Build a Better Beauty Sleep Ritual

Osmia Night Body Oil— relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin.

Osmia Night Body Oil— relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin.

I absolutely love sleep.

I've said many times that good sleep is even more valuable than the most expensive night cream you can buy. It's so important for skin, energy, weight, moods—you name it—that I devoted a whole chapter to beauty sleep in my book Eat Pretty. Did you know that when you sleep your body secretes anti-aging hormones that boost skin cell production, increase collagen synthesis, and speed up damage repair? And that lack of sleep contributes to collagen breakdown, immune suppression, as well as slowed metabolism and cravings for sugar and simple carbs? Good sleep is a beauty MUST HAVE.

One key to getting the kind of sleep that's most restorative to your skin and balancing to your hormones is regularity. Your body, and nature, loves a regular cycle. Maintaining a similar schedule of sleep and wake times goes a long way toward optimizing your restorative pillow time. And the time you turn out the light and go to sleep is also key. I strongly believe that there is an ideal bedtime window (which varies in individuals but is between 9 and 11pm in general) for falling asleep to prevent a nighttime surge in cortisol, the stress hormone that has many negative effects on your beauty and sleep if it remains high. Find your ideal lights-out time (mine is 10:30) and try not to stay up past it.

And there's really so much more you can do to get fabulous beauty sleep. Ahead, I share some of the most effective strategies for optimizing your precious hours of beauty rest...

My top 5 beauty sleep rituals—practice them to look & feel better in the morning!

1. Shut off your devices at a reasonable time. When I'm on my computer or phone late, my sleep is noticeably worse. Blue light from screens is partially to blame, but your brain being keyed-up with work or social media plays a part too. I try to set a nightly shut-off time for my devices (say, 9pm) and stick to that as often as I can to protect my sleep health.

2. Sip something warm and calming. I keep a stash of herbal teas and reach for them when I want snacks, sweets, or chocolate late at night—which I know will disturb my sleep. Many herbal teas actually help relax you. Nighttime favorites include a digestive blend (see p 309 in Eat Pretty Every Day for ingredients), tulsi, or a Natural Calm magnesium drink, which further relaxes the body and prepares it for restful sleep.

3. Take a bath. You already know that baths feel amazing, but do you know why they're especially sleep-inducing? Baths raise your body temperature and then lower it when you exit the bath, signaling to your body that it's time for sleep. Add some salts and essential oils like lavender and sandalwood for even greater chill factor. I'd take one every night if I could, but I settle for days when I've been especially busy or stressed, and it helps me wind down.

4. Set aside nightly self-care time. Yes, washing your face counts as self-care. But I challenge you to do more. If you bathe or shower at night, definitely opt for a dry brushing ritual, followed by a head-to-toe natural or organic body oil or lotion. Your skin and body will be so relaxed, and you'll get the best sleep. Right now I am using the incredibly lovely Osmia Night body oil from the latest Beauty Heroes Discovery Box, and it's the best pre-sleep oil I've ever used. It combines more than a half-dozen organic oils (think evening primrose, hemp, kukui nut, avocado...) with organic French lavender and Roman chamomile, two classic calming botanicals that are ideal for nighttime. Overall, this particular oil is relaxing to the nervous system and so restorative to your skin. After this ritual, you'll feel so luxurious you'll want to sleep in silk sheets!

5. Clear your mind. Taking 3 minutes to write a quick to-do list for the next day helps me feel less stressed and more organized before getting into bed. Nothing keeps me up more than a racing mind. I also love journaling my thoughts, or even taking time to express gratitude, in my head or in writing, for the gifts of the day.

What's your must-do ritual for beautifying sleep? You can read more in-depth about the foods and habits that support great sleep in Eat Pretty!

You're Going to Love the UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge!

File this UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge under: things that are too good to miss!

Starting Monday, January 23rd, and running through Sunday, January 29th, the UMA 7-Day All-Natural Challenge is an inspiring, health- and beauty-boosting program developed by the lovely natural beauty company UMA, with the goal of getting YOU involved, and helping you get healthy and gorgeous this month.

Participating will get you some incredible rewards, in addition to feeling great after competing each day's healthy habit challenge. Everyone who participates for all 7 days and follows the challenge terms (below) will receive a $100 UMA Detox Bundle, which includes sample sizes of 3 of UMA's amazing masks and 2 gorgeous wellness oils. BUT you have to join the challenge and participate in all 7 days for your prize!

