I used to be bad at nighttime. Every night would go something like this: eat dinner much too late, watch 45 episodes of something mildly terrifying, stare at my phone until the neon glow would render my vision blurry, then finally — surprise! — have trouble falling asleep. Gone are those days. (Thank goodness.) Now, with help from Kiehl’s, my routine looks like this…

Caroline Donofrio

After years of accidentally slumbering with my makeup on (and waking to discover that my mascara had migrated), I’ve finally learned that “wash your face before bed” does not necessarily mean in the three minutes before you fall asleep. Washing your face can take place at any point in the evening hours. (This may sound self-evident, but for me, this was a game changer.) So now, I’ll wash my face as soon as I get home, while I have the energy to do it well.

Kiehls Ginger Hibiscus Overnight Firming Mask

It’s amazing how relaxed the rest of the night feels with that step out of the way. It also makes time for a treatment. Recently, I’ve been using Kiehl’s Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Overnight Mask.

Caroline Donofrio

Unlike rinse-off masks — where you look like this for 10 minutes, take a scary selfie and then wash it off — this overnight mask immediately sinks into your skin, disappearing from sight. (I am actually wearing it in this photo, as I look wistful.)

Kiehls Ginger Hibiscus Overnight Firming Mask

Right away, the mask has a firming, plumping effect on skin. The texture is similar to a moisturizer; it leaves no residue and won’t rub off on your pillow. It continues working overnight, so your skin feels smooth and soft in the morning.

Kiehl’s suggests using it five nights per week, which makes it an ideal weeknight ritual. After only one week of regular use, I noticed a pronounced difference in my skin’s texture — particularly the lessening of my grumpiest forehead wrinkle.

Caroline Donofrio

While the mask is doing its thing, I’ll use this time to relax and unwind. I banish my phone to the living room where its glow cannot beckon. Then, I’ll read a book. Other times, I’ll practice yoga nidra, a super relaxing style of meditation that takes you to a state between sleep and waking.

Caroline Donofrio

…and other times, like last night for example, I’ll watch “The Real Housewives of New York City.” It’s all about balance.

Caroline Donofrio and Mia

Here is a gratuitous dog photo. Just because.

Kiehls Ginger Hibiscus Overnight Firming Mask

It feels so nice to take a moment for yourself, and waking up to glowy skin is a definite bonus. I highly recommend this mask.

Do you have a nighttime routine? Have you indulged in any special self-care rituals? We’d love to hear…

(Photos by Heather Moore for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Kiehl’s, a brand we’ve loved for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

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