Don't forget to comment on the bottom of the post, and let me know what helps keep you grounded at the end of your day. Which natural goodies can you not live without? xx
A little while ago I received a very sweet email from a special LPN reader who asked me about my evening routine. She wondered this after reading my morning routine in a previous post earlier this year – check that out here.
I live the average person’s hectic life… with a few ad-ons: I live in a foreign country and I travel a lot for my day job (in the past 2 months, I’ve spent about 40+ days on the road). Not surprisingly, this combination can often leave me feeling uprooted and unsettled, so for this reason, a nightly routine that helps me wind-down and ground down is very important, both on the road and at home. This post may be a long one, but I promise is packed with natural goodies that will get any organic beauty’s heart fluttering.
Evening Necessities: Stretch & Nourish
Step 1: Yoga
When I get off work – on the road or at home – my first stop during the week is yoga. Whether it be in the studio or on the hotel room floor, I try my best to practice each evening on the weekdays that I haven't had a morning practice. One of the first things I do when traveling for work is check out where the local yoga studios are – I find it, I walk there and I bliss out for a little while before heading back home for some nourishment.
If you’re on the road a lot, grab yourself a travel mat (I previously blogged on this mat, and my other favourite yoga mat on this post)– they are handy to have if you’re at a studio where mats aren't available, or if your practice is going to be on the hotel room floor. My favourite travel mat – and the one I am using now – is the Manduka's eKO Tavel Mat. It folds up to the size of my laptop and is lighter than a small book. Find it here. The one thing about this mat that doesn't make me grin, however, is because of its thinness it can bunch when you’re in an active vinyasa flow. That being said, it's non-toxic, sustainably made and affordable.
Step 2: Nourish
When I am at home during the week, making dinner is such a luxury (weird? maybe). I love to cook healthy whole food meals that are mostly vegetarian and/or vegan. Sometimes I don’t cook at all, and instead opt for raw food options; however, as fall grows to a close and winter creeps in, I particularly enjoy warm soups and roasted root veggies as part of my evening meal.
How to Eat Healthy when You're Traveling?
Being on the road can definitely make “nourishing” a little more difficult. Restaurant food, canteens at offices and airport food don’t usually make for great additions to a calm digestive tract or good beauty food. For this reason, I always pack healthy wholefood snacks. I travel with fruit, nuts and sometimes treats like kale chips. But that doesn’t solve the problem of dinner.
One of the first things I do when I get into a new city is check my Happy Cow App for nearby vegetarian, raw food or healthfood shops. If I am in a city that doesn’t have any listings, I then get to google and map out where all the stops are. If I am still at a loss, I will end up at a nearby restaurant grabbing a salad and making loads of substitutions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for additions that aren’t on the menu – or remove things that are – a little extra work on the cook’s part is certainly worth less tummy trouble and clearer skin later on.
On that note, you can’t punish yourself either. Balance is key and finding what works for you and your body is what is most important.
Evening Skincare: Cleanse, Tone & Moisturize
Step 3: Eye Makeup Removal
After my meal I usually make my way off to start my evening skin routine. This can vary in terms of its complexity depending on where I am and how many bottles I managed to smuggle on the plane. :)
My evening skincare routine usually starts with the removal of eye makeup – here I start with warm water and then use an oil based eye makeup remover. When I’m on the road, however, I pack a little container (and I mean small – see below) of coconut oil. I take a bit between my fingers and then melt it before wiping it across my eyelids to take away any mascara and eyeliner. I then will use a dampened (organic) cotton pad to wipe off the makeup before rinsing my face.
Step 4: Facial Cleanser - Regular Routine
On normal days (and when I'm traveling) I will use a cream cleanser with my Konjac sponge, which I blogged about previously here. As I am a natural beauty blogger, it's the nature of the job to change my cleansing products, but for the moment I am loving and using Benedetta's Cream Cleanser in Rosemary and Geranium - and love it. It is, indeed, a little different from your normal cream cleanser, as this product acts as a treatment that you actually massage into DRY skin.
