Carmel Mooney has seen skincare evolution up close for over 3 decades, during her salon and spa experience in London, New York and more recently, Dublin and Belfast. As well as being a seasoned skin expert (“Consistent skincare habits build amazing results over time”), she is also Ireland’s lash enhancement pioneer, having trained may of the country’s best brow and lash artists over the last 15 years. Unsurprisingly, she’s also an advocate of sleeping on silk – for skin, hair and lashes!
Tell us about your sleep?Until up until a few years ago I was a night owl. I worked most evenings, so my adrenaline kept me alert until late into the evening, then I’d talk to friends and family in international time zones. I went to bed later and woke up early.
As I became a little older, I got wiser about the importance of sleep for our mind and body, including our skin. I began changing my routine and introducing new habits to ensure I had quality sleep every night. I now aim to be in bed by 11pm every night, and usually fall asleep within 15 minutes. Generally I sleep through to the morning, occasionally getting up to use the bathroom during the night. I wake up slowly and acclimatize gradually.
My aim is to have at least 8 hours sleep every night, with a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
Skin care is my business, so my bedtime skin rituals begin earlier in the evening when I return from work. I cleanse my skin and do a little facial yoga and one minute Hayo’u face and body ritual. Rooted in the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine these short Hayo’u rituals have long term benefits on our health . Because the rituals help work on the lymphatic system and energise the skin, I find them very soothing and yes, they make a difference to skin and hair.
I often listen to inspirational podcasts in the evenings, and, if I can find the time, I’ll have a bath as I find this is particularly relaxing. Then I complete my skincare routine I use our in-salon AlumierMD products which have a range of active ingredients that work hard on skin while I sleep!
I always have my bedroom cool in the evening (even in the winter ) and have fine white cotton sheets and silk pillowcases on the bed. I invested in my silk pillowcases a few years ago – I first tried them when working in the States years ago. I’ve now become one of those people who take their silk pillowcase on holiday with them! Sinking into silk at the end of the day feels so luxurious, but the real benefits for me are smoother skin, less tangled hair and no overheating during the night .
Do you have wind down techniques? Digital curfew?
I exercise before 6pm and try and finish my evening meal by 7pm. I don’t drink coffee or eat sugar after 6pm and make sure my bedroom is cool. I dim the overhead lights and if the TV is on I switch it off about an hour before I go to bed. I have to confess I can have a sneaky look at my mobile phone to check for messages and emails or make a call before going to bed.
How many pillows do you sleep on?
Two. I used to just have my silk pillowcase on the top one, but now I have one on both – I think I’m worth it!
Wake with the birds?
Some mornings I have to be up by 5.30am, this means getting to bed earlier the night before – but I wouldn’t trust myself to do wake without an alarm setting – I’m usually in such a deep sleep!
Normally I don’t wake during the night. I avoid bathroom breaks by keeping my water intake to before 6pm.
Do you dream?
I do dream. I always seem to be aware of the dream on waking, poof, its gone the minute I’m distracted. But the emotion associated with it lingers. I still have an emotion associated with it. I might start writing the dream down as soon as I open my eyes.
Sum up sleep
It’s a priority. I now understand the importance of sleep, and the impact it has on our physical and mental health. Improving my bed time routine has really improved the quality of my sleep and energy levels. I’m always scolding clients who skimp on their sleep – it’s an essential part of a skin maintenance programme.