My Night-Time Beauty Routine Saved My Sanity

Getty / Delmaine Donson

Beauty has always been a major part of my life. From my first ever The Body Shop makeup kit at 13 to my career as a beauty editor, my bedroom has always resembled a treasure trove of products. As the years have passed I am still partial to a good makeup product, however skincare is where I really come into my own. Whereas most people spend the evening watching Netflix or kicking back with a glass of wine, my idea of a good night is indulging in as many skincare treatments as my body and face can tolerate in one evening. If there’s a beauty gadget, the chances are I have tried it – and applying upwards of eight products at a time is pretty par for the course. I am of course very privileged that this obsession has become my career, however there was a period when I took a step back from my regular skincare routine and I didn’t realise just how much this affected my mental wellbeing, and in particular my sleep.

What I didn’t account for was how the lack of skincare routine didn’t just impact my skin quality, it affected my mental wellbeing and overall self worth.

I was made redundant in 2019 after the birth of my second child and at the time I thought it would be a positive move for me to spend more time at home with the kids and focus on family life. It however coincided with very turbulent personal circumstances, which with two young children meant my time was limited, and I spent many months feeling low and overwhelmed. One of the first things to change were my evenings of self-care and pampering, as well as my evening skincare routine. I was barely remembering to eat and functioning on minimal sleep, so the idea of sitting for 20 minutes with a face mask on seemed ridiculous. What I didn’t account for was how the lack of skincare routine didn’t just impact my skin quality, it affected my mental wellbeing and overall self worth.

Those pamper sessions had provided a form of escapism, a moment to stop scrolling, or watching mindless TV, and reset at the end of the day. It was also a time to check-in with how I was feeling, if I had had a very stressful day I would reach from calming products filled with aromatherapy, if I was feeling low I would apply self-tan or spend hours styling my hair to give myself a confidence boost. It may sound very self-centred, but regularly taking the time to look after myself had shown me on a subconscious level that I deserved to be looked after. My evening skincare was also part of a good pre-bed routine that helped me relax and signalled to my brain it was time for sleep. Before I knew it, it wasn’t just the pamper nights out the window, or the night cream, it was the basic things like washing my hair and even brushing my teeth. The idea of looking after myself in any way felt too much.

As I was on the verge of depression, I knew I needed to seek professional help and started a journey with a therapist. During one of the sessions, I remember sobbing when the psychologist suggested I needed to take some time to look after myself. I was furious, I had convinced myself to be a good mum I needed to put my children’s needs first and that meant I was the lowest priority. Even the thought of having a bubble bath felt too much and unnecessary. Her words rang in my ears the whole way home, as if the way I was feeling was my fault, that I hadn’t been taking care of myself.


The same day I received a beauty sample in the post. I hadn’t been working so this wasn’t a regular occurrence anymore. It sparked something inside of me that had been laying dormant. That night I decided to try it. Instead of rolling into bed, I made a conscious effort to cleanse my skin, brush my teeth, and apply it to my face. As I inhaled the fragrance and massaged the oil into my skin, I felt my body relax. The feeling resembled stepping off a plane on holiday, like a weight had been lifted. I laid my head down on the pillow and drifted off to sleep. For months I had dreaded bedtime, as it felt like each night I would spend hours replaying traumatic moments in my mind and instead of sleep the night brought further hours of fretting. The next day I was determined to do the same routine and it worked again. From that moment I didn’t look back. I tried to spend a few moments taking care of myself before bed and as the days passed I could feel my self-worth increasing and my general wellbeing improving. Suddenly the therapist’s advice didn’t make me shudder, it made me realise that self-care wasn’t selfish and being a good mum meant I had to also be happy too. Within a few weeks I was taking the time to wash and style my hair, applying makeup, and following a regular (and pretty extensive) morning and evening skincare routine.

That was about four years ago and I am happy to say that my pamper nights and indulgent skincare routines, particularly at night, have continued. I feel this anchors my day and sets my body and mind for a good night’s sleep. I also pay attention and check in with my emotions. If I suddenly don’t feel like taking care of my basic needs it is like a warning light and I know I need to take further steps to ensure I look after my mental wellbeing. Who said beauty was just frivilous nonsense? Not me, thats for sure.

Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years’ experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

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