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Ever thought about starting a night skin care routine?

Do you just roll into bed at night after hours of scrolling on your phone to wake up in the morning with smudged makeup and a new breakout? When it comes to skincare routines, some people will have an elaborate morning routine including a workout, fresh juice, and 20 step morning skincare. But what about your nighttime routine?

When it comes to building your personal night skincare routine, everybody will have a different one. Not only because our skin is different. but because we all have different lifestyles, and it may be that an extra ten minutes before going to bed is all you have.

This is where I come in.

There are so many of skincare products out there, especially if you follow a and you might have a few in your collection already. From anti-aging serums to moisturizing facial oils and cleansing toners, what is worth including in your night routine, and in what order?

I am going to show you how to build the best night skin care routine that is basic but does the job. I’ll take you through which products you should be including for your skin type, as well as how to incorporate them in the evening.

Here’s a tip- If you don’t have much time in the morning, you can focus more on your night routine. Don’t be afraid to include more products as they will have more time to soak in at night.

Read on to find out!

Why do you need a night skincare routine?

If you’ve noticed your skin has been breaking out recently or you always haggard and with dark circles in the morning, it could be that you need to be doing a night skincare routine. No matter your skin type, having a nighttime skin care routine is a way of looking after your skin at the end of the day, and it might just be the answer to some or all of your skin problems.

The goal of a nighttime routine is to cleanse and nourish your skin so it can repair the skin barrier overnight and allow it to rejuvenate. At nighttime, the general rule of thinnest to thickest still applies, but you may be able to include more products or heavier creams and serums to treat skin conditions. Your skin has all night to absorb them, you can make the most of it and have a more detailed night regimen. It’s also the best time to exfoliate or use a stronger treatment such as retinol or acne treatments as your skin will not be exposed to sunlight during the night.


Why does the order to apply products in skincare matter?

When you buy a variety of skin care products, serums, creams, and cleansers for your skin, it might not seem a big deal in what order to apply them in as long as they are all going on your face. Let me tell you right now, it makes a big difference.

Whether or not you buy expensive skincare, none of us want to be wasting any of our products. But when you apply them in a random order, you risk them being rendered useless because they can’t reach the skin well, or even mix with other products. Each product does a job, but the texture is often what makes it go in a specific place. As a general rule of thumb, products that are thinner such as liquids and serums should go first to be absorbed directly into the skin, and thicker products such as creams and moisturizers should go last as they take longer to absorb and sit on the skin surface.

When you get the order right, not only is it easier to apply the products, but you know your skin is getting all of the benefits from each product, meaning you’ll get to see results in your skin!

Daily night routine skincare

As a reminder, your night skin care routine order should be tailored to you and your habits. Some of these steps are optional, so if you know you are often running low on time or you are on a budget and don’t have all the products, stick to a basic routine, it will still make a huge difference!

Step 1 – Cleanser

Why include this-Get rid of bacteria and dirt accumulated during the day

How to use it -Start with a gentle cleanser when washing your face. It’s even better to do a double cleanse in the evening using an oil-based cleansing oil and a water-based cleanser to ensure they get all the dirt and bacteria from the day off of their face. This is a really good option if you have acne prone skin. First, remove your makeup with an oil cleanser then wash your face with a regular cleanser. Ideally, you should be washing your face twice a day using a cleansing oil such as an eye makeup remover and cleanser, to remove excess oil and makeup so you don’t clog pores. Remember to be careful around the eye area.

Which product to use-You can use the same cleanser as in the morning, or go for an oil based makeup remover and a gentle water-based cleanser to double cleanse especially if you have oily skin. Look for cleansers with salicylic acid. If you have dry skin it might be best to simply use a hydrating cleanser. Go for one with salicylic acid if you have acne prone skin.

Step 2 – Exfoliate

Why include this- Get rid of dead skin cells and brighten dark spots.

