Pillow Talk: the founder of BAO Essentials Skincare Jaé Joseph’s night-time routine

We sit down with Jaé Joseph, the Caribbean-American cultural producer and art director who founded the beauty brand BAO Essentials, to discuss his night-time routine. Alongside his work in cultural programming, the creative has forged a new sustainable company with the hope to expand the luxury market for men. The brand was founded as a way to eradicate stereotypes around the beauty industry. By pushing boundaries in both sustainability and creativity, the skincare line is opening the beauty space to all demographics. Here, we unwind with Joseph and ask him what calms his mind, and most importantly, how his BAO Essentials Skincare routine aligns with his self-care time before heading to bed.

Hey Jaé! Can you sum up what you do in a sentence for us? 

As a cultural producer and entrepreneur, my discipline is to implement strategies around cultural products and activities, such as art, theatre, literature, music, and film. 

What makes BAO Essentials so special to you, and why do you think it was needed in such a crowded beauty industry? 

The core mission of the brand BAO Essentials is to forge new paths to sustainable beauty and modernise the way that ‘bodega beauty’ is seen from a consumer point of view. We are a Black-owned brand leading the way by doing things differently in both sustainability and creativity. We are using our brand as a vehicle to show that Black-owned does not just mean Black-consumed. For years there’s been an age divide in the luxury beauty space as well as the misconception that skincare wasn’t for men. We appeal to all demographics, ethnicities, and gender-expansive youth. 

On a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you love your sleep?

10. Getting enough rest assists me in achieving optimal health – both mentally and physically. In this modern day and age, everyone has embraced grind culture. That idea is toxic and you eventually start to burn out and build unhealthy patterns where it forces you to take a break, pause and slow down.

What time would you ideally like to go to bed, as opposed to what time you really end up in bed?

It’s 9pm in New York, so I’m in bed as you are interviewing me. I love to be an early riser these days, and I’ve come to notice how the discipline of better sleep patterns sharpens my brain quite a bit. 

What’s your usual reason for going to bed late? Work? Scrolling through Instagram? 

My reasons for going to bed late would be work, date nights, and time with friends or family. And then there are those occasional moments where I wake up at 3am and begin to scroll, usually coming across some random cat video or dance challenge reel. 

What side of the bed do you sleep on? 

The right side.

What kind of sleeping position do you normally find yourself in? Do you sleep on your back, or are you more of a fetal position kind of person?

I sleep in the bed face up, or on the sofa it would be in a fetal position. In the car or plane I would be with my mouth open to the sky.

What is your bed setup? Silk/bamboo sheets or something more simple? 

All white Egyptian cotton Pratesi linens with a mix of silk shams. 

Light sleeper or heavy sleeper? 

Light sleeper regularly, but if I am tired I can sleep dangerously hard. 

Morning bird or night owl? 

Morning bird for sure. I like my tea and cafecito and my morning ritual is a walk and journaling. 

How do you unwind before bed? Can you walk me through your routine…

I enjoy a bath with lavender salts and essential oils to relax my muscles and calm my mind. 

Do you read before bed? If so, what can’t you get enough of at the moment? 

Right now I’m reading ‘All About Love’ by Bell Hooks.

What products/items are on your bedside table?

On my night table, I keep a journal, a handwritten affirmation, a few poetry books, a carafe of water, and a rose quartz. 

What’s the weirdest thing next to your bed? 

That would have to be my dumbbells to remind me that I need to work out and not eat snacks in bed. 

Do you sleep with your phone next to you? 

You know I tried not to for a certain time period, although as an artist and entrepreneur, it’s not totally sustainable. 

What can’t you go to sleep without doing?

Washing my face and listening to a bit of a podcast or two. 

Do you always take off your makeup before sleeping? 

Makeup I usually am only wearing for shoots, but when I do I wash it off completely. 

Favourite way to remove your makeup?

I’d say the best way to remove makeup would be to use the BAO Essentials DUNIA cleanser and then gently wash your face then I typically pair that with CEDELLA toner from BAO as well. 

How does your nighttime routine change on Friday / the weekend?

On the weekend I can be somewhat more laidback, but for the most part, it stays consistent. 

Can you walk me through your nighttime skincare routine? 

I cleanse my face at least twice at night then moisturise and tone it. Some nights I’ll apply a nighttime serum and/or EMPRESS night creme from BAO Essentials. 

Favourite products to use before bed? 

The CEDELLA toner from BAO Essentials has such a fresh and clean feeling right before bed. 

What do you do if you can’t sleep? 

I normally do a bit of creative journaling before bed. It’s where there are no rules and I can engage in complete freedom of thought, sparking wellness and inspiration. The practice of journaling has expanded my own self-awareness.

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