As vital to our wellness as eating right, a good night’s sleep can be frustratingly elusive in modern life. Our Night Rituals series introduces you to women we find inspiring, and how they power down before bedtime. Hope you find some tips and tricks for sleeping tight.
Lauren Ash, Founder, Side & Back Sleeper
Lauren Ash pretty much does it all—she’s a yoga teacher, a podcaster, a guided meditation teacher, and of course, the founder of Black Girl in Om. “Anything in the space of wellness and self-care I’m excited about, whether I’m an expert in it or learning along with everybody else.” While in grad school, Lauren turned to yoga to help relieve stress. Her practice sparked the idea for Black Girl in Om, a growing lifestyle brand that focuses on the holistic wellness of women of color. (They’re about to celebrate their three year anniversary in November!) So as expected, her night routine is jam-packed with natural skincare goodness, self-care practices, and tips for chilling out before hitting the hay. Keep scrolling to hear what she had to say. (Rhyme totally intended.)
“I’ve developed a pretty extensive but still simple skincare routine. I say extensive because I do have quite a few nontoxic skincare brands that are in my rotation, but I don’t do crazy steps everyday, I just rotate the products I use. I love Scratch Goods—they’re food-grade skincare, which means you can literally eat everything. They’re also woman-owned and made. I can’t talk them up enough! I use their oil cleanser religiously because it’s like an at-home spa—you put the oil on and then take it off with hot water on a towel. I also recently got into another brand called Lime Green. It’s all natural, vegan, and everything’s multi-use. The shampoo is also a facial cleanser, and the body spray is also a linen spray and a toner. They also have a candle that doubles as massage oil, so as it burns, you can dip your finger in it and rub the oil on your body.
I recently got some products from True Botanicals, and I’ve been loving all of them. They have a Vitamin C Booster, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever tried. It’s actually a powder, and you add it to a serum or an oil and let it do the work overnight. It’s super potent, and I mix that with the True Botanicals Cellular Repair Serum which helps your skin from sun damage and aging and restores suppleness. I’m really into clean beauty right now, especially with skincare. I recently tried the Shea Moisture African Soap Black Mud Mask, and I really like it because it still clarifies and draws out build-up in your pores, but it’s not hard to apply or hard to fit into your routine.”
“For hair, I love this brand called The Afro Hair & Skin Co. They have two products in my rotation right now: Bloom Omega Healthy Hair Oil and Flourish Totally Nourishing Hair Butter. I wear my hair natural, and I’m really keen on supporting my hair in its natural state. Their products really support the look of my hair and promote as much shine as possible. Bloom is 100% natural and has lots of essential oils that smell great and support hair growth. Flourish is what I use after I wash my hair, when it’s still damp, to keep it soft, and it’s good for the scalp without being too heavy.”
“I also really enjoy using aromatherapy in my bedroom, whether it’s an oil diffuser, spritzes, or burning sage—using scents to help wind down is very much a part of my routine. I really like Saje Wellness. I’ve been using one of their oil diffusers and their essential oils for the past four months, and I love it. I also try as much as possible to unplug digitally at least 30 minutes before bed, so that I’m not looking at my phone before I go to sleep.
I love, love, love tea. I am a huge fan of non-caffeinated tea. My go-to brands are Yogi because they have a lot of blends that have natural robust flavor that doesn’t need sweeteners. I also like Golde Turmeric, which was founded by a woman of color and her partner in NY. It’s a blend of turmeric, ginger, black pepper and some other ingredients. [You] mix it in with water or almond milk, and it’s super nourishing and healthy. Because you warm it up, it’s super cozy before bed.”
“Right now, I have a pre-release of Latham Thomas’s new book which is called Own Your Glow. She’s a celebrity doula who’s worked with Alicia Keys and DJ Khaled. She’s also an expert on motherhood and does pre- and post-natal yoga. We’re going to be doing the launch of our first book club in the fall with her book, and she’s joining us in season three of our podcast next year.”
“I also have sage, rose quartz, and citrine. Rose quartz helps manifest love and compassion, citrine is all about abundance, and sage helps to clear the space. I have my journal, all of my sprays and oils. I also have a lot of thank-you notes from people because that’s really powerful—one of my values that I actively try to live my life by is gratitude. So having those there also reminds me of the power of gratitude and that I am appreciated by other people.”