When you’re tired and sleepy, it can be hard to pull yourself out of bed or off the couch to wash your face and brush your teeth, much less commit to a full night time skin care routine. However, a nightly skin care routine is crucial for keeping your skin healthy and vibrant.
We’ll share the reasons you should have a nighttime skin care routine, plus we will give you the best nighttime skin care routine order.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: Your skin regenerates at night, making it the optimal time to use products that address specific skin concerns like dryness, oiliness, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark spots.
Good to Know: Your skin regenerates at night making it the optimal time to use products that address specific skin concerns like dryness, oiliness, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark spots.
Why should you have a nighttime skin care routine?
There are several reasons to adopt a full nighttime skin care routine.
First, it’s important to remove your makeup and wash your face at the end of each day. Makeup, excess oil, dirt, and pollutants can all build up on the surface of your skin. Not washing all of that off at the end of the day can lead to clogged pores, excess oil, and irritation. Yuck!
You may think that once you’ve washed your face, you’re all set, but you should always be sure to moisturize your skin after you cleanse. Not doing so will dry out your skin and leave it looking dull.
Finally, your skin regenerates overnight while you sleep, making it the optimal time to use products that address specific skin concerns like dryness, oiliness, fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, etc.
Nighttime skin care routine order
The order in which you use your nighttime products is key to making sure they work properly.
1. Remove Makeup
Removing your makeup is one of the most important steps. If you wear heavy makeup, you may need to use something beyond just your cleanser to make sure it’s removed properly. This is especially true if you wear mascara or eyeliner, most cleansers aren’t designed to be used around the eye area. Using a separate makeup removes also ensures that you’re not excessively rubbing your face to get the makeup off.
Using a separate makeup remover also ensures that you’re not excessively rubbing your skin when you remove your makeup, thus irritating your skin.
One way of removing your makeup is by double cleansing. Double cleansing is the process of using a cleansing oil to remove makeup and excess oil, and then using a gentle cleanser afterwards to cleanse and remove the residue. Double cleansing is really only necessary if you wear makeup or if you have excessively oily skin.
Other makeup removal options include micellar water or makeup wipes. However, we generally don’t recommend using the makeup wipes, as they can be irritating and are bad for the environment.
It’s important for all skin types to cleanse their skin at night with a gentle cleanser even if you have dry skin. As mentioned before, dirt, oil, bacteria, makeup, and dead skin cells all build up on the surface of your skin throughout the day, so it’s important to cleanse your skin before all that gunk clogs your pores.
As long as your makeup is removed beforehand, there is no reason to use separate cleansers in the morning or at night. Instead, choose a gentle daily cleanser that works for your skin type.
3. Exfoliate or Mask
An exfoliator or mask can be a great addition to your nighttime routine, and should be done after cleansing your skin.
An exfoliator works to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliators, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid, break down and effectively “eat away”dead skin cells, revealing the newer skin underneath. Physical exfoliants use granules like bamboo spheres or sugar to physically remove dead skin cells to smooth your skin. It’s best to only exfoliate 1-3 times per week, as over exfoliating can cause skin irritation.
Using an exfoliator properly can help to polish your gorgeous skin, keep dead skin from clogging your pores, and provide a clean slate for your remaining products to absorb more easily.
Face masks are another great way to boost your nighttime routine. There are many amazing types of masks out there that are targeted for different skincare needs and concerns. If you have dry skin, you probably want to look for an overnight hydrating mask containing hyaluronic acid. If you have oily skin, you may want to try a charcoal detox mask.
Masks come in a variety of forms, but we recommend avoiding sheet masks as they produce more waste and buying a mask in a jar or bottle ends up being more affordable in the long run. However, there are eco-friendly sheet masks options out there, so look for sheet masks that are biodegradable or made of sustainable materials, such as bamboo.
A toner is probably one of the most overlooked steps in most people’s skin care routines. Toners tend to be light and almost just feel like you’re just putting water on your face. However, that’s just not true!
An effective toner helps to cleanse skin, and minimize the look of pores, and will allow the rest of your products to absorb more easily and be more effective.
When looking for a toner, it is also important to know which ingredients to avoid. The main one? Alcohol. If alcohol is in a toner, it’s usually in a high concentration, which can be really drying. Instead, look for toners that include clean, botanical toning ingredients. If you have oily or acne prone skin, you may want to look for a tea tree oil toner that will help cleanse and calm skin. If you have combination or dry skin, look for a rose water toner. Rose water helps to balance your skin’s natural oils and hydrate your skin. Plus, it smells amazing!
5. Use a Serum
Serums are the ultimate step in a self-care skincare routine. They use concentrated ingredients to target specific skin concerns. Finding the right one for you is all about figuring out what your skin concerns are.
If you’re concerned about dryness, look for a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid. If you’re looking to even skin tone and get glowing skin, try a vitamin C serum . If your major concern is reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, opt for a retinol serum.
There are many different moisturizing options you can use at night. Some people use the same moisturizer in the morning and at night, which is totally fine! However, others chose to use a separate one at night.
Night creams tend to be richer and thicker and may not absorb as quickly as the face cream or lotion you would use during the day, so it can be difficult to use under makeup. Additionally, night creams often include ingredients like retinol or hyaluronic acid to help rejuvenate your skin while you sleep. There are night creams that will work for oily and combination skin as well, so don’t worry that you cannot reap the benefits of a night cream if you have oily skin – just look for creams that contain lighter, non-comedogenic moisturizers like argan oil.
Another nighttime moisture option is a face oil. Face oils can mimic your skin’s natural sebum and balance your skin's natural oils. In other words, they hydrate your skin without clogging your pores or leading to extra oiliness. You can use pure oils like evening primrose or jojoba oil, or find products with a mixture of botanical oils such as these.
7. Use an Eye Cream
The final step in your skin care ritual is an eye cream. You might be wondering why you couldn’t just use your regular moisturizer around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is different from the skin on the rest of your face. It’s thinner, and doesn’t have its own oil glands, so it’s more susceptible to signs of aging. Because of this, your eye area needs some extra TLC beyond your moisturizer. The molecular structure of most eye creams differ than a face cream, allowing the product to be more effective on the delicate skin around your eyes.
Choosing an eye cream largely depends on your primary concerns. If your main concern is fine lines and wrinkles, look for eye creams with super moisturizing ingredients like squalane, hyaluronic acid, or jojoba oil. If your biggest concern is getting rid of dark circles, look for antioxidants like coffee, caffeine, or green tea, which can reinvigorate your skin. If you suffer from puffy eyes, you want something with cucumber, peptides, or vitamin E to calm and help reduce puffiness. The great news is that many eye creams contain a combination of these ingredients, so you can address multiple concerns at once!
Building your nighttime skin care routine
It’s important to have a nighttime routine, but which products you use depends on your own needs and concerns. It’s ok if you don’t use a retinol, even if your best friend swears by hers. It’s all about finding what works best for you!
Frequently Asked Questions About Night Time Skincare Routines
Do I need to use different skin care products in the morning and at night?
You don’t necessarily need to use different products in the morning and at night. However, if you do decide to use a retinol or a heavier night cream, it’s best to use those only at night.
Why should I wash my face at night?
It’s important to wash your face at night because makeup, dirt, oil, and other pollutants can collect on the surface of your skin during the day. Because of this, not washing your face at night can lead to clogged pores and dull skin.