When it comes to living a low-tox life and winding down in the evening founder of Bond Clean Beauty, Clare McGrowdie, proves she practices what she preaches.
Hello and welcome to our new editorial series Bedtime Beauty Stories. It’s a space for talented individuals to share how they get ready for slumber, including ways to wind down, nighttime beauty rituals and go-to remedies for falling asleep. We catch up with two of Australia’s most in-demand skin experts, Jocelyn Petroni and Melanie Grant, natural beauty enthusiast Belinda Hughes and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist Elizabeth Cullen.
Sticking with the theme of skincare and natural beauty, this week we get ready to wind down with the founder of Bond Clean Beauty, Clare McGrowdie. Clare’s beauty philosophy is all about using clean and non-toxic products and ingredients without compromising on luxury.
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What’s the first thing you do to wind down before bed?
I switch off from the workday. At 6.30pm all work related items are off for the table, unless an absolute emergency pops up. It took a lot of practice to do this but setting boundaries with my time has been the best thing I’ve ever done in terms of work/life balance.
I love cooking and usually I’ll start prepping dinner (and making an absolute mess in the kitchen!) Cooking helps me wind down from the day and is the beginning of my wind down. I know I can relax once I get into the kitchen. I also like to eat earlier than later so I don’t go to bed on a full stomach.
And the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
Once I get into bed, I’ll read for a little bit, then I turn on a guided meditation from Lacy Phillip’s To Be Magnetic. I have a membership, so you can download the meditations so that your phone can be on aeroplane mode. Her meditations help you connect with your subconscious mind and I find they are really helpful to leave my day behind and look forward to the day ahead. They can help you work through any triggers that came up during the day and work through why it triggered you. The more awareness you have of these, the less they trigger you in your day to day.
Talk us through your night time routine…
My hair goes up into one of our Eloise Panetta Scrunchies and then I cleanse. I always double cleanse at the end of the day to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. I cleanse with MV Skintherapy Gentle Cream Cleanser (from $55, at Bond Clean Beauty) and remove it with their warm Compress Cloth ($22, at Bond Clean Beauty). It becomes a mini meditation moment for me. As I hold the compress cloth to my face, I take a purposeful pause and deep breathe, then as I sigh it out I begin to move the cloth and remove the cleanser. It’s only a pause, but gosh it feels good.
I’ll then tone with In Fiore’s Vitale Toning Floral Essence and apply their Fleur Vibrante Serum Cerate. To finish I apply Crème De Fleur moisturiser. Both the toning essence and moisturiser behave like an antihistamine for my skin, as I suffer from autoimmune issues and inflammation is one of the symptoms – these two are a godsend!
I then apply In Fiore Calendula Solution Botanique ($282, at Bond Clean Beauty) everywhere. From head to toe! It has the most divine neroli scent.
Do you take any supplements or sleep-aids?
I always have an herbal tea from Anthia Koullouros, I love her Minty Organic Tea ($25, at Ovvio Organics), the peppermint helps with digestion and the liquorice root helps take away any sweet cravings.
If I’ve had an especially hard day, I tend to suffer from high anxiety and panic attacks, so I’ll have her Clarity Sage Tea ($32, at Ovvio Organics). This tea helps soothe frayed nerves and immediately calms me.
I’ll also burn a Bodha Incense to help create a little relaxation time mood. I’ll pick which scent I want to burn based on what energy I want to embody. At night-time, I usually go for Calm or Ground.
What do you sleep on?
I sleep on our Eloise Panetta 100% Botanically Dyed Silk Pillow Slips that are amazing for your hair and skin. My sheets are 100% organic Belgian Linen (from $280.50, at Elkie & Ark).
And I place our Bodha Aromatherapy Eye Pillow ($60, at Bond Clean Beauty) over my eyes while I do my mediation. They are scented with organic lavender and chamomile flowers and are specifically weighted to gentle engage the acupressure points to soften delicate muscles around your eyes.
The more I deep dive into the natural world, the more I realise how important it is to switch out your bedding to natural and organic products.
What’s your stance on technology before bed?
I probably have about an hour if I’m lucky of screen time at night. I have Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps either side of my TV to add warm light and I also wear BLUBlox Sleep+ Glasses. The lenses have a red tint, that blocks blue and green light. Since I have started wearing these and using the lamps my sleep has been so much better, my melatonin and hormone levels are more balanced and I’m more focused during the day. They’re incredible.
I also don’t use lights at night once I’ve finished cooking. So, I’ll only use the salt lamps and also these incredible Beeswax Candles by Tony Assness which I order from my dear friend Silvana Azzi’s online store House Of Heras. I use these when I get into bed to read with, rather than electric lights.
I also don’t get a wifi signal in my bedroom and I’ve purposefully kept it this way.
Do you have a preferred or go-to late night snack?
I used to eat mountains of chocolate at night, and my integrative doctor, Dr Jennifer Bromberger, asked me to not eat foods high in histamine. Low and behold, cocoa is high in histamine. I thought I wouldn’t be able to quit this habit, but amazingly I managed and now I can’t eat chocolate, especially at night, it has caffeine in it which I didn’t realise just how much was disrupting my sleep until I stopped eating it.
If I reach for anything, I’ll have half a bowl of organic blueberries, along with an herbal tea.
What time do you usually hop into bed?
I go to bed around 10pm. I’m an eight hour + sleep kind of girl, I just can’t function in the day if I haven’t had eight hours.
What do you do if you can’t drift off or have trouble sleeping – do you have a go-to fix?
If I can’t sleep, it usually has to do with anxiety and my mind not switching off, so Rescue Remedy ($19.99, at Chemist Warehouse) is always on hand in my house. My other go to is to always to do one of Lacy Phillips To Be Magnetic meditations. If I’m still wired after one, I’ll do another and that always does the trick.
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