About a year ago, I went over to my friend’s apartment and was shocked to see how many products were on her bathroom counter, the majority of them being skincare products. What was even more shocking was learning that she spent almost 15 minutes every night doing a skincare routine, something she would do each night regardless if she got home at 2 a.m.
Having only experienced washing my face before bed each night up until this point, I asked her probably 100 questions of which products she used, what her process was, and why she was going to all this trouble each night. Her insight into the importance of a good skincare routine made sense, and I decided to do my own research and begin a nighttime skincare routine of my own. Now a year later (despite now being a year older), I can honestly say that prioritizing a nighttime skincare routine has done wonders for my complexion and skin texture. While my routine doesn’t quite take 15 minutes, I’m sharing a go-to guide to a nighttime skincare routine that you can tweak and make your own!
Go-To Nighttime Skincare Routine
Step #1 – Remove Your Makeup
While this step may seem obvious, removing your makeup is an important first step in starting to cleanse your skin after a full day of activity. Your skin renews and repairs itself while you sleep, so leaving makeup on throughout the night can prevent that process from happening. Failing to remove your makeup, especially eye makeup, also increases the chances of bacteria and makeup particles entering into your eyes which could lead to irritation and discomfort. Lastly, sleeping in your makeup causes your pores to become clogged, which can unfortunately lead to acne – ew! It’s good to start with a fresh base and remove makeup as your first step of your skincare routine.
To remove your makeup, choose a makeup remover type that suits you best – whether that’s a makeup remover wipe, cleanser, oil or spray. Skindinavia’s makeup remover spray is a nice eco-friendly option that’s infused with Vitamin E, is oil and paraben-free, and has a water-free formulation that feels good on your skin. To use a makeup remover spray, lightly spray the product on your face, let sit for a few seconds, then gently wipe off your makeup with a soft cloth. I like to use makeup remover spray at home and then makeup wipes while traveling – but find the makeup remover that works for you!
Step #2 – Cleanse Your Face
Next up, cleanse your face with a gentle water-based cleanser, which will remove any oils or dirt from your skin. Avoid scrubbing your face or using too much force when applying your cleanser. Instead, apply to an already wet face, massage in, then rinse off. It’s as easy as that!
Optional Step #3 – Apply Toner
While not a normal part of my nighttime skincare routine, some people swear by applying toner. Toner helps to balance your skin’s pH and moisture levels. It can also remove leftover residue from the previous steps of your skincare routine. To apply toner, apply a small amount to a cotton pad and swipe over the skin. Note – I wouldn’t recommend those with sensitive skin applying toner, as toner may lead to more dryness for some people.
Step #4 – Apply Serums
Serums are definitely not one-size-fits-all, but can do wonders for your skin when you customize to meet your skincare needs. While serums tend to be pricey, a little amount goes a long way as the product penetrates your skin’s surface.
There are many serums out there, but we like the tried and tested go-tos of Vitamin E (for those with dry skin), Vitamin C or retinol (for those with acne-prone skin), and green tea extract (for those who need a boost in their complexion). Don’t be afraid to try more than one! You can layer multiple serums as long as you wait about a minute in between each serum application.
Optional Step #5 – Apply Spot Treatment
Anyone else get to their 20s and think that they would forever be done with blemishes? That sure would have been nice! For those that “spot” a blemish on their face, use a spot-drying treatment by applying a small amount of product on the blemish and leaving it to dry. Spot treatments work by drying up spots overnight – oftentimes you can see a difference in just a few hours!
Step #6 – Apply Eye Cream
This is one step in my nighttime skincare routine that I wish I would have started much earlier in my 20s. While I may not notice a ton of wrinkles around my eyes currently, applying an eye cream is beneficial for preventative care because it targets the skin around your eyes where it’s the thinnest. I also notice a difference the next day in that my eyes look more refreshed and don’t have bags under them. To use, apply a small amount of the product by dabbing it in. Make sure to be careful around your eyes as rubbing the skin around your eyes can damage it and lead to wrinkles even quicker.
Step #7 – Moisturize
Perhaps one of the most important steps in a skincare routine, both at night and in the morning, is to moisturize. The purpose of moisturizer is to hydrate your skin so that it retains moisture and leaves your skin less dry. Using moisturizer at night is great for rejuvenating and repairing your skin – you’ll really reap the benefits if you get a good night’s sleep as well!
Optional Step #8 – Apply a Mask
While not a necessary step, a nighttime sleep mask helps to seal in the products you’ve just applied as part of your nighttime skin routine and adds an extra layer of hydration to help with skin repair overnight. There are many different types of sleep masks out there to choose from, so look for one that works best for your needs. To use, apply to your palm and then spread across your face. Note: make sure you are not applying a clay or other sort of short-term mask, as those types of masks would need to be applied right after step #2 (cleansing) and before the rest of your nighttime skincare routine.
So there you have it! A go-to nighttime skincare routine for you to try out and customize to meet your skincare needs and goals. Know that every person is different, and that as you try out different steps and products that good skincare is both an art and a science.