Here's all you need to know to participate and prepare:

To Participate

  1. Sign-up for UMA's email newsletter for challenge updates.
  2. Regram the challenge announcement post and rules on Instagram (Jan. 16) and tag a friend to join you in the challenge so they can win too!
  3. Regram UMA’s daily challenge photo for all 7 days with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge, including the hashtag #UMAallnatural

Super easy, right? And here's how to play along:

Steps to Pure, Natural Lifestyle

  • Day 1 (1/23): Try oil pulling with coconut or sesame oil first thing in the morning to promote oral health rather than using mouthwash packed with cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Day 2 (1/24): Trade your daily cup of coffee for a metabolism-boosting, antioxidant-filled cup of herbal tea. Not only will you get a steadier energy boost, but you’ll be doing your skin a favor with tea’s inherent compounds that are great for skin elasticity and circulation.
  • Day 3 (1/25): Only eat non-processed food all day. Try one of our recipes if you need ideas!
  • Day 4 (1/26): Use only beauty products with ingredients you can pronounce.
  • Day 5 (1/27): Detox your body with warm lemon water in the morning to improve digestion, support liver detoxification, and reduce bloating. Have a spoonful of flaxseed oil before bed to flush out toxins and get a boost of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Day 6 (1/28): Pre-shower, stimulate your lymphatic system and boost circulation with dry brushing. Dedicate 3-5 minutes to massage the body with firm, small strokes in a circular motion towards the heart, starting from the feet and working your way up to the neck and face. At night, give your body a rub down with the oil that best suits your dosha. Discover yours via the link in our bio.
  • Day 7 (1/29): Meditate for 5 minutes with the help of an essential oil. Sandalwood, frankincense, and chamomile are especially soothing. Any of our Wellness Oils will do the trick, especially our grounding Gorgeous for Good blend! Essential oils will help you reach a meditative state and promote focus, clarity, and relaxation. Not quite ready for meditation? Just try switching out your perfume for an essential oil with luscious scent notes to reap the benefits all-day long.Commit to the all-natural life with us! Each day of the challenge, we’re asking you to take an actionable step towards a healthier lifestyle. Let’s hold each other accountable and start treating our bodies better together.

Prize

Everyone that participates in all 7 days of the challenge, following the challenge terms, will receive an UMA Detox Bundle valued at $100.

Challenge Terms

  • Must follow @umaoils on Instagram
  • Must be signed up the UMA email list
  • Must regram contest announcement post and rules (1 week prior) and tag a friend to join
  • Must regram UMA’s daily challenge photo all 7 days with a blurb about how you participated in each day’s challenge
  • Must use the hashtag #UMAallnatural on every photo
  • Followers that participate in all 7 days will receive a Detox Bundle valued at $100
  • One entry per person
  • Open internationally to public accounts only
  • Competition close date: January 29, 2017

Challenge Dates

  • Challenge Announcement: January 16, 2017
  • 7-Day Challenge: January 23-29, 2017
  • Close Date: January 29, 2017
  • Announce Winners: January 30, 2017

Ready to get going? Me too. I cant wait to see you posting and re-gramming your challenge photos starting 1/23! #UMAallnatural

x, Jolene

Hydration Inspiration...

Pure water is a free form of detox, a natural skin hydrator, an appetite suppressant, and a supporter of healthy metabolism, nutrient absorption, & temperature regulation. Water makes up about 70% of our body weight, and 70% of our skin, so don't skimp.

Here, a few ways to freshen up your cup this season—

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Gluten-Free Banana Buckwheat Carob Muffins

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Afternoon tea. Sounds so much more relaxing than crack-of-dawn coffee, doesn’t it? But few of us ever take a quiet moment to give our body and beauty a tea break.

Today’s post gives you an excuse to savor the anti-aging benefits of tea, along with something sweet (that won’t sabotage your skin) to pair with it. Together, this duo offers a moment to breathe, de-stress, and, of course, eat for beauty!

When we talk about tea, we mean freshly brewed, since the bottled teas (sweetened or unsweetened) sitting on store shelves have lost almost all of their anti-aging benefits. If you really want the total body benefits of tea, you must brew it fresh.

And since I realize that sometimes tea just begs a sweet accompaniment, I created these Gluten-Free Banana Buckwheat Carob Muffins.

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Help or Hype? Supplements and Snacks that Promise to Beautify

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Would you pop a pill for pretty?

In the latest issue of Organic Spa magazine, I take on the topic of nutricosmetics and nutriceuticals—foods or supplements that promise beauty benefits. If you've noticed of these products on shelves lately, you've pinpointed a major trend that doesn't show any sign of letting up. For my article I spoke experts including Jody Villecco, Nutritionist and Quality Standards Coordinator for Whole Foods Market, who confirmed that nutriceuticals and nutricosmetics are taking up an increasing amount of shelf space in stores.

So, are they help or hype?

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This Beauty Brew Has More Antioxidants Than Green Tea

I was instantly intrigued when I heard about Kishr, a unique infusion of dried coffee cherry, saigon cinnamon, ginger and cardamom that has origins in Yemen and has been around for over 1,000 years. It has 10 times more available antioxidants than green tea!

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Favorite Teas for Beauty & Wellness

After attending a beautiful backyard tea party last night (can you think of a better way to spend the last evening in June?!), I feel inspired to tell you about some of my favorite teas with wonderful beauty & health benefits...

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