How to Build a Perfect Nighttime Skincare Routine

By Abby Vinas

How to Build a Perfect Nighttime Skincare Routine

Why is a Nighttime Skincare Routine Important?

A proper skincare routine is essential to maintaining healthy skin. Carefully selecting the products in your routine allows you to fight signs of aging, breakouts, and free radical damage so you can enjoy a natural, youthful glow.

Having both a morning routine and a nighttime routine is most beneficial, especially since your skin has different needs at different times of the day. At night, your skin should be treated to some much needed pampering for several reasons:

1. Your Skin Goes Through A Lot

During the day, your skin is exposed to a variety of environmental stressors like dirt, pollution, and sun damage, which all pose serious threats to your skin health. A nighttime skincare routine helps ensure that your skin is properly nourished and cared once the sun goes down and you’re getting ready for bed, plus your skin is most receptive to skincare products at night.

2. Your Skin Needs Moisture

Skin moisture plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy complexion. Your skin needs to be moisturized on a daily basis in order to help prevent dryness or excessive oiliness, and to protect the stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of skin. At night, your skin isn’t threatened by environmental stressors so it produces less sebum, also known as the skin’s natural moisturizer. This decreased sebum production makes your skin more susceptible to dryness, which makes moisturizer a non-negotiable when it comes to your nighttime skincare routine.

3. Your Skin Has Its Own Regenerative Process

Your skin undergoes a natural regenerative process at night in that as you sleep, your body focuses on renewal and repair. Having a nighttime skincare routine helps feed your skin with important nutrients and antioxidants that complement this process so you can wake up the next morning with refreshed, healthy skin.

However, having a nighttime skincare routine doesn’t mean you can skip out on sleep. Lack of sleep negatively affects the skin by causing the release of stress hormones, which can then cause inflammation and flare ups.

Build the Perfect Nighttime Skincare Routine

Simply put, nighttime is the perfect time to give your skin some well-deserved lovin’. Not everyone will have the same routine, but there are a few staple products that should always be included. Remember that the order in which you apply your products affects their effectiveness, so be sure to follow these steps to build the perfect nighttime skincare routine:

Step 1: Remove Your Makeup

Going to bed without taking off your makeup is a cardinal sin when it comes to skincare. Leaving your makeup on all night can clog pores and cause a breakout, or worsen existing ones. To avoid this, remove all traces of makeup at the end of the day using your favorite makeup remover and be sure to treat your skin gently, being careful not to rub harshly or tug on the skin.

Step 2: Use a Cleanser

An unwashed face may be what’s standing in the way of you and clear skin. Use a facial cleanser to rid your skin of dirt, oil, and bacteria that may have built up on your skin throughout the day. Facial cleansers come in many forms -- oil, jelly, foam, gel, micellar water and more -- but choose one formulated for your skin type to avoid dryness and irritation. Whichever type you choose, massage it into your skin using gentle, circular motions and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Step 3: Tone Your Skin

Toners are especially useful for those with oily or acne-prone skin because they help refine pores and soothe skin after cleansing. When adding toner to your nighttime skincare routine, use an alcohol-free option like our Dewy Dew facial mist, which also contains witch hazel, rose hip and citrus to visibly balance skin, even skin tone and texture, and leave you dewy and glowy.

Do You Dew?

Prep and perfect your skