skin doesn’t react too, I totally recommend, ask your friend for some samples you wont regret it. It just does something magical, probably why its more expensive xx

  7. In the evening I use eye make up remover, cleanser and toner and then moisturise (all Clarins). Then as I get in to bed I put on handcream (my hands get so dry by the evening) and lipbalm. I try and be quite religious about it (having just used Boots own cleansing wipes for a cursory wipe for years!) and having done it for about 3.5 years now, I definitely see a difference in how much better and how much more hydrated my skin is. Though I’m pretty sure I could be using some different, fancier products and I’m haphazard at applying eye cream. I have a tester pot of a Bobbi Brown one and it’s really thick and I really like it when I remember to use it!
    On handcream have you tried Crabtree and Evelyn? I don’t know how good it is for your skin allergies but I find it the most nourishing and it doesn’t make your hands sticky. I have one on my bedside table, in my handbag, in the kitchen, on my work desk and home desk. Oh god, I’m obsessed with hand cream. x

    1. Sophie this is exactly what I need to do – keep hand cream everywhere! Then I have no excuses. I’m pleased to hear the effort has made a difference to your skin – I am so bloody impatient, I need to try things for longer and then decide whether it’s worth it. x

  8. My hands are ridiculously dry and actually bleed across the knuckles if I don’t look after them properly. I try to stick to a three times a week routine of going to bed with my hands slathered in the oh so glam Diprobase ointment, with plastic gloves and then cotton ones. I find the cotton ones absorb too much product, so use the plastic first and then keep them on with the cotton ones. If I do it three times in a week it keeps the dryness at bay – if I forget and miss a few nights, then I have to do it every night to get back on track.

    I also love the Crabtree & Evelyn Jardinieres hand exfoliator. You rub it into dry hands and then rinse it off, it removes flaky skin and smoothes them up a bit.

    I have never used a neck cream and honestly can’t see me adding it to my routine! But I do use a body oil after the shower every morning and a body lotion before bed, and I put those on my chest and neck. Hopefully that counts. πŸ˜‰

    Big Little Lies is on our Sky Planner waiting to be binge watched – SO looking forward to it. Though I bet Nicole Kidman does actually apply all those creams in real life, lol.

    1. Tracy you are my hand idol – I have literally just got back from Boots having stocked up on Diprobase ointment for Mabel. I am going to try it with the gloves tonight – I don’t have plastic ones though, where do you get those from?. Also what body oil do you use, do you find it comes off on clothes? I am good at applying body lotion every evening after a shower – I use the Vaseline unfragranced one mostly but it is so boring… x

      1. I got a box of 100 pairs of disposable plastic gloves in the household section of Tesco! I think they were Β£3 or something. It was my beautician who gave me the idea of putting the plastic gloves on under the cotton ones, and I have to say it works so much better than cotton on its own.

        At the minute I’m using the Vichy Ideal Soleil body oil, it’s marketed as aftersun, but it’s incredibly light and very easily absorbed. My go to is usually Johnson’s baby oil though – cheap and cheerful! I apply it to wet skin as I think it moisturises better that way, so by the time I’ve towel dried and got dressed I don’t find any of it comes off on clothes. It’d probably be a different story if you used it on dry skin, though I have been known to apply a tiny bit of the Vichy to shins and collarbone/shoulders for a bit of evening sheen.

        I’m very fickle when it comes to my evening body lotion and change all the time depending on what I like the smell of best. At the minute I’m using Palmer’s Stretch Mark Lotion due to being 6 months pregnant – it probably doesn’t make any difference but it mustn’t hurt either! πŸ™‚

        1. Oh Tracy the Vichy sounds lush, I fancied the actual suntan lotion – when I run out of my current one I might give it a whirl. I used Palmers stretch mark butter in the tube when I was pregnant, I don’t have stretch marks and I found it really moisturising. Thanks for the plastic glove tip…I’m going to look super sexy come bedtime 😏

          1. I got the lotion too as it was on 3 for 2 in Boots. It smells amazing! Would definitely recommend. 😊

  9. I started a pretty lengthy routine about a year ago and have never looked back. I find, though, that if I leave it until bedtime then I’m too tired and will only make a half arsed attempt at it. So before I had a baby I would do it when I got in from work – hair up, comfies on and face scrubbed. Now I do it as soon as I’ve put him to bed. It’s a nice ten minutes of ‘me time’ and I’m not falling asleep as I do it – winner.

