BY: Elle Kensington

3 Ways to Turn Your Beauty Routine into a Ritual

How to give your beauty routine a makeover

Our beauty and wellness routines are vital to our inner and outer health. But after a while, they can start to feel like an obligation or, even worse, a total drag. What if you could find simple ways to make these tasks feel extra special—like something to look forward to and deeply enjoy? Seeing these small but important activities in a new light can transform them into something that feeds the body and soul at the same time. You can elevate everyday “chores” into everyday joys with just a few simple steps:

1. Use attractive containers

Because what we put into our bodies is just as important as what we put on our bodies, you probably take daily vitamins and supplements to keep yourself at peak wellness—Vitamin D for those long, lightless winter months, Vitamin B for a mood boost, Vitamin C for your skin and your immune system. Rather than reach for an unsightly plastic bottle every morning, find a small, pretty ceramic bowl (think ring holder or something handcrafted and artisanal) glass jar or cut crystal bowl to hold your vitamins. It may sound silly, but adding a pretty container to your medicine cabinet or kitchen counter can transform your daily wellness dose from a routine to a more pleasing ritual.

2. Rebrand your beauty routine

Serumsmasksgua shajade rolling—everywhere we turn these days, there’s another beauty routine or trend we’re supposed to follow. And all of the above are amazing ways to keep you glowing—but is there a step in your nightly routine that feels like it’s slowing you down or taking your facial care from low to high maintenance? Try a bit of rebranding to see if it can get you amped up for routines that are ultimately great, but shouldn’t become boring or stressful. What if you set aside a special day or night of the week for a different activity? Make it a “Mask Monday”, and rotate different kinds of masks weekly—charcoal masks, sheet masks, exfoliating masks—to help detox or hydrate at the end of the longest day of the week. Maybe you’re newer to the world of serums and exhausted by the notion of adding yet another “thing” to your face—or taking the time it can require for your skin to adjust to products that might be activating. Test drive a “Serum Sunday”, where you kick off a new product you’ve been dying to try at the start of the week. From there, you can slowly ease your skin into a new hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C serum, or retinol, by applying it every few days and turning it into a daily habit in the long run. Finally, keep your jade roller or gua sha next to your bed or couch while you tuck into the latest true-crime series or season of your favorite show, so you can roll out the tension in your jaw, forehead, or temples, all while you unwind. Combining two relaxing activities at once is a surefire way to turn a routine into a rewarding ritual.

3. Add a calming technique

Speaking of doubling up on the wellness—adding a calming technique to your beauty routine can lead to double the glow. Because our busy lives often give us no time to slow down and replenish our energy reserves, doing both at once can help lower your pulse while you dial up the pretty. Meditate while you mask: Fifteen minutes of deep breathing while you hydrate or exfoliate goes a long way. Just releasing the tension of the day and filling your body with fresh oxygen will promote faster cell turnover, fewer lines and wrinkles, and lead to a healthy, happy glow by the time you rinse your face. Stretch while you serum: Since there seem to be more and more steps to our beauty routines these days, sometimes we find ourselves impatiently watching the clock while we wait for that next layer to dry. Kill that time in a calming way by rolling your neck or shoulders to release added tension that’s built up over the day. Stretch your arms overhead and roll out your wrists, or do a quick all-over shake-out of your limbs from head to toe for maximum relaxation. Deep condition your hair and do a few mantras: Mantras (also known as affirmations) are a great way to hype yourself up—whether you repeat an empowering phrase in your head for 5 to 10 minutes, or grab a pen and fill one side of a sheet of paper with a phrase that kick-starts your can-do attitude. Simple but powerful mantras include “I am enough,” “I feel beautiful, I am beautiful,” “I radiate peace and happiness,” “I am thriving,” or “I am loved and supported.”

Transform the way you approach your beauty routine

Our beauty routines keep us healthy and thriving—leading to more confidence and feeling comfortable and happy in our own skin. By transforming the way you approach these habitual tasks, you can make each one a bright spot in your day or week, adding even more shine to your life. So try reframing your everyday routines as extra special rituals—because whether you’re off to work or off to bed, they’ll help you glow before you go.

Elle Kensington is a lifestyle writer based in NYC.

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