We spend a third of our lives asleep—that means our bedroom is the most lived-in space in our homes. It’s the room where we start and end our days, and that’s why the rituals that happen there are extra-important. In The Wind Down, we’ll be exploring the nighttime routines of people we admire and taking their advice to make the moments just before bed feel our best.
We get it—it can be hard to convince yourself to wash your face before you hit the hay, especially if you’re getting sleepier by the second. But for Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, founders of Korean beauty company Glow Recipe, the step is nonnegotiable. In fact, it’s the first thing they do.
Even with their busy schedules developing new skin-care products, flying back and forth between Seoul and New York, and working hard as entrepreneurs (do you remember them from way back on Shark Tank?), Chang and Lee make time to get the rest and relaxation they need. For healthy skin like theirs, self-care is key. Below, they share their full nighttime routines.
First things first: I start getting ready for bed after dinner—I put a face mask on while I check emails, watch a movie with my husband, or wind down with a bubble bath. The time I go to bed varies depending on call schedules with Korean vendors—the 13- to 14-hour difference isn’t always easy, but I think of it as a time to keep my mask on. It’s incredibly satisfying to think that I’ve used my time productively. —Lee
After I get home from work, around 7 p.m., I wash my face immediately. Like shedding one’s work clothes, I like to shed any dead skin built up from the day by cleansing my face. —Chang
Skin secrets: My mother taught me from a very young age that cleansing is the most important step of the skin-care routine—she made me cleanse my face as soon as I came home from school! The goal is to have a clean canvas longer than you wear makeup, in order to keep skin healthy. Since my teens, it became my habit to cleanse before I do anything else.
I remove makeup and deep cleanse my face with Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser. It has hyaluronic acid and AHA, so it helps remove dead skin while hydrating at the same time. Next, I tone and balance with Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist and use the Pineapple-C Bright Serum to brighten and smooth my skin. Then I moisturize with the Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer. I have combination skin and have never been 100 percent satisfied with one moisturizer that could help balance my T-zone while moisturizing my U-zone (cheeks and chin). Pink Juice Moisturizer is oil-free, lightweight, and deeply hydrating at the same time. If I’m ready to shower and take a bath right away, I usually like to sheet mask while bathing. Before I go to bed, I apply our Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask for extra moisture.” —Lee
At nighttime, my skin-care routine takes about 10 minutes. I cleanse my hands thoroughly before I wash my face, and then usually apply a mask that I wash off before bed. I foam up the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser and massage it all over my face for at least a full minute to really melt everything off. After cleansing, I use the Pineapple-C Bright Serum, since my skin can get dull from stress and traveling. It absorbs so easily into my skin and really brightens my complexion. After the serum is patted in, I seal it with the O.G. Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask as an overnight treatment. I wake up glowing with baby-soft skin the morning after! When I use these three products together, it’s truly the best recipe for glass skin. —Chang
Cleanup: Right before I go to bed, around midnight, I take a quick shower and wash my hair. Lately I’ve been using a fortifying shampoo from Moroccan Oil. —Chang
I like to take a bath almost every night—this is my time to catch up on reading and relax. I usually take a shower before getting into the tub, so I soak in clean water. I’m pretty much a bathing professional—I have various types of bubble baths, salts, oils, and post-bath body lotions and butters. I have a small stack of sheet masks and a couple of books on my bathtub tray. My current recipe for a soothing, pampering bath consists of Honest Company’s Lavender Bubble Bath, mixed with a scoop of Epsom salt and a scoop of SheaMoisture’s Coconut Milk Bath Powder. When combined with a cooling sheet mask, it’s super-relaxing. —Lee
The best bed: I sleep on a silk pillowcase—I wake up crease-free and less puffy, and it’s minimized breakouts. All of my bedding is white. It’s easier to manage and maintain as I can just mix and match different styles. I use Slip’s white pillowcase and Pottery Barn’s 700-thread-count bedsheets. —Lee
I like to keep my bed setup very minimal so I don’t have to spend time making my bed. My ideal setup is just the pillow I’m going to sleep on without any decorative pillows, one comforter, and one fitted sheet, all in white. I recently got a sheet set from Brooklinen, and my duvet cover is from West Elm. —Chang
Serene sleepwear: An oversize “You Jelly?” sweatshirt is my ideal sleepwear. —Chang
I have a collection of pajamas, and my all-time favorites are Olivia von Halle’s Coco Oyster Silk Pajamas that were gifted from Sheer, a stunning lingerie boutique in Hong Kong—it ships globally. I love the plush, soft feel of the fabric and the simple yet elegant design.—Lee
Bedtime entertainment: My nightly entertainment varies, from news to fiction to Netflix movies. Recently, I watched Always Be My Maybe on Netflix. I’m also currently reading Elaine Welteroth’s More Than Enough. —Lee
I really enjoy listening to podcasts, like How I Built This or The Skimm—I love hearing inspiring stories from fellow entrepreneurs, especially female founders. —Chang
Aromatherapy: I love Teo Yang’s Evening Glow—it’s calming and relaxing. I light this candle during my daily bath or before going to bed. —Lee
I’ve been liking the New York candle from Homesick. —Chang
Tech timeout: I try to keep my phone and other devices outside of the bedroom, but there are times when I have conference calls with Korean vendors late at night. I’m incredibly lucky to have a husband who understands and supports my unpredictable schedule and actually asks me to take calls from our bed! —Lee
I keep my phone outside of the bedroom so I’m not tempted to use it deep into the early hours of the morning. I also don’t like scrolling in the dark, since my eyes can get sensitive. —Chang
Next-day prep: Before I go to bed, I check my calendar and the weather for the following day to mentally lay out what I’m going to wear. I keep a notepad by my bed so I can download my thoughts and ideas (kind of like a pensieve from Harry Potter!) and go to bed with a clear mind. —Chang
I check my calendar and plan out my day. I also love tidying up for a few minutes before heading to bed. When things are in order and in place, it makes me feel like I can start the day with a fresh, clear mind. It helps to know where things are when you’re trying to rush out the door in the morning. —Lee