Engaging in a regular, nighttime skincare routine is probably one of the nicest and healthiest acts of self-care that you can do to help maintain your skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes, fine lines, and other signs of early aging.
Sometimes it can be hard to establish a routine of self-care, but if you practice one consistently, you’ll begin to reap the rewards. You’ll see these rewards not just in your skin, but in your peace of mind, too. We call that a win-win!
Why is Skin Care Important?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Not only that, but it's also the largest protective barrier against infections and external contaminants. It protects your muscles and bones, and works as a primary defense against the many things that can impact your health in the world around you.
That’s why proper skincare is so important to ensure that your skin works at optimum efficiency. Keeping your skin healthy and hydrated helps to keep it strong and fortifies your skin’s natural protective barrier.
In contrast, if your skin is dry or irritated, it can become cracked and inflamed, and these cracks and tears can make your skin prone to infections and damage. Additionally, using harsh products or products with high amounts of synthetic scents and drying agents can strip your skin of essential oils and the moisture it needs to work properly.
As you go through life, just like in every other area, the needs of your skin changes with time. Your skin may not need much support when you are young, on up until your early 20s, but it definitely needs to be properly taken care of beyond that if you want to continue to look your best.
That means it's not only important to take care of your skin regularly and religiously, but also to know the best way to do so. Everyone’s skin is different and you are not like the others!
Why is a Nighttime Skincare Routine Important?
You’ve probably heard the phrase you need to get your ‘beauty sleep’ at least once in your life. At night, when the body is at rest, most of its energy is directed toward the restoration of the various functions, to ensure it performs optimally during the day. This includes healing and restoring the skin from the oxidative stress, environmental exposure, pollution, and sun damage you face throughout your day.
By not cleansing your skin at night, after a long day out and about, you unintentionally allow the dirt and debris from your day to get absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. This can lead to nasties like infections, acne, whiteheads, blackheads, hyperpigmentation, and more. Not to mention how those dead skin cells left on your skin clog up your pores and hair follicles.
Additionally, if your skin is not properly cleansed at night, that layer of oil and debris will impede the ability of other nourishing and healing skincare products you may use in penetrating your clogged pores and the layers of skin. This hampers how well those products can do what they are designed to do. Not only is that a waste of money and effort, it also doesn’t do a lick for keeping your skin healthy and glowing!
By applying restorative skincare products at night, you can aid your skin in its healing process, provide additional, external nourishment, and allow all those lovely products to absorb deeply and work their magic.
Even if you do not have any skincare issues, it's still important to perform a consistent, nightly skincare routine to ensure those problems stay non-existent. After all, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!
Nighttime Skincare Essentials
Always remember, when it comes to successful skincare, there are two essential, foundational steps. Even if you have no pressing skin issues, these two basic steps should be done regularly and consistently. What are these magical steps? Simple really. Almost too simple, but so important!
- Step 1: Cleanse
- Step 2: Moisturize
Even if you do nothing else for your skin, doing these two steps consistently can potentially solve more than half of your skincare issues and may help prevent just as many from occurring in the first place.
Put simply, clean skin reduces the risk of clogging, which is directly responsible for pimples, acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Whereas adequately moisturized skin helps ensure there is no dryness, patchiness, hyperpigmentation, cracks, or irritation.
However, a good nighttime skincare routine shouldn’t stop there. Additionally you can incorporate other products that nourish and pamper your skin. The full list of options includes:
A Great Cleanser
A great cleanser means one that’s suited for your skin type. You should always determine first what your skin type is before looking at potential cleansing products. There are a variety of choices out there, including oil-based, water-based, foamy, and gel-based cleansers. Oil cleansers work best for thick layers of product on the skin, whereas water-based cleansers are more suitable if you don’t wear heavy makeup. Foamy cleansers sometimes contain foaming agents that can strip the skin dry, which can be harmful. So be careful and make sure whatever you choose is gentle, non-irritating, and non-drying.
A Great Exfoliator
Exfoliators are products that remove the layer of dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. It also removes any other impurities and contaminants left on your skin after cleansing. Exfoliators are the tools that are used to exfoliate like brushes or sponges, while exfoliants include physical and chemical exfoliators and scrubs.
A Great Toner
Toners are used to balance out your skin and tone the acid and base balance. There are a variety of toners available on the market today, including hydrating toners, priming toners for pre-makeup use, and more!
A Nourishing Serum
Serums are concentrated forms of various active ingredients good for the skin. Most serums are liquid or gel-based, and often look clear in color. Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, glycolic acid, antioxidants, etc., are some of the most commonly used ingredients for serums, because they cater to a wide range of skincare issues.
A Fab Moisturizer
It's not an exaggeration to say that an excellent moisturizer is probably the most important skincare product you could ever invest in. Moisturizers can be occlusive or humectant-based and come in cream, lotion, and gel forms. Don’t forget to include a luxurious eye cream as well to pamper that delicate skin around your eyes.
A Face Mask
This product is optional but face masks are carefully formulated, cream-like products that can be used to target various skincare concerns. Masks can be used for moisturizing, cleansing, detoxifying, exfoliating, or all of the above!
Another optional product to include in your skincare regime are spot treatments. These can be helpful for several different skincare issues. Whether it's dark spots, acne scars, blackheads, or acne, chances are, there’s a spot treatment product that’s perfect for it. Spot treatments are an easy way to target those specific, problematic areas of your skin directly.
What Order Should You Apply Skincare Products?
Good question. Everyone will do things slightly differently, but in general you should:
If you are wearing makeup, it's best to do a double cleanse. Double cleanse can be a makeup removing wipe followed by a cleanser, or you can use an oil cleanser followed by a regular cleanser.
Although it's not an everyday step, exfoliating is crucial. Exfoliating should only be done a maximum of 3 times a week to prevent stressing out the skin. Be sure to use a gentle exfoliator that does not contain large physical particles that may tear your skin. After this step, your skin will be ready to absorb other skincare products effectively.
Apply a Mask
Applying a mask should also not be done everyday. It’s ideal to do a mask twice a week or three times at the most.
After your mask, it’s good to tone the skin. Depending on the toner, you can apply it with a cotton pad or with your hands. For maximum absorption, pat it on to your skin instead of rubbing. Let it dry before moving on to the next step.
Apply a Serum
Skincare products should be applied from thinnest to thickest. Take a serum of your choice and apply it to the skin with a patting motion.
Warm your moisturizer up between your fingers before applying to your face. Massage it onto the skin using your fingertips. You can also apply a lip balm to moisturize your lips.
Apply an Eye Cream
Don’t forget your eyes. Using your ring finger, gently pat the eye cream around the eyes. Don’t tug or stretch the skin, it’s extremely delicate.
Apply a Spot Treatment
As your final step, apply any spot treatments you may be using. Then hit the sack and wake up looking rejuvenated!
Honestly, the best nighttime skincare routine is the one you will stick with most consistently. It can be as involved or as simple as you want to make it, just don’t skip it. Your skin will thank you!