When I think of my childhood I often think of my mother’s skincare routine – I say routine but really it was more of a skincare ritual.
I remember watching her in the evenings cleansing her face with thermal water, dabbing cream along her cheekbones, and ending her routine with a delicate crème de nuit (night cream) to unwind at the end of her day.
From an early age my mother instilled in me (and my sisters) the importance of taking care of our skin…”il faut prendre soin de sa peau” she would say (you have to take care of your skin!).
These days my skincare routine (see ritual) is something I deeply cherish, especially since becoming a maman.
For me, the act of cleansing my skin has become less of a chore and more of a quiet mindfulness practice. It’s my time to slow down, nourish my skin, and connect with myself. In one word, my skincare routine is grounding.
If you’re looking for a simple way to add a bit of stillness to your busy day, here are four simple tips to help you create a more grounding skincare ritual.
4 tips to help you create a calming skincare ritual
1. Create a calming atmosphere: Play calming music or soundscapes (nature sounds) during your skincare routine. Or simply leave your phone in another room and create a moment of stillness for yourself. Note: If you’re going to play music and you’re using your phone, make sure to place your phone away from you so you aren’t tempted to look at it while you’re preparing yourself for the day or unwinding at the end of the day. This is YOUR moment. Here’s a morning playlist I created for myself if you need a bit of inspiration.
2. Focus on your breath: You’ll want to use lukewarm water to wash your face. So, as you wait for the water to reach the desired temperature take a moment to deeply breathe. Inhale for 4 and Exhale for 6. I personally do this about three times.
3. Practice mindfulness as you cleanse and tone: Once the water is ready, it’s time to cleanse your face. During this step I like to focus on how the water feels on my skin, how does it sound? Ask yourself, “how am I feeling in this moment?”
Tip: In the evenings consider using a konjac sponge to cleanse your face. This has been one of my favorite ways to gently exfoliate and cleanse at the same time. You can read more about the konjac sponge here. Once you’ve finished rinsing with your cleanser, take a towel and gently pat your face dry.
If you’re using a toner go ahead and apply it to your skin now. There are different ways of applying toner, most can be applied using reusable cotton pads (eco alternative to cotton swabs) or can be directly sprayed onto your face.
Do you need to use toner?
Using a toner is not a necessity when it comes to your skin health. Toners can help soothe skin after cleansing and, depending on the ingredients used, can potentially give your skin that extra boost of moisture. But, when it comes to actual skin health, it’s more of a nice-to-have than an actual need. But, if you’re like me and enjoy using a toner, opt for one that’s antioxidant-rich and alcohol-free as alcohol can be drying and irritating to your skin.
4. Gently massage your face as you moisturize: Now it’s time to apply your moisturizer. During this step consider gently massaging your face. One simple massage I love to do, especially in the morning, is to massage my cheekbones. Starting at the bridge of my nose and moving outward, I’ll gently swipe my fingers across my cheekbones. I do this a few times on each side. Additionally, if my eyes are a bit puffy I will lightly tap my fingers around my eyes. Bonus: Use a Gua Sha! At least twice a week I’ll end my morning or evening skincare routine with a full facial massage using my gua sha. You can read more about this skincare practice here.
And, don’t forget to continue to breathe! As you’re gently massaging the cream or oil onto your skin take another deep breath and close your eyes. If your mind has started to wander, bring the focus back to where you are, to your breath.
Food for thought: Some skincare experts suggest avoiding moisturizer altogether as your skin should generally be able to naturally rehydrate itself. hmmm…I feel a future skincare experiment in my future.
That being said, one thing skincare experts seem to agree upon is our need to protect our skin from damaging UVB & UVA rays. On days when I know I am going to be spending most of my day outside I like to use a moisturizer with SPF. Skin cancer runs in my family so protecting it is something I don’t take lightly. My favorite brand at the moment is Suntegrity’s Moisturizing Mineral Face Sunscreen & Primer, Broad Spectrum SPF 30.
What about Vitamin D? I make sure to include a wide variety of Vitamin D-rich foods in my diet as well as supplementing as necessary with a multivitamin rich in Vitamin D.
In all, my skincare routine takes me less than 5 minutes. It’s not elaborate and it’s not always perfect. There are mornings where my mind tends to wander off more than others or my son won’t let go of my leg so I end up rushing through each step #momlife. But it’s a grounding practice that I have the opportunity to return to time and time again.
I want to know, what are some grounding rituals you’ve implemented into your daily life? Share some of your favorites in the comments below.