How to use it – You can exfoliate three times a week by using a gentle chemical exfoliating serum with acids. This will help to remove dead skin cells and also improve cell turnover. It’s best to do this at night to reduce skin sensitivity, but exfoliating should only be done twice a week maximum. Simply apply it to your face using the dropper, spread it with your fingers, and then leave for the amount of time on the bottle. This is anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. You can then wash it off and dry your face.

Which product to use- Go for a serum with exfoliating acids, do not use a scrub with particles in. These can be too abrasive on your skin, and acids are much gentler. Use a product containing alpha hydroxy acids, or even lactic acid, these can be part of your spot treatments too. This can be a great way of brightening your skin and exfoliating means your skin is always regenerating, meaning it is anti aging too! its best to exfoliate in the evening rather than the morning.

Step 3- Toner and serums

Why include this-To brighten skin and hydrate the skin and provide nourishment.

How to use it –This is also a good time to tone and deep clean your skin by using a toner such as a glycolic acid toner when not exfoliating. This will help to minimize pores and brighten your skin overall. You can also include face oils and serums to lock in hydration and provide a boost of vitamins. These serums or essences can be oil based or waterbased, aiming to nourish your skin. Since toner is about cleaning your skin, it’s best to use a toner first then your serum or essence.

Which product to use-You can also use serums with active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, or face mists to boost your skin and nourish it after the day. You can use alpha hydroxy toners as well to brighten dark spots. If you are using a face oil serum or a cream such as vitamin c, you can put this on after the water-based products.

Step 4 – Cream and treatment

Why include this-Target wrinkles or acne or treat problem areas

How to use it –Apply any eye creams or acne cream to the specific areas of your face that need attention. It’s ideal for treating fine lines such as crows feet and the skin around your eyes. For acne, you can use a stronger spot treatment with active ingredients to treat your skin while you sleep. Whatever skin treatment you use, ensure you don’t use them all at once. It’s better to use one a few times a week and then a different one on other days, so your skin is able to absorb them fully. Don’t feel you have to include treatments, go based on what your skin needs at that moment, even if it is a simple cleanse and moisturize.

Which product to use- Since it is night, you can use a richer, thicker cream to restore hydration to your eye area. Use retinol if you have mature skin to rejuvenate your skin and get a smooth complexion. Vitamin C is good to brighten scars. If you have prescription spot treatments such as benzoyl peroxide use them at this point, rather than the morning if they are very strong.

Step 5- Moisturizer

Why include this-Lock in hydration and seal in moisture

How to use it –This is great as the last step, to seal in all the nutrients so your skin can absorb them. Simply dab a richer, heavier cream all over your entire face and neck, and smooth it out. At night, it is best if you can use a night cream to moisturize. They are usually much more hydrating and won’t clog your pores. You’ll be waking up with smooth skin after applying a hydrating night cream, as they are made to be absorbed over various hours. You can still use the same moisturizer as in the morning, however. Using a moisturizer at night means you can prevent water from evaporating at night which will keep your skin in good health of your skin overnight.

Which product to use- You should use a richer night cream or one specific for your skin type such as your normal morning moisturizer.

You don’t need to be a board certified dermatologist or have a super complicated night time skin care routine. If you want you can include all of these steps, or just the cleanser, serums, and night creams. When you follow this order of application, your skin will be getting the most of these products.

Know your skin type

When building your skincare routine, it’s crucial that you know what your skin type is. Not only will you be able to purchase skin care products that your skin will love, but you will know which steps to include in your routine, and which ones are less important for you. Here are some skin types:

Normal-The easiest to look after, you don’t really have any issues with your skin such as acne, and it doesn’t feel dry or get shiny during the day. Most products don’t really irritate you.

Oily – Creams and lotions can feel heavy or make your skin greasy, and during the day you are always shiny and sometimes get breakouts too.

Mature – If you’re 30 years of age and above, and start getting fine lines and wrinkles particularly around the eyes and mouth.

Dry – Your skin feels dry and tight throughout the day, you might feel the need to apply lotion multiple times throughout the day. Your skin is not shiny and stays matte.

Combination- A mix of dry and oily, you tend to get shiny around your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) but the rest of your face stays matte and dry.

