No matter how much we want to believe otherwise, Christmas is stressful. From endless trips to packed shopping centres to never ending social events with people that you haven’t seen for years, we’re under pressure to be here, there and everywhere, with a smile on our face. Stress has a huge impact on our skin, hair and nails, but don’t let it get you down. Whether you need to relax on Sunday evening before a hectic week at work, or, if you need to unwind after a bad day, follow our step by step guide to the perfect winter pamper night.
It may be the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat yourself!
Step 1. Gather Your Supplies
A pamper night is an excuse to test out all of the products that you’ve been hoarding but never used. Round up all of the hair, face and body products that you’ll be using, you don’t want to realise that you’ve forgotten something half way through!
It’s not just beauty and skincare products that you’ll need. Candles, music and a good book all help to set the scene for the perfect pamper evening.
Step 2. Run a Bubble Bath
Although often branded unhygienic and ‘bad for you’, a 2002 university study found that taking a bath, usually at the end of the day, improves mood and optimism. We’re so used to taking showers as they’re more convenient in our busy lives, that taking the time out to relax in a bath can make a huge difference to our stress levels.
Baths are also associated with getting a good nights sleep. A drop in our temperature encourages the body to start producing melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. Our bodies naturally get colder at night so artificially heating yourself up slightly in a bath kick-starts the temperature drop. This can lead to a deeper sleep.
Make your bath as luxurious as possible by adding bath bombs, bubble bath or oils to the water.
Step 3. Remove Makeup
While you’re waiting for your bath to run, use the time to take off your makeup. Spending a bit of extra time on your skin routine can add to the feeling of relaxation and luxury. Use your favourite products to leave your skin feeling, soft, clean and refreshed.
Step 4. Apply a Facemask
Applying a facemask gives you the perfect opportunity to relax with a good book or your favourite magazine. There are thousands of products on the market to suit all skin types and to combat any problem areas. You could also get creative on your pamper night and use a homemade facemask using ingredients found in your kitchen cupboards!
Step 5. Shampoo and Condition Hair
Shampooing and conditioning your hair is something that we all do on a regular basis. Make it a little more exciting by using some new products in amazing scents. You could further enhance your relaxation by giving yourself a mini head massage. Massaging your head and scalp is not only great for relaxation and stress relief, it stimulates the blood flow to the hair follicles, increasing the number of nutrients that the hair gets, helping it to grow quicker.
Step 6. Apply a Hair Mask
The stress of the festive period combined with cold winter weather and drying central heating can take its toll on our hair. Wind and rain can make our hair frizzy and unmanageable, creating a need for heated styling products which in turn, cause lasting damage. Treat your hair to a hair mask during your pamper night and add back some of the vital nutrients and moisture that it’s been lacking.
As with a facemask, you can purchase one from your favourite brand or experiment with some store cupboard ingredients. A hair mask is another great excuse to spend some time getting lost in your favourite book!
Step 7. Exfoliate
Exfoliating is a step that most of us forget to do. It’s the process of removing dead skill cells from the surface of your skin, increasing blood flow, leaving it soft and glowing. Your pamper night is the perfect time to show your skin some extra love, it’s a rare opportunity to spend a bit more time and effort on it than you normally would.
Exfoliating can help to remove blemishes, fight breakouts and reduce dark marks and scarring. It decongests your pores leading to clearer skin, helps to prevent ingrown hairs and minimises dry patches. If you’re applying fake tan this festive season, exfoliate to help your tan look more natural and last longer by ensuring that your skin is a consistent surface.
Step 8. Moisturise
It’s no secret that hot water can dehydrate skin. After your soak, cover yourself in your favourite luxuriously thick moisturiser to rehydrate. Be sure to include your hands and feet and put on socks while the moisturiser sinks in to aid the hydrating process.
Putting on a fluffy dressing gown during your pamper routine can transport you to a spa or beauty salon, adding to the feeling of relaxation.
Step 9. Paint Your Nails
Giving yourself a manicure or pedicure is a quick way of boosting your mood and having some ‘me time’. We don’t always have the time to carry out a full pamper routine. Painting your nails is a quick and easy way to cheer yourself up after a bad day at work. Nail products are cheap and readily available so picking up a new colour to test out is a great way to make your manicure more exciting than usual.
With the festive season here, glitter polishes are a great way to add some glamour to your everyday look. They’re foolproof to apply and last for weeks!
Step 10. Get into Bed
Now that you’re relaxed and refreshed, get yourself some fresh pyjamas and wrap yourself up in bed. Carry on with your book or catch up on your favourite TV show, but try to put your phone away and give yourself some downtime. Dr Dan Seigel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, states “People are exposing their eyes to this stream of photons from [mobile phones] that basically tells your brain, ‘Stay awake! It’s not time to go to sleep yet,’”.
Scientific research has shown that staring at the blue and white light that is emitted from the screen of your phone or tablet prevents your brain from releasing melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. Reading before bed lowers the levels of cortisol in the body, reducing stress, leading to a better nights sleep. You’ve spent the last couple of hours unwinding with the perfect pamper routine, don’t run the risk of increasing your stress levels before you try to sleep.
A pamper night shouldn’t just be for Christmas. If you love pampering yourself and others all year round, why not turn your passion into your dream career? Be your own boss and become a fully qualified beauty therapist with our IAO Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy Techniques (RQF), or, if you’re already trained, broaden your range of treatments with our range of short, advanced courses.
Give one of our advisors a call today, or, leave your details and we’ll get in touch with you!