How Instagram's Favourite Beauty Scientist Dr Michelle Wong Preps Her Skin For a Good Night's Sleep
Welcome to Bedtime Stories, an interview series where we ask inspiring individuals to share their nighttime routine and sleep secrets – from the beauty products they can’t live without to the tricks they swear by when they’re too tired to function (no coffee needed). For this instalment, everyone's favourite Instagram and YouTube skin scientist Dr Michelle Wong, reveals the night and morning beauty secrets behind her glowing skin.
With the rise of influencers promoting skincare products on social media, it can be difficult to decipher fact from fiction. That's where Dr Michelle Wong steps in.
The skin scientist and founder of Lab Muffin has become the guru of providing beauty recommendations and advice based on hardcore facts and science, which she delivers in easy-to-understand content via Instagram and YouTube. It's simple but smart.
Here, Bed Threads Journal sat down with the skincare expert to find out exactly what she puts on her skin at night so she wakes up looking radiant every single day.
Hi Michelle! Welcome to Bedtime Stories. Can you walk us through your bedtime routine?
I don't have a strict schedule and I usually sleep far later than I should since a lot of my audience are located in the US and UK and they're more active at that time!
Most nights I end up going to bed around 1 or 2am. My partner is moving in with me soon, which should help since he keeps me accountable. I always make sure my schedule and to-do list are planned for the next day before bed. If I'm not wearing makeup, I wipe down my face with micellar water, then put in my nighttime contact lenses (I'm extremely short-sighted and they work like braces for my corneas). I brush my teeth, apply my skincare routine (a treatment product and some lip balm), then get into bed.
What sleep or beauty products do you swear by that you won’t go a night without?
I rotate through my skincare treatments: a 'retinoid night', an 'exfoliation night' and a 'miscellaneous night'. I usually use a prescription tretinoin cream, Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid or a strong AHA (I'm currently using Biologique Recherche) for 'exfoliation night', and right now I've been mostly using SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF for my third night. My lips are super prone to dryness so lip balm is a must — I'm currently using a stick balm from La Roche-Posay.
What about your morning routine — are there any products you swear by?
The most important product in my morning routine is sunscreen! It's made a massive difference for my hyperpigmentation. I'm really prone to developing brown marks after pimples and sunspots as well. My favourites at the moment are Ultra Violette Supreme Screen and Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence.
What is your solution for those nights you simply can’t nod off to sleep?
I avoid caffeine after 3pm, and I have the blue light filter activated on my phone in the evening, which helps a lot. If I'm feeling too peppy late in the evening I might take a melatonin supplement, but I usually don't have much trouble falling asleep once I'm in bed. Forcing myself to get into bed is a different story.
What time does your alarm go off in the morning? Can you walk us through your morning routine?
My alarm usually goes off at 8 or 9am, sometimes earlier if I have a meeting with someone in a different time zone. I keep my bedroom blinds slightly open to help myself wake up gently. Usually, I'll reply to comments in bed for a bit, then after washing my face and putting on sunscreen I'll make a cup of oolong tea and do some tidying. For some reason, my day doesn't feel like it's started properly until I've done a bit of cleaning!
What are three things (besides coffee) that help when you’re too tired to function?
Getting some sunlight, doing some exercise (I've really gotten into YouTube exercise videos lately) and listening to upbeat music.
I'm very lucky to have a flexible schedule, so I don't try too hard to force myself to be productive if I'm not in the right headspace — being able to organise my schedule around my natural rhythms has been incredibly helpful. I find I do my best work in the evening.
What do you normally eat for breakfast to kickstart your day?
I usually skip breakfast, apart from the oolong tea, but I eat giant meals for lunch and dinner.
For more from Michelle, follow her on Instagram @labmuffinbeautyscience.