Nightly Skin Care for the End of the World

Sep 18, 2020
Misty mountains reflected in a lake water with title Reflections on Inner Peace, Outer Peace

The original post can be found on the Angelica & Peony blog.

I don’t do this every single night, but i do it most nights. It’s nice even if you do it once - but after doing it for a few days, you’ll notice your body start to relax as you begin the process - that’s the power of ritual. That’s why I consider this both a skin and sleep ritual. But you can do it any time of day for a quiet interlude of relaxation and nervous system calming. Spend an hour, or move through all the steps, including the optional ones, in less than 10 minutes.

Step 1: Optional but nice: set the mood. Have nice lighting. It doesn’t need to be bright to do this, in fact it should be a little on the darker side. Play some music. If you’re getting right into bed after, make your bed comfy - fluff up the pillows, turn down the cover. Put a glass of water on the nightstand. Imagine how you would prepare a room for a dear friend as a guest.

Step 2: Oil Cleansing. I’ve written about oil cleandsing before, and I recommend it very broadly. I use Angelica & Peony’s Clarifying Cleansing Oil, but it’s not difficult to DIY your own blend. Here’s a good guide from one of my favourite oil suppliers, Mountain Rose Herbs.

Step 3: Mist (optional). You can skip this if you want, the main thing is to be sure your face is damp when you go to step 4, applying serum. But it’s awfully nice to add a cool, fragrant mist into things, especially if you’re in California’s hot, dry smoky air like me. I’ve been using Orange Blossom Hydrosol from Starwest Botanicals, Rose Geranium Hydrosol from Mountain Rose Herbs or the Lucent Summer Hydrolat from 5Yina (available for pick up at Energy Matters). Rosewater, like the widely available Heritage brand, is a great mist for all skin types and the light rose scent is calming and pleasing to many folks. If you use a pure hydrosol, you can mist it over your bed as well for a natural aromatherapy linen spray that won’t overpower.

Step 4: Facial Serum. Oil-based facial serums are what I use and generally recommend as ‘moisturizer.’ Oil serums require no preservatives or emulsifiers, unlike water-based creams. They moisturize using the water clinging to your skin (see step 3). However you can do this with whatever product you like, including a cream or lotion. I use Angelica & Peony’s Regenerating Serum, but I also use and recommend products from Jade Spa and 5Yina that we carry at Energy Matters. Because there’s no chemistry involved, facial serums are easy to create for yourself. Try Power of the Seed by Susan M. Parker or Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbs for Natural Beauty as great resources.

Step 5: Quality Face Time! You’ve applied your facial serum or moisturizer, it’s time to touch your face! Gentle strokes with your fingers, a deliberate facial massage, a facial roller (I use my amethyst one from Energy Matters for extra princess vibes), or a gua sha tool. You’re helping your product be more deeply absorbed, you’re helping your nervous system wind down, and you’re relaxing and soothing your hardworking facial muscles. Take as much times as you like, and be gentle with your face.

Step 6: Optional add-ons! Here’s where you can add in any other steps you want. This can be skin care like spot treatments (I apply a medicated ointment prescribed by Prajna for my dermatitis), or listening to a guided meditation, enjoying a cup of tea, watching tv with your partner or pup, whatever feels good to you. Lately I’ve been lying down for a few minutes with a chrysanthemum tea compress to counteract the smoky irritation of my eyes.

Step 7: Close. Before you leave your sink or wherever you’ve been doing your facial skin ritual, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths in and out, and open your eyes. If you’re in front of a mirror, try giving yourself a big, appreciative smile. Slip into bed, or into the rest of your day. Hopefully your skin will be a little happier, and you’ll have a little more room to breath.

Love, Kirsten

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