  10. For your hands have you tried la Roche posay cicaplast hand cream? It works a treat when mine go all cracked and bleeding (nice image for you there!) or body shop hemp hand cream.

    Night time routine depends on how knackered I am.
    I tend to cleanse my face then spritz on Clinique moisture surge face spray then the ordinary Buffet serum.
    After that it’s either a face oil or straight in with either the Clinique Moisture Surge Mask or Garnier Moisture Bomb night cream.
    Like someone said earlier I’ll do this once the toddler is in bed so I don’t do it absolutely shattered.
    All my cosmetics are now housed in wash bags (gwp ones) in drawers with child locks πŸ™ Due to grabby toddler hands!

    1. Vicky I do fancy one of these spritz moisturising sprays, especially in all of the hot weather. Do you find it does anything? I’ll check the hand cream out, I find if my hands are at the bleeding stage I can’t put anything on them at all – they sting/burn like hell. x

      1. The Clinique one is the only one I’ve found to do anything. My face can feel tight after cleansing (I akwsys use a cream or balm and take off with a flannel) so spritz this on faff about with contact lenses then do serums etc. it feels like a really liquid light moisturiser. Plus it can be sprayed over make up without ruining it!
        It definitely helps with dehydration lines
        As an aside I’ve discovered the child’s farm range which is great on sensitive little ones skin and La Roche Posay have brought out a kids range!!

  11. Have heard very good things from my friend about Lush Dream cream for Eczema – apparently it is markedly better than all the prescription stuff put together. Might be worth a look. https://uk.lush.com/products/dream-cream

    One I’ve tried myself for dry skin patches on my face is Egyptian Magic cream – you can get from Boots or asos. http://www.boots.com/egyptian-magic-all-purpose-cream-skin-118ml-10206024
    It did work like magic on my face I imagine it would be good for hands too.

  12. I’ve started using the Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50.

    I use it in a morning in place of my regular moisturiser and its brilliant!! Gives you a high spf but without the greasiness, and actually leaves a matt finish. Then use an anti ageing eye cream. (I’m 37 now!!!)

    Nightime I always double cleanse, then moisturise with a serum and then finish with an eye cream.

    1. Kelly what do you double cleanse with? I use a cheap lotion cleanser on cotton wool pads then use it again and remove with a hot flannel. I don’t think it removes ALL grime though to be honest, I’ve noticed in this warm weather I have more blocked pores than usual x

      1. Muscling in on the double cleanse conversation. Having had acne since I was 11 and cystic acne throughout my 20’s and early 30’s (three courses of Roaccutane didn’t help), I can honestly say that double cleansing has changed my life. That sounds ridiculously dramatic, but such bad skin was destroying my soul a little bit more every time I looked in the mirror.

        I double cleanse morning and evening. Micellar water and cotton pads first (the Simple one is good and cheap). And then Origins Clean Energy oil (facial cleansing oil is so good) with a hot flannel.

        There isn’t a shred of foundation or makeup left on the towel when I dry my face, so I consider that a really good clean.

        Caroline Hirons has so much good skincare advice – http://www.carolinehirons.com

        1. Wow Stacy so glad you’ve found something that works, has your skin improved drastically? I am a big advocate of the hot flannel x

      2. No cotton pads! Flannel all the way! Oil or balm to start then something more luxurious after to treat the skin

  13. I use Garnier Miscellar Water and cotton wool pads to remove all of my makeup ( including eye makeup) then wash my face with Soap & Glory’s Vitamin C facial wash.

    Both cheap products but the facial wash leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed!!

    1. Kelly I’ve just bought this Micellar water – they had small travel bottles and so few ingredients, I thought it was worth a try. x

  14. After getting through bedtime routines for my two boys I have limited time/motivation to then have a lengthy one myself. I use Botanics eye make up remover which is really effective and doesn’t sting. I then use Clinique take the day off balm which is amazing. I have recently discovered Clinique pep start exfoliating cleanser – this is really nice too. Hydraluron moisturiser is nice and I tried the new moisture surge serum by Clinique which is good and not greasy. Check out skincare guru Caroline Hirons- she has really honest and in depth reviews and tells you what skin type products work for x

    1. Lisa I really fancy this exfoliating cleanser! I am such a marketeers dream but glad to read someone actually rates it in real life! I am a fan of the moisture surge range – the serum also looks lovely x

  15. Double cleanse, acid exfoliate, retinol then a face oil. Can you tell I’m a Caroline Hirons convert!

    Hands get Hand Chemistry oil (same parent company as The Ordinary). I wash my hands 100s of times a day and they are like sand paper by the end of the day!

