After a long day of work or play, you probably just want to dive into bed and go to sleep. While you likely know the importance of a good makeup remover, that’s just one small part of your nighttime skin care routine.
Some of the most important work your skin cells do to remain healthy happens at night, so washing your skin the right way can be an important key to glowing, healthy skin.
How The Night Differs from The Day
You probably already have a morning skincare routine and a nighttime skin care routine, and they may be the same. But the way you care for your skin before you go to sleep should be different from your morning routine. Here’s why.
Your skin works hard through the night. While you’re asleep, your skin is undergoing all the necessary repair and recovery from sun damage, makeup, and other potentially damaging factors it’s exposed to during the day. This is also a key time to shed dead skin cells for healthy cell turnover.1
While you’re asleep, you’re not eating or drinking anything, which means that you’re slowly losing moisture. If you keep a glass of water by your bed, you can stay a little more hydrated, but you’ll still want to apply a moisturizing cream or other product before you go to bed.2
Pressing your face against a pillow for roughly eight hours a night can promote the formation of wrinkles. That’s why you need to make sure your skin is getting proper care to avoid the negative impacts of a long night of sleep.3
Once you understand how your skin’s needs at night differ from the care you give your skin during the day, you can ensure that your evening routine is helping your skin. While you’re snoozing, your skin is undergoing cell turnover and other processes that require extra TLC.
You and Your Skin Type
Before you explore the best way to care for your skin before you go to bed, you’ll also want to know if your routine is right for your skin type.
- Dry skin needs plenty of moisturizer. And more is better! With this skin type, you may need to apply hydrating products to your dry skin multiple times a day, not just during your morning and evening routine.
- Oily skin is prone to breakouts, and it responds well to frequent washing. However, too much washing can dry out your skin and promote the production of more oil, leading to more breakouts. That’s why it’s important to use effective cleansing products if you have oily skin.
- Combination skin, as the name implies, means you have a combination of some areas of dry skin and other areas of oily skin. If you have combination skin, you’ll want to use a mild cleanser paired with something that will also hydrate your skin.
- Sensitive skin may have bad reactions to some harsh or abrasive products. You can have sensitive skin and other skin types. If you have sensitive skin, it will probably respond better to milder products.4
By understanding your skin’s specific needs, you can ensure that you’re meeting them (day or night) with a product that works best for you.
Moisturizing at Night
Because your skin cells can lose so much hydration while you sleep, your nighttime skin care routine should incorporate at least one product that will help your skin retain the water it already has.
- Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring acid that your body uses to retain hydration. While it occurs through your whole body, about half of it is stored in your skin, which shows just how important moisturization is to healthy skin.5
- Your skin loses hyaluronic acid when it’s exposed to sunlight and pollution, so your skin particularly needs an evening hydration boost. Hyaluronic acid, when applied to your skin, can help it stay hydrated.6,7
- Proper cleansing doesn’t just remove dirt and oil from your pores, it also restores some of the moisture you normally lose during the cleaning process. This is especially important to your evening routine, when you want to focus on staying moisturized.8
- Facial masks that contain nourishing ingredients, like yogurt, can help your skin stay moisturized. Plus, in the evening you have more time to let your face mask do its work, without having to worry about rushing.9
- You should use a moisturizer every single day – and every single night. This is true even if you have oily skin. A hydrating, nourishing cream may be the most important factor in the health of your skin and pores.10
Just as you may not be able to fall asleep without a last sip of water, your skin can start its night right when it has a healthy amount of moisture. Once your skin is properly moisturized, you can focus on other healthy nightly practices for your skin type.
Other Night Time Products
It makes sense that the way you prep your skin for fun in the sun is different from how you get ready for a quiet night of restful sleep. Make sure that in addition to your moisturizing products, your other products are right for night time use.
- Your skin can get stressed during the day, when your pores collect makeup, dirt, dead skin cells, and pollution, as well as accumulating sun damage. Choose a makeup remover or serum that’s loaded with antioxidants to help remove damaging impurities and assist your skin’s recovery.11
- Exfoliation is important to remove dead skin cells. Your body makes at least 30,000 new skin cells every day, and with that kind of cell turnover, you want to make sure you’re washing away the old to make way for the new.12
- Vitamin C can help boost your skin’s collagen production, but it becomes less effective when it’s exposed to light. Embrace the darkness of the night and apply a serum, cream, or other product with vitamin C in the evening.13,14
- Retinol, a form of vitamin A, can help improve the appearance of skin aging. A product with retinol can help keep your skin looking young and fresh.15
- In addition to applying serum, you may want to use your evening to apply an eye cream that can reduce the appearance of aging around the eye area.16,17
- Any time, day or night, you’ll want to make sure you’re using products that won’t cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Before trying a new cleansing product, serum, or moisturizer, test it on a small patch of skin and then watch for a reaction.18
With the right products in hand, you can be confident that your skin can get to work while you’re at rest. The best nighttime skin care routine will ensure that your skin will be set with the right cleanser or eye cream while you visit dreamland.
Using Products: The Proper Order
Your skin care products are only as good as the way you use them. Now that you know which products are the best to put on your skin, the next step is to apply them in the correct order so you reap the biggest benefits.
- Start by using a makeup remover to help remove dirt, sweat, and of course, sunscreen.
- During the day, it’s important to wear sunscreen to avoid sun damage. Since the sun’s not out at night, you can safely remove sunscreen before you head to bed.19
- Massage a gentle cleanser on your face and neck with warm water. This helps open pores, clear out debris, and prep them to absorb the following skin care products.20
- When washing your face, don’t scrub. Instead, after you apply cleanser onto your face with your fingertips, and be gentle as you rinse it away.21
- Gently pat your face dry with a soft towel.22
- Next you can apply your toner or exfoliator.23 You won’t want to use these products together, so alternate nights or only use one or the other.24
- Once your skin is washed, you can apply spot treatments because they work best when applied to clean, dry skin.25
- End your routine with hydration.26 Start with a pea-sized amount of eye cream on your ring finger and gently pat under your eye and around the corners.Then apply your serum and wrap up with a moisturizer or other hydrating product.27
Now, if you’re not already incorporating these techniques into your skin care routine, the time is now. Not only can you ensure that your skin is totally ready for a restful night, but you can also wake it up in a healthy and beautifying way.
Rest Easy With Your Nighttime Skin Care Routine
Maybe you’ve never considered how prepping your skin for a night of sleep might differ from your morning routine. Or maybe you’ve always known, but you now have a gentle reminder to take time and make sure your skin gets the nighttime moisture boost it needs.
One thing that is certain: if you follow these tips for a nighttime skin care routine, and use products that are great for your skin type, you can hit the bed confident that you’ll wake up in the morning with glowing, healthy skin.