In case you didn't know, "beauty sleep" is more than just a phrase. While you sleep, your skin (and the rest of your body) goes to work doing all the repair that it can't do during the day - it's like a deep clean for your cells. Your blood flow increases, you rebuild your collagen - essentially, sleep protects your skin and allows it to heal better and respond more efficiently to environmental stressors (importantly, data suggests that your skin will age faster if you're a chronic under-sleeper).
Even if you've got the very best custom serums and actives and sunscreen, your skin can't reach its full potential if you aren't catching those all-essential Zs. So, (even though it's not skincare in the traditional sense) I'm sharing some of my favourite vegan sleep aids that I've used for those nights when I need a little extra nudge to nod off.
Last time I was in the US, I tried my first little vials of FLORA+BAST Age Adapting Facial Serum, and I was hooked! CBD skincare is so exciting - I can't wait for Australia to finally approve over-the-counter CBD oils and other products (which is likely to happen this year). I'll definitely be posting more about other FLORA+BAST products in future posts.
In my next order, I was able to sample the Sleep 3-Day Rhythm Reset - CBN-Rich Hemp Transdermal Patches. You stick these onto your arm, back or somewhere comfortable for while you sleep, after your final meal for the day and at least a couple of hours before bedtime. FLORA+BAST note, "Our formula is infused with CBN, a rare cannabinoid that is effective in reducing anxiety-related sleep issues." So along with CBD you've got CBN (which is the byproduct of degrading THC, but no, you won't get high from this kind of product), and it's a fantastic way to reset your sleep patterns especially if you're jet lagged (those were the days!) or you've gotten into some bad sleep habits you need to crack.
A favourite find from iHerb, Source Naturals makes a fantastic melatonin lozenge that's orange flavoured - melatonin is the hormone your brain produces when it's dark, and plays an important role in your natural sleep cycles (our circadian rhythms). This product is well-priced, nicely flavoured and it works!
Sleep by Fusion Health is a herbal blend product which is ideal for people that don't do well on melatonin and want something that will avoid any drowsy sensation. I've also used the Skin Tonic by Fusion and it was great - for some reason I find this line is often sold out, so have a hunt around if you're keen to try.
My final one is a big one - blackout curtains. It's why we can have those dead-to-the-world sleeps in hotel rooms, and blinds often don't achieve the same thing. Yes, it's all well and good to rely upon the sun to wake us, but if you're a light sleeper or you have sunlight really early in the morning. (Also, why not have a room in the house where you know you can unwind without any UV rays peeking through!).
There will always be times when we can't get a good night's sleep, and these are great products to reach for before you pull out the big prescription guns. If your skin has been lacklustre, forget looking at your skin fridge, and work out if you've been getting the sleep you need for your skin to function first.