    1. DO you use retinol every day Rachel? I’m tempted but also a bit scared of it. And I can’t for the life of me get on with the acid/liquid exfoliators, I always end up with dry patches. I’m tempted by The Ordinary “lactic acid” and as it’s so cheap I might give it a go. x

      1. I do now yes, started every other day. I’m a good few years older than you and its down wonders for my dry, aging yet still spotty skin! I use retinol reface from indeed Labs. Its pretty inexpensive for a retinol and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in texture, wrinkles and breakouts.

        Acid wise I like Nip+Fab pads as they have lactic and salicylic acids in as well as glycolic. Ordinary is def worth a go, cheap as chips!

        1. I definitely want to start Rachel so thanks for the tips, I have some pigmentation issues that I know retinol is supposed to help with x

          1. La Roche Posay Effaclar is good at reducing pigmentation. Go careful with retinol at first, as it can sting. Again Caroline Hirons has great guides on her YouTube. The Avene range is really nice. I noticed a difference in one day using the ordinary azaleic acid.

  16. Bit late to the party today but have you tried any Dead Sea products…and I don’t mean the ones that are shoved in your face at every shopping centre. Dead Sea Spa Magik do a fantastic hand cream and body lotion. Holland & Barrett stock them.
    I used to use a lot of their stuff after seeing them at Clothes Show Live (is that still going??) Although just soaking your hands in some dead sea salts would probably also massively help too.. Not so practical for the beauty station/ evening regime perhaps but would definitely make them happier πŸ™‚

    1. Never too late Lucette! will take a look thanks so much….I have no idea if the Clothes Show is still going actually?! x

  17. Charlotte I also get contact dermatitis on my palms and eczema on my knuckles. If I use gloves when prepping fruit and veg my hands are a lot happier. Of course I hardly ever remember so my hands are wrecked! It might help though. Also aveeno hand cream is good. Lush dream cream is great too…it’s a fab body moisturiser if you are prone to eczema. Oh and I stopped using liquid soaps and switched to a very simple bar (pears I think) for washing my hands. X

    1. Sue cutting fruit is so bad for my hands – I used to do much more when Mabel was a baby.

      I swear by Aveeno – I need to see if they do a hand wash x

  18. I’m a big fan of Bobbi Brown products – was recommended them just after I got engaged, a make up artist at a wedding fair looked at me with such horror when I said I didn’t really have a skincare routine! Anyway now I take all my make up off with Johnsons make up wipes (the only ones I’ve found that take off all my eye make up in one go) then use BB cleansing oil and/or cleanser, which I also mix their buffing grains into a couple of times a week to make an exfoliator. Follow up with their toner on a cotton pad, then moisturise. I love their products, they smell so gorgeous πŸ™‚ Double cleansing sounds wonderful and I love the idea of the hot flannel, definitely going to try that!
    Hand cream wise I always found the Body Shop hemp hand cream amazing, very moisturising but leaving no greasy residue. I’m a big fan of Aesop hand creams too which have such a lovely botanical smell! I agree with Sophie above – keeping a hand cream in almost every room in the house, on my desk at work, in the car etc really helped with my dry hands and cuticles – no excuse if you have beautiful products tempting you everywhere!

  19. I swear by an oil based cleanser, ideally a double cleanse if I have time, followed by Kiehls midnight recovery concentrate http://www.kiehls.co.uk/skin-care/category/serums/midnight-recovery-concentrate/819.html then good old Aveeno cream. I too suffer from dry sensitive skin and eczema prone skin, so I quite often have to top up with a steroid cream if having a break out.

    With regards to the neck/chest area I heard years ago that you should extend your face products down to here as the skin is more similar to the face and it helps keep it looking younger. An aging prone area apparently 😬

    My hands are also terrible and no matter how many lotions and potions I buy they always just seem to collect dust! However the best hand cream I ever used was the Bobbi Brown one, really luxurious and smells devine.


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