Have you ever wondered what are the perfect nighttime skincare routine steps?
I’m gonna give it to you here in this article.
What I consider the perfect order of nighttime skincare routine steps?
There’s so much confusion out there about what should you apply to your skin, what works, what doesn’t.
If you go to the department store, there’s so many products out there and it’s hard for people to know what to use.
So I’m gonna cut through all the BS with this article and give you the basics of what you need to know to take great care of your skin and to help with anti aging and skin health.
Table of Contents
5 Nighttime Skincare Routine Steps
Step 1. Cleanse
We’re gonna start off with the first step, which is pretty straightforward. You have to cleanse your skin.
It’s super important at night – you have to cleanse your skin. Some people only cleanse the skin once a day and if you are one of them, do it at night, not in the morning.
This is really important because at night you got to get rid of that day’s worth of pollution that sits on your skin, of oil, of dirt, dried sweat and especially of makeup.
You got to let your pores breathe and you’ve got to let your skin rejuvenate overnight.
There are typically three types of skin that you want to consider different cleansers for.
The first type is if you have very oily skin. If you’ve got oily skin then ideally you want to use a cleanser that’s more of a foaming cleanser. That’s gonna help more with the oil of your skin.
If you’ve got drier skin or sensitive skin then a foaming cleanser may be too aggressive and it may over dry your skin. In that case you want to use a cleanser that is more hydrating and more gentle.
A good product is a green tea cleanser. This is a little more mild and a little more hydrating and moisturizing and it works really well for people who’ve got more sensitive skin.
If you’ve got combination skin, then you may want to try and see which one seems to work better. I would start with the more milder ones, like the green tea cleanser, because once again, if you’ve got combination skin, what you don’t want to do is over dry your skin.
Step 2. Tone
If you were to skip any of these nighttime skincare routine steps, this is probably the step to skip.
But if you are going to apply a toner, what I would recommend is to avoid an astringent. I talk all the time why astringents are not good and why the classical toners are horrible for your skin, especially if you’ve got oily skin.
However, there are some toners that can be very nice because they can help to re-establish the pH of your skin. One of them is a green tea toner.
It’s not so much that you want to strip your skin of oils, but you want to re-establish the pH. A lot of cleansers are basic and they will cause your skin to go into the more basic pH range. The toner will re-establish that, just slightly acidic pH that your skin sits best at.
So ideally, if you do tone, then use one that basically helps to re-establish your pH. But once again, this is a step if you want to save money, you could conceivably skip it.
Step 3. Retinol or Growth Factor
This is super important. You want to apply an anti-aging cream and ideally a retinol or a growth factor or a peptide based type of a cream.
Why would you use one or the other?
Well if you’ve been reading my articles, you probably know that retinol is my first choice for anti-aging creams.
Retinol is a type of a vitamin A. Its prescription strength is called tretinoin or retin-a and it is scientifically shown to help reduce the aging process, to exfoliate the skin, to thicken the dermis. There’s so much science behind the benefits of retinol and tretinoin.
If you can use a retinol, I recommend using it every night because that would be the top option for anti aging. That’s what I recommend if you’ve got normal skin. The problem with retinol and especially with prescription strength tretinoin is it can be hard for your skin to tolerate.
Some people get some temporary dryness, usually that goes away, you get some temporary flaking and even some inflammation. In most people that goes away but not in everybody.
So if you’re the type of person that you’ve got real sensitive skin and retinol does not work for you, then go for a growth factor or peptide based creams.
Growth factors probably have a little more science behind them than the peptide creams, but the problem with growth factor based creams is that they are really expensive.
There are many out there. There’s one called a TNS complex. If you really want to look into growth factors, take a look into that, but it is not cheap. But a lot of people love their growth factor based creams.
What if you don’t want to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a growth factor cream?
Then look for ones that contain peptides. They are good with reversing aging and they are very easy to tolerate. That’s a great thing about peptide based creams – they’re very easy for the skin to tolerate.
They may not have quite the scientific basis as the retinol but they do work, they do help to reverse your aging and they should not create the skin irritation.
So this step is super important. I would recommend retinol as number one, growth factor as number two (but big price tag) and number three would be peptides, if the other two are not options for you.
Step 4. Eye Cream
Don’t forget your eye cream. The eye cream is super important.
I recommend ideally like retinol for the rest of your face, a retinol based eye cream. The reason why you want to go with a retinol eye cream versus just straightforward retinol or tretinoin on your skin is that it could be a bit too strong.
The skin of the eyelids is some of the thinnest skin of the body and if you apply an aggressive retinol or tretinoin then your skin can really react to it.
Apply a good eye cream at night because before you know it, your eyelids as we get older, they get thinner and a bit creepy and you want to try to prevent that.
Step 5. Moisturizer
The final step is to apply a moisturizer as needed. Moisturizers are not something that you have to apply to your skin. Some people, especially those with oily skin, stop at step four and they don’t necessarily need to apply an extra moisturizer.
But if it’s, let’s say, the winter time, if you’re in a really dry climate, if your skin is really dry, if you’ve got real mature thinning skin, then you may find that adding a moisturizer on top of this can be really helpful, more for how it feels and how your skin feels versus true anti-aging.
There are a lot of moisturizers out there. Ideally pick one that you find is comfortable on your skin and doesn’t clog your pores.
Rebecca is a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician with almost 15 years experience in the dermatology. Her life-long passion is making people look good and happy.