To Use: I massage the cream cleanser on my face and neck (massaging firmly around my lymph nodes on my neck too since its therapeutic ingredients are detoxifying in their own right). Once the cream looks absorbed, I get rinsing. It is best to wait couple minutes before rinsing (ingredients are also natural exfoliators), but truthfully I usually only last 1 - 2 minutes before I grab my damp Konjac sponge and lift away the product and residue from my skin.
The wonderful thing about Benedetta's cleanser? It doubles as a spot treatment, and pigmentation lightener. Just tap some onto the problem areas for a night treatment.
Shop 100 ml bottle for $42 USD.
*A note to vegans, this product does contain bee propolis.
Step 4A: Exfoliative Cleanser - Bi-Weekly Routine
One or two times a week I will exfoliate with an Ayurvedic cleanser that contain small granules to help lift away dead skin and cleanse the pores. Right now my go to is by a fantastic organic beauty company called Root Science Organic Skincare. I've been using their RS Facial Scrub. The ingredients - awesome - Baking Soda, Organic Almond Meal, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Arrowroot and Organic Spearmint leaf. Your skin is left feeling oh so smooth and refreshed.
To Use: I use a little less than a teaspoon on my palm and add 3 or 4 drops of water from my finger tips. I create a paste by rubbing my hands together then apply all over my face, focusing around the nose, chin, forehead and outer cheeks/jawline.
Shop RS Facial Scrub $29 USD.
Step 5: Face Mask - Once per Week
Certainly not every evening, but maybe once a week I treat myself to a face mask. I often like to make my own from ingredients in my kitchen. Check out one of my first face mask posts here. This can switch up depending on what I am in need of, maybe it's some extra moisture, some anti-aging love, some spot treatment or in this week's case some pore minimizing.
From a lovely online boutique called Urban Retreat, I have been using Estelle & Thild's Detox Mask for Pore Minimizing. What I'm loving is that they use benonite clay for some serious "pore pulling power". It may sound less than lovely, but this wonderful mask cleanses beautifully.
To Use: I put a generous amount on my face and left it for about 4 or 5 minutes. After rinsing there is a noticeable effect of clean pores.
Shop from the Urban Retreat for ~$55 USD.
Step 6: Tone
Following a good cleanse, I tone. I've been using a tried and true product for sometime, Bliss Mist (a lovely rose water based toner) from Saje Wellness. I love, love this product, both because of its pure ingredients (key ones include rose and lavender oils) and how it leaves my skin feeling - super fresh and never tight. If it looks familiar, you're probably right as it has popped up on my Instagram feed recently.
To Use: I "blitz" my face with this spray post cleansing, to help balance the PH and, truthfully, breathe in the goodness that makes this product so addicting. I follow toning almost immediately with my moisturizing routine.
Shop for $34 CAD online here.
Step 7: Moisturize
For Face These days I have been packing with me religiously One Love Organics Youth Eternal Springs serum. In order to keep the bottle load down over the past few weeks, while I've been travelling I have been using this product as my nightly serum + moisturizer. It includes, what some might call a miraculous ingredient, watermelon seed oil, which is full of essential fatty acids to help smooth your skin. Rose oil is also added and their secret ingredient D'Orientine S (derived from the date palm kernel) that has proven anti-wrinkle efficacy, while also protecting the skin.favourite natural beauty boutiques - in US/Canada, Eco Diva Beauty for $62.50 CAD and in Scandinavia/Europe, PureSkin.no for 569 NOK.
For Eyes These days I’ve been slighly addicted to an awesome eye cream by Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics called Active Moisture Vitamin E Eye Balm (yes, I am having a bit of a love affair with One Love Organics over these past few months - and you should too, all their products are wonderful!). Packed with vitamins A, D & E, this active and moisturizing product has kept my eyes puff-free and hydrated beyond belief. It has zero water taking up space, so all the precious ingredients are what absorbs into that delicate skin.
