The 5 Beauty Steps You Must Take Before Bed

The lazy winter that I planned to have has turned into a crazy schedule of work, play, and traveling, making it hard to keep up with my usual nighttime beauty routine. Obviously, I would love to keep up with weekly deep conditions, exofliating, tweezing, and lightening my armpits, but let's be honest here: I'm not missing out on fun in order to stay home and paint my nails. That just would never happen.

Lately, the nights where I do all the things I should do before bed in my beauty routine are few and far between. Like most people, I skip steps when I'm running late or when I get home late and all I want to do is crash... and I have definitely paid the price. When sleep is shouting my full name after a late night at work, I can't help but answer by pulling my covers over my head and drifting off without handling my grooming maintenance. Sometimes, tomorrow seems like the perfect time to do today's beauty regimen.

Is it worth the extra 10 minutes of sleep to not take off my makeup and wash my face? Well, it certainly seems like it at the time, but that's one step in my beauty routine that should never be skipped. My oily face will reward me with clear skin.

There are many things you can do before bed that you will be grateful for in the morning. I always look at my calendar and figure out what I'm going to wear to avoid the many fashion nightmares that have occurred by waking up late and not having a clue what to put on my body. Personally, I think that handling certain beauty routines before bed actually makes me wake up feeling like I don't have 1,000 things to do before I leave the house.

I can think of dozens of things I should be doing before I close my eyes at night, and sometimes I actually do all of them. If you have nights where you can only handle the bare minimum, these are 5 steps in your beauty routine that you should never skip.

1. Drink Water

I never go to bed without my water bottle filled. For one thing, I have a fear of being parched in my sleep and having to walk alllllll the way to the kitchen to quench my thirst. I also find that guzzling some water before bed helps with the puffiness the morning seems to bring Being dehydrated has been attributed to baggy, dark circles under your eyes. Plus, sources at Boldsky claim that drinking water before bed helps flush out toxins from within.

2. Take Off Your Makeup

Taking off my makeup used to be a step that I frequently skipped, until I realized that I was smothering my pores in my sleep. I always make sure I have a batch of makeup remover to take off any concealer, mascara, and eyeliner. Not only does this keep me from looking like a raccoon in the morning, but it also keeps the risk of eye infections down.

3. Brush Your Teeth

I've never had problems with my teeth. Every annual dentist appointment ended with my dentist telling me I had beautiful teeth and to keep doing what I was doing, which was smoking cigarettes, drinking red wine, and rarely brushing before bedtime. Obviously, I never told him that. Fortunately, I started becoming paranoid that lying to my dentist would make my teeth fall out more than my bad habits. Waking up with yesterday's meals is not only unpleasant, but it's a sure way to ruin your teeth. According to sources at the Huffington post, skipping this essential step in getting ready for bed can lead to gum disease and cavities! Not sexy at all.

4. Do your 'Do

This is not just for women of color, everyone should put some TLC into their hair before they lay their head down for the night. I'm a firm believer that no one should sleep with their hair down. After all, sleeping with your hair down causes tangles and stress to your locks. Whether you need twists or braids to keep moisture in and tangles out or a loose bun for volume, definitely put your hair up for the night.

5. Moisturize

Moisturizing your skin before bed isn't just a good winter habit; it can keep your skin soft and supple all year round. When I change out of my clothes, I always apply a moisturizer before jumping into pajamas or bed. This can keep your skin from becoming chapped or dry during the night. Plus, waking up with soft skin feels amazing.

Image: George Dolgikh/Fotolia; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson