The Best Nighttime Skincare Routine

Woman washing her face in the bathroom.

The world of skincare can be a bit overwhelming, especially for those only beginning to explore all of the different products and routines. Retinol for anti-aging, hyaluronic acid for hydration, green tea for blemishes, there are so many things to learn and practice. Everything is a factor when composing your skincare routine: environment, age, skin type, diet, and more. Thankfully, regardless of products, each nighttime skincare routine can follow a basic template. Look no further, because we’ve put together the perfect outline for your best nighttime skincare routine.

Cleanse and Exfoliate – After a long day, the most important step of your routine is to cleanse. A makeup wipe is not enough, you need to actually go to the sink and wash off the day. Cleansing is one of the most important steps because not only is it removing your makeup, but it is also removing impurities (as a result of bacteria and pollutants), dead skin cells, and excess oil. By cleansing, you are doing the first step to achieve clear, even, healthy skin. About 2-3 times a week, you should follow your cleanser with an exfoliant to remove the dead skin cells clogging your skin. Be careful you aren’t using anything too abrasive or over-exfoliating, and always follow up with SPF the following morning.

Woman cleansing her face in the bathroom.
Photo By: shutterstock/Zynatis

Toner – As amazing as cleansers are, they sadly can’t do all the work for your face. The next step before you head to bed is to tone your face. Toners are used to balance the pH of your face. After cleansing, your skin is now not at its optimal pH level, so toner aids in this regulation. Additionally, toner removes dirt, oil, and makeup as well. Toners come in many forms, so this step is suited for all skin types, but it is important to note this particular step is extremely beneficial for those with acne-prone skin.

Woman applying toner to her face.
Photo By: shutterstock/Dragon Images

Treatment – This is the most versatile, customizable step of the routine. In this step, you would apply whatever product best suits your needs. Retinol, an AHA peel, a face mask, or your favorite serum, based on your skincare needs and preferences. Serums are important to use in your routine because they have active ingredients that bring antioxidants to the skin. The possibilities are endless, including brightening, smoothing, hydrating, and anti-aging.

Woman applying a face mask in the bathroom.
Photo By: shutterstock/Jacob Lund

Moisturize – Finally, the last bit of your perfect night routine is to moisturize your skin. No matter your skin type, this step is essential. Moisturizers balance your skin, fulfill its final needs, seal the rest of your skincare, and provide their own unique benefits. If your skin is particularly dry, first apply an oil. Allow the oil to sink in for a few minutes, then finish the routine with a rich, hydrating night cream. Skin that doesn’t require as much moisture can simply apply a light moisturizer best fit for your skin. Once this step is completed, your skin is gleaming and ready for bed.

Woman smiling and applying beauty product to her face.
Photo By: shutterstock/Dean Drobot

Taking care of your skin throughout your life is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Allow yourself a few minutes before bed, each night, to treat yourself to this extra bit of self care. Your later self will surely thank you!

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