To Use: Since it is a balm, it helps to melt it on the tips of your fingers before application. Once you touch the product around your eyes (gently, and best to use your ring finger when applying eye cream) pat around the eye and watch the balm melt in.
Shop: this lovely eye balm, great for puffy-eyed princesses on Eco Diva Beauty's online shop here for $48 USD.
For Lips It is with great devastation that I said goodbye to my empty container of Osmia's Honey-Myrr Lip Repair this week. Not only is this a nightly favourite, but it's also my daily too. I had this with me non-stop since receiving it a few months back. It is the best lip treatment for dry lips I have experienced to this date - and I have tried LOADS of lip products. Heals cracked lips quick and prevents them from cropping up in the first place. Seriously nourishing stuff.
To Use: A no-brainer, really. Put it on your lips. Really often.
Shop at Osmia's online shop for $22 USD.
Step 7: Relax
I love to wind-down the night with my diffuser and candles – especially now that the days are shorter. When I pick my candles I always look for ones with cotton wicks with vegetable based wax (soy, for example) and fragranced with nothing but good old essential oils. For the moment I have fallen in love with two brands that craft candles (and skincare) beautifully: an Ayurvedic company called Mystic Masala Ayurvedic Aromatherapy who just happen to be based in my hometown :) and an old favourite here on LPN, Blissoma. These companies have some of the most glorious hand poured candles I have come to know.
The Mystic Masala's candles are based on Ayurvedic principles and most are made for a particular dosha. I have been using their Pitta Enlighten Me candle, which has essential oils of coriander, fennel and peppermint (very cooling). Glorious, I tell you. It has ~50 hours of clean burning from the start, so it is well worth the $26 CAD.
I've also been loving their Tridoshic Balancing candle - with essential oils of geranium, spikenard & bergamot, as well as sprinkled with rose petals - which lasts for 24 hours and is also hand-poured into a handy little tin which is GREAT for travel. You can pick up a travel tin for $16.95 CAD.
Their tea lights are perfect for all the little candle holders around my home, including my little Buddha candle holder, who sits across from me as I write this :)
Blissoma's Aromatherapy soy candles are lovely for travel as well, since they come in handy little tins. The 4 oz candles gives you about 24 hours of burn time and retail for $14.99 USD. My favourite scents on Blissoma range (and for full disclosure I haven't smelt them all) are Lift (for the lavender and peppermint combination) & Love (for the ylang ylang & grapefruit scent).
Step 5: RestAnd now, for the finale of my evening routine. Sleep! No surprise here, a solid sleep can do wonders for your skin and overall wellbeing. I know everyone notices the difference in their skin from a 5 hour sleep versus a 9 hour sleep. I try my best to be in bed before 11 PM, and while that doesn't always happen, it's a good round number for which to aim. On evenings where work is a bit lighter and I can manage, I might even sneak off to the sack around 10 PM. Before I tuck in for the night, I will commonly grab a relaxing balm or roll-on. I find the routine of putting something soothing on actually reminds my body "Ok, it's time to let go". I've recently found a beautiful brand called Botanical Me that have some glorious products, one of which is my new nighttime fave: Instant Calm Pressure Point Roll On. I massage it around my neck and wrists for a nice breath of relaxing essential oils of lavender, chamomile and geranium plus some coconut oil for a moisturizing effect. One of the wonderful things about Bontanical Me is that they support malaria prevention in Africa through Malaria No More, so each purchase goes to a good cause. Shop Botanical Me's Calm roll on ($12 USD) & Travel Spray ($13 USD) on their online shop here. The last thing I ensure, is sleeping with the window open - even in the winter (much to bf's dismay). This ensure the skin is receiving clean, fresh air. I can certainly tell the difference after a night of "hotel-sans-windows-that-open-sleep" versus a "Norwegian-mountan-air-sleep" hehe
Well that my beauties is a taste of LPN's evening routine and the products that keep it clean.
I would love to hear about what you are up to in the evening. What helps you wind down the day? And what are your favourite products that you use in the evening?