The slow beauty routine you need today
The key to a natural glow lies in a holistic approach, says slow beauty pioneer Shel Pink. This routine will help you slow down and find your inner glow.
Your morning routine
Regularise your sleep patterns
Bringing your circadian rhythm back in line with nature by triggering the release of melatonin will energise you and regularise your sleep patterns, which is critical to beauty and good health. Every morning before breakfast, open the door and step outside to feel the natural light. This helps reset your body clock, which keeps the processes of your natural internal rhythm working optimally.
Do a morning meditation
Meditation is a great ritual for starting off the day. Checking in with yourself prior to beginning a hectic day grounds you in calmness and aids in dealing with the ebbs and flows of the day ahead. Do a Heart Belly breathing meditation, placing one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly, and breathing in and out through the nose until your thoughts slow down.
Move your body
At the start of the day, your body has been at rest in a prone state for many hours. Doing some simple stretches will stimulate the blood ow, toning, opening, strengthening and releasing your body and helping get it into gear.
Deep-cleanse the skin
In-shower skin exfoliation two or three times a week stimulates the lymph nodes, removes dead skin cells, tones the skin and awakens the senses. It also increases blood circulation, giving you glowing, healthy skin. Massage a sugar scrub over your wet body in a circular motion with a gentle, even pressure.
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Give yourself a massage
After exfoliation, massage oil over your body to nourish the skin, using products that contain natural and organic ingredients whenever possible. Self-massage is excellent for overall health and wellbeing, reduces anxiety, tones skin and makes it soft and smooth. It also improves and deepens sleep.
Your afternoon routine
Do a de-stress meditation
Several hours into your day is a good time to release some of the stress that has built up. Afternoon meditation gives you a time-out from whatever the day is demanding of you. This meditation might be in the form of a traditional meditation technique, as above, or time spent in nature or even a nap.
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Get up and move
As in the morning, make sure you get out into the natural light for 20 minutes at lunchtime. And get up and move throughout the day. We spend so much of our daily life sitting down, which has a very detrimental effect on our health. The only solution is to get out of your seat, wherever you are, and move around a bit.
Your evening routine
About an hour before heading to bed, dim the lights to encourage your body to prepare for sleep. Do some stretches to release toxins and stress, followed by a gratitude meditation. Think about everything you are grateful for from the day, while doing a Heart Belly breathing meditation (see Your morning routine, above).
Soothe away anxiety
To help keep you calm, do an evening self-massage three times a week, leaving the oil on overnight to deeply penetrate the skin. Finish by massaging your scalp, dispersing a tablespoon of oil on to your scalp and hair. Beginning at the front of your hairline and working your way toward the back, use your fingertips to massage the oil into your entire scalp, using deep, slow movements, then wrap your head in a towel for 10 minutes or leave it on overnight, shampooing it out in the morning.
Extract from Slow Beauty by Shel Pink (Running Press, £14.99)