This Actress and "Part-Time Ninja" Shares Her Rituals for a Good Night's Sleep
It's no secret that we love a good morning routine. We've come to learn, however, that the rituals we do to wind down before bed are just as important. Whether you take 10 minutes or a few hours, it's precious time that you have set aside at the end of the day to take care of yourself. Our series Weekend Wind-Down highlights the nightly routines of the people we admire.
Photo:Courtesy of Sarah Krick
On screen, Selina Lo has a penchant for portraying badass characters, often in otherworldly situations. The British actress and martial artist (she refers to herself as a "part-time ninja") currently stars in the larger-than-life action-comedy Boss Level, streaming on Hulu. When she's not busy filming or gearing up for her next role, Lo takes a more subdued approach to her daily routine. Her nightly self-care rituals are optimal for helping her wind down and, most importantly, get a good night's sleep.
Ahead, Lo breaks down her entire routine, from the tea she can't live without to her top-notch skincare recommendations for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Fitness has always been an escape for me, and I like to finish the workday with some exercise. Some days, I will put on some music and power through a full training session, but most of the time, I would have already trained earlier in the day, so instead, I will just do some stretching—either with the TV or an audiobook on in the background.
I'm currently listening to Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, which reminds me of the importance of a good night’s rest.
I'll be honest, sleep has always been somewhat of a challenge for me. I’m naturally a night owl, and as someone with an overactive mind (not to mention the occasional tendency to worry!), I find it's all the more important to remind myself how to switch off so I can be fresh and focused the following day.
By the time I’m done with my stretches, I’ve generally worked up an appetite, so I'll usually start making dinner straight away. I'm not the best cook, but I have been making more of an effort during lockdown and am slowly improving! I keep it quite simple with plenty of lean protein and grilled vegetables. With that said, I also enjoy experimenting from time to time.
The only essential ingredient to me is music, and I’ll always have something playing while I’m in the kitchen. I'm listening to a lot of Motown at the moment, and no matter how my day has gone, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” never fails to make me smile. I might also treat myself to a glass of red wine as I cook. My absolute favorite local wine is Sea Smoke, which is so velvety it feels like you’re drinking chocolate and yet still seems to go with whatever I happen to be cooking!
After dinner, I'll usually catch up with some friends or family over a video call, or perhaps I'll read a little out on the balcony. Either way, there is always tea involved. Yes, I know, very British, haha. I’m a firm believer that a good cup of tea can fix most things, and if not fix, at least it will make things better. In the mornings, I drink Earl Grey, but in the evenings, I'll stick to caffeine-free herbal teas. My favorites are made with fresh mint, which is good for digestion, and chamomile with honey.
With most of my evening now behind me, I'll take a shower or a relaxing bath, again while listening to music. It’s tough to beat a good bath. I love candles and a good scrub with a body brush. (The Body Shop does great body brushes.) Afterward, I'll lather on some body oil while my skin is still damp.
At the moment, I’m using Ouai's Rose Hair and Body Oil. I love the smell of anything with roses (perhaps because it feels so decadent!), but I also like venturing out and trying different scents, which always feels like a little treat. I've only recently got into body moisturizers and oils, so I’m easily excited, and you’ll just have to forgive me for that.
After my bath, I'll wash my face using my Luna Foreo, which has changed the face-washing game for me. It really helps to get all the makeup off and leaves my face feeling truly clean and ready for my skincare. All the products I use are great for acne or sensitive skin types.
I love Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil with cotton pads to remove eye makeup. I also just discovered Youth to the People. I love its Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser and that all its products are vegan. I use my Luna with that for about a minute so my face has time to absorb the vitamins C, E, and K, as well as the antioxidants.
After blotting my face, I spray it with Herbivore Botanical's Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner. It has green tea, willow bark, and witch hazel, which are all especially good if you have acne-prone skin, and I do from time to time. I love the scent, and it just feels really soothing and refreshing.
Next, I'll use The Ordinary's 100% Plant-Derived Squalene. This is a Godsend if you have dry skin, which I get on my nose after I use a mask, but this fixes it pretty much immediately. I only need a few drops on my fingers before gliding in on my skin.
To finish, I'll use either CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream (it's great for sensitive skin, and a tub will last ages!) or Tatcha's The Dewy Skin Cream, which really does make your skin glowy by morning. It can be heavy, so I won’t use that if I’m having any breakouts.
Both of these are great, but CeraVe is what I use whenever my skin is acting up, as it has simple ingredients while still be very moisturizing.
It's time for, you guessed it, one more cup of tea. There’s always time for one more cup of tea, and right before bed, I'll make my Sleepytime Vanilla tea, but not without adding some fresh infused chamomile and honey. I like to drink this on the balcony and listen to the city quieting down around me.
After a busy evening, I'll get into bed and put my phone on airplane mode to remove the chance of any errant buzzing throughout the night.
I keep a paper and pad by the bed, and the last thing I will do before I sleep is write out my list of to-dos for the next day. I have always loved lists. This might seem like a strange thing to do right before bed, but it’s a form of therapy for me, and I find that setting out my plan for the day ahead helps me stay present. It’s my way of letting today slip into the past so I can be ready for tomorrow.
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