Nighttime Skincare Routine

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about the proper order to apply your skincare for the daytime.  Well, I’m back with a follow-up for your nighttime routine.  I’ll ask it again because so many people don’t realize this: did you know that there is a correct order in which you apply your skincare? So sit back, relax, and we will take all that makeup off and properly cleanse the skin with this basic nighttime skincare routine.  

Nighttime skincare routine order

Steps 1-3 for Your Nighttime Skincare Routine

Step 1 – Remove your Makeup and/or Sunscreen

This may seem obvious for some and less for others.  You actually need to remove your makeup before you can cleanse the skin.  But what if I don’t wear makeup, you ask?  Well, I hope you are wearing sunscreen every day.  Sunscreen also needs to be removed before you cleanse your skin.  I like to use an oil cleanser on dry skin to really get all the makeup and sunscreen off my face.  Oil is great for breaking down the makeup and sunscreen and allows you to remove it easily.  Some oils require a warm damp cloth for removal, and others will turn into a milk with water and wash away.  Once you have removed the makeup, it is time to clean the skin. 

Step Two – Cleanse

Yes, now we actually get to clean the skin once all the makeup is removed.  You can use your morning cleanser, or you could use a separate cleanser.  Again, start with dry or slightly damp skin and use a cream cleanser on your fingertips using circular motions to clean your entire face.  Don’t forget to get close to the hairline and down your neck. Next, remove with a damp cloth or cotton rounds and rinse with water.  When you remove your cleanser with a cloth, you will be able to see if you are actually getting your skin clean.

Step Three – Toner/Soften Lotion

Toning is the next step. An alcohol-free toner, also known as a softening lotion, is used to remove any excess cleanser or cleanser residue left behind.  It will also show you if you still have makeup left on your skin.  If so, rewash your face.  Again, I will mention that a toner’s job is not to close or tighten pores.  And yes, you really need an alcohol-free toner that works synergistically with your cleanser.  If your cleanser does not have a corresponding toner, you might have to do a little bit of trial and error to find a toner that works with it.  

Steps 4-6

Once you have thoroughly cleansed and toned the skin, your nighttime products will work better.

Step Four – Face Serums

This step is not necessary for basic maintenance, but if you use a serum, like to use a serum, or want to use a serum, this is when you would put it on.  A serum is a thin viscosity, quick-absorbing fluid, each with unique purposes and ingredients.  Some serums help to brighten your skin or reduce blemishes, while others focus on boosting hydration or fighting the signs of aging.  Serums go on cleansed skin that is slightly damp to allow for maximum absorption.  If you use Vitamin A (i.e. a retinoid or retinol) in your nighttime routine, this is the step to apply it.

Step Five – Night Cream

A night cream can be a difficult product to find in the U.S. since a large percentage of the population does not use them anymore. However, the job of a night cream is important. First, it replenishes the water and oil which was lost due to dehydration during the day. Second, it will slightly penetrate the upper layers of skin to feed the skin.  If you have never fed your skin, start slowly as you could overdo it.  

Step Six – Lip Balm

Last but definitely not least is your lips. Here are some fun facts about your lips. First, they are a mucus membrane and not skin.  Second, the lip is even thinner than the skin around your eye so be gentle. Third, your nighttime lip products should absorb into the lip.  Please do not use petroleum, mineral oil or wax (with the exception of natural beeswax) based products for the lips at night as these products sit on the surface, protecting and not healing.  

Which of these steps have you skipped in the past during your nighttime skincare routine?

I know a lot of you have skipped steps because I used to as well. I’d love to hear which ones you have skipped and why in the comments below. If you would like to see some of my favorite skincare products, I’ve compiled a list here for you.

product order for nighttime skincare routine
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