Pillow Talk: Bourii founder Shirin Van Lare’s night-time routine

We sit down with Shirin Van Lare, the founder of skincare brand Bourii, to discuss all things sleep. The brand takes a naturalistic approach to skincare, developed with experts in the fields of Ayurveda, ethnobotany and aromatherapy. Overall, the range draws on ancient practices to achieve optimal skin health whilst maintaining a sustainable production process, and producing products to nourish the soul. Here, we kick our feet up, get cosy, and unwind with Shirin…

Sum up what you do in five words? 

Founder of skincare brand Bourii.

Why did you start your business – what gap in the market did you spot? 

Bourii started out as a personal project. I knew that the Ayurvedic practice of self-massage (Abhyanga) was a healing self-care treatment, and I wanted to help my brother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. I felt that there were many body oils on the market that looked great and smelt great but that they were blended with marketing as the priority. I wanted to create beautiful products with health at the forefront. Blending using dosha-specific oils of the highest quality and the function of the scent as a priority. When creating products for Bourii, I always have my brother’s health in mind. I want the best for him, for my family/friends, for me, and for my customers.

What’s next for your brand? 

Bourii is about our relationship with nature, discovering our bodies and rituals again, and experiencing our senses through art. We have some really interesting residencies coming up where customers can have a chance to experience Bourii rituals and learn more about self-care practices, and we also have some exciting products in development that will take us deeper into Ayurvedic practices and the use of Ayurvedic herbs. 

Being an entrepreneur can be tough! How does your workload reflect in your unwinding / self-care routine?

To help me switch off and stop responding to emails in my head throughout the night, I try to focus on admin tasks early on in the day and focus on the more creative parts of my job as the day goes on. At around five pm, I’ll do 20 minutes of breath-work, as it helps me to let go of all the thoughts I’ve collected during the day. In the evening, I’ll have a hot bath or shower, put some music on, light some candles, and give myself a full-body massage. I might add in a bit of stretching and breath-work again. Whether I spend five minutes or one hour on a ritual, I feel that serotonin boost and sleep better.

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

I’m entertained with vivid dreams, or I sleep deeply.

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

Ideally, I’d like to be out by 10pm, especially because, according to the Ayurvedic clock, after that, we get a boost of energy again, so it’s harder to fall asleep. If I’m binging something like Sex Education, I’ll be up until midnight.

What’s your usual reason for going to bed late?

I don’t really use TikTok, but my best friend is always sending me these Luke and Sassy Scott videos, and an hour later, I’m still scrolling and wide awake!

What side of the bed do you sleep on? 

I’m a lefty.

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? 


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

I go boujee in the bedroom. It’s my sanctuary, and I have a king-size bed, a good-quality mattress, plenty of pillows with bamboo pillowcases, organic Egyptian cotton sheets, candles, plants, music, etc.

Light sleeper or heavy sleeper? 

I’m a medium to deep sleeper.

Morning bird or night owl?

I’ve always been a night owl, but during the summer months, I naturally get up with the sunrise and like to have a cup of tea and stretch in the garden.

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

After my shower, if I don’t want to do a full body massage, I’ll just work on my legs and then sit in bed and apply a bit of oil to my neck and chest and massage my hands and feet, working on Marma points. It helps eliminate toxins, encourage sleep, and nourish and relax the body. Then, I’ll apply a little oil to my pulse points and follow the guided breath-work on the Bourii website. I’ll always have some candles on or light an incense stick and maybe do a bit of journaling, too.

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

These days, I’m into audiobooks, and if I really like what I’ve been listening to, I’ll buy the physical copy and read it again. At the moment, I’m listening to Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. I love it, but I’ve been stuck on chapter 13 for weeks as I keep falling asleep while listening to it.

What products/items are on your bedside table? 

Bourii oil, always a glass of water, my Seletti sitting monkey lamp that I’ve named Frank, a book, and a couple of candles. 

What’s the weirdest thing next to your bed?


Do you sleep with your phone next to you?

I leave it under my bed. It gives me the false sense of a decent amount of separation.

What can’t you go to sleep without doing? 

Applying Bourii oils to my legs. I love the feeling of waking up with smooth legs.

Do you always take off your makeup before sleeping?

Absolutely! Even if I’ve had a big night out and everything’s wonky, I’ll still manage to double cleanse.

Favourite way to remove your makeup? 

I apply my Bourii oil to dry skin, massage the oil in for a few minutes, and then wipe off the residue with a warm muslin cloth. I don’t really wear makeup anymore, but if I do, I’ll always double-cleanse.

How does your nighttime routine change when, say, you’ve been out late on Friday night? 

My room will look like a bomb’s just gone off, but I’ll be among the mess after having double cleansed and feeling very happy with myself. I’ll deal with the rest in the morning.

Can you walk me through your nighttime skincare routine? (The more detail, the better!) 

I like to keep it simple. I cleanse my face with my Bourii oil and wipe it off with a Pai muslin cloth, spritz my face with rose water, apply a little oil to my face again, and spend about 5–10 minutes massaging my face with my hands or a Kansa wand. Doing this every night helps to balance the doshas, stimulates blood flow, and leaves my face moisturised and ready for rest and repair. I also add a face mask once or twice a week that I exfoliate off.

Favourite products to use before bed?

Always Bourii oils!

What do you do if you can’t sleep? 

I rub my Bourii Grounding Vata oil on my chest and wrists, stick my audiobook on, and I’ll be out again after a few minutes.