Sensitive- Most products irritate your sensitive skin, you may have allergies to certain ingredients or get itchy and red skin after applying products. If you have sensitive skin you need to be careful with what products you use.

Your skin can sometimes be multiple skin types. for example, oily skin often gets acne, and dry skin is often sensitive, and of course, mature skin can be anything. If you’re still not sure, try washing your face with a cleanser and dry it, then wait around one hour without doing anything to it. If you have shiny skin, it will be oily, if it stays tight or feels dry, it’s dry skin etc. Knowing your skin type can help you choose the right skin care products to have better looking skin.

Night skincare routine for oily skin

This is an example of a skincare routine for oily skin:

Cleanser- Remove your makeup and do a double cleanse at night. Go for a cleansing oil such as a makeup remover to break down makeup and bacteria, and then go with your regular cleanser to get rid of dead skin and buildup. Choose a cleanser that has salicylic acid in to get rid of dirt and oil that could be clogging pores.

Toner and serum– Go for a toner that also has salicylic acid it glycolic acid for a better cleanse. Avoid oil-based serums, instead, choose water-based ones such as niacinamide serum and hyaluronic acid. These are vitamins that will nourish your skin without clogging your pores. Since it is nighttime, you can use a noncomedogenic facial oil as it wont clog your pores and will nourish your skin.

Moisturizer- Here you can go for a richer cream as long as it is noncomedogenic and waterbased. Never skip moisturizer, your skin needs to be hydrated. Instead go for an oil-free moisturizer that will provide moisture without adding extra oil. It also helps to repair your skin barrier. Keeping your skin hydrated is also a way of protecting your skin.

If you have acne, include a spot treatment cream before the moisturizer, but be sure to only use it on acne and not your whole face. Allow it to absorb before putting on moisturizer. Using ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide to help to deep cleanse your skin and avoid breakouts.

Night skincare routine for dry skin

If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, your morning skincare could look like this:

Cleanser- Go for a hydrating gentle face wash with hydrating ingredients such as peptides, to wash your face without drying it out. You need to be removing your makeup every single night! If your skin is very dry, try washing your face with a cleanser only once a day, in the evening. There is no need to double cleanse. If you have sensitive skin consider using a cleanser with aloe vera.

Toner and serum- I would avoid a cleansing toner, but you can use a toner filled with anitoxidants to nourish your skin. Choose an oil based hydrating serum such as rosehip oil and boost it with vitamins to contribute towards healthy skin. You can also include a hyaluronic acid serum to increase moisture in your face. A face oil can be a good serum too.

Cream- If you have areas of your face that are more dry, such as the eye area, put on a dab of rich cream to hydrate this area for longer. Eye creams can do a lot if you have mature skin or dry skin.

Moisturize- To moisturize, ensure your moisturizer is oil-based rather than water-based as this is going to hydrate your skin much more. Look out for moisturizing agents such as hyaluronic acid and shea butter or other face oils. Avoid products and moisturizers containing drying alcohols.

You can also follow these steps if you have sensitive skin, ensure you choose products that are free from irritating ingredients such as fragrances, parabens, and alcohols. If your skin is more sensitive than dry, go for oil-free products and water-based creams or moisturizers. Choose a mineral sunscreen as this is more natural and less irritating for the skin.

Final thoughts- Night skin care routine

You don’t need to have that exotic Korean night skincare routine or a night skincare routine Indonesia to have glowing, radiant skin. In fact, most dermatologists suggest that only the fact of cleansing and moisturizing at night consistently can do so much good for your skin.

The best thing about having a skin care routine is that you can adapt it to you! Whether that means having multiple skin care routines for different skin concerns, or a fast one and a more in depth one. If you want to include eye cream, vitamin c serum, fight fine lines, or get a hydrating moisturizer, it’s all up to you.

The main difference with daytime routine is that you don’t need to include a broad spectrum sunscreen as there are no free radicals at night! So you see, building your own skin care routine is not as difficult as it seems, even when you’re not a board certified dermatologist!

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