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The Ultimate Beauty Checklist before sleeping

You’re wearing your favorite pajamas, you’ve made yourself a cup of chamomile tea, and you’re cuddled on the couch ready to binge-watch a few episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix. Before you decide to settle in for the night, it’s important that you take the proper steps to get “unready” to feel like your cleanest self at bedtime.

Hair Up

First thing’s first — pull your hair back. There’s nothing worse than little strands of hair sticking to your wet face when you’re trying to clean up at night. Use a clip or elastic to throw it into a bun or ponytail, or pull it back with a headband.

Remove Makeup

It is important to take off your makeup at night, don't forget this step . Makeup doesn’t come off by solely washing your face, and leftover residue can lead to breakouts and fine lines. Makeup can be removed by using a traditional makeup remover or makeup wipes, but I take a different approach with Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser ($5, target.com). I simply rub the cream all over my face and my eyelids (this product is awesome at getting tricky mascara and eyeliner off!) and wipe clean with a tissue.

 

Cleanse Face

Begin by rinsing your face with lukewarm water — the warmness opens up pores and loosens dirt. Be sure that the water isn’t too hot, though; hot water will be drying to the skin. Use a dime-sized amount of your favorite face wash — I use Simple Foaming Cleanser ($6, amazon.com) – and lather your face for 30 seconds. Then, rinse your face to remove any remaining cleanser.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating 1-2 times a week rids your body of tired and dead skin cells that need to go. Although a little grit is good, be gentle to your face when exfoliating. Use your fingertips to softly massage your exfoliator of choice onto your face, using circling motions. The St. Ives Apricot Scrub ($3.50, target.com) is my go-to because it is made with all natural ingredients and smells delightful. As for body, I’ve tried making my own coffee ground scrub and it does wonders. The caffeine makes your skin feel tighter and brighter, and you gotta love that java smell left behind!

Dry Off

Drying your face after cleansing may seem like a simple task, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. First of all, it’s important that you pat your face dry with a clean towel rather than rubbing. Rubbing can irritate and stretch the skin, quickening the formation of wrinkles. Also, don’t miss the edges of the nose and ears — soap residue tends to build up in these places. 

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

To moisturize your skin, it is essential to start with the right moisturizer. Now, I can’t tell you what moisturizer to use because they work differently for everyone. But here’s a tip: pay attention to the ingredients on the bottle of the moisturizer. If the first listed ingredient is water, then the moisturizer is water-based. If the first listed ingredient is oil, then the moisturizer is oil-based. All in all, a water-based moisturizer is lighter and most likely works best for faces and under makeup, while oil-based moisturizers (heavy body creams and butters fall under this category) are best used on the rest of the body.

For your face, begin with a little less than a quarter-sized amount of moisturizer. Rub it between your palms a few times to ensure even distribution and start rubbing on your cheeks, working your way up to your forehead and chin, finishing off with your nose. Don’t forget to lather your neck as well, which can get just as dry as your face.

Apply Eye Cream

When applying your eye cream at night, use your ring finger (the weakest finger) to dab or gently massage your eye cream to your eyelids and undereyes. Be careful not to tug at the skin around your eyes — the skin is especially sensitive and prone to fine lines. Here’s a tip: don’t apply the cream too close to your eyes. As your body warms, so will the cream. The last thing you want is eye cream running into your eye when you are sleeping!

Brush Your Teeth

Last but not least, it’s time to brush those chompers! While this may seem routine already, there are a few important details to note. Primarily, go for about two and a half minutes. This leaves 30 seconds for the outer surface on the bottom, 30 seconds for the inner surface on the bottom, 30 seconds for the outer surface on the top, 30 seconds for the inner surface on the top and time for the chewing surfaces. Don’t forget about your, tongue, either! Your tongue is a trap for food remnants and bacteria — if that’s not enough of a reason to clean for your tongue, I don’t know what is. As for scrubbing, going hard may seem like you’re doing a better job at cleaning your teeth, but doing so is actually really damaging to the enamel. Take a softer approach, brushing at an angle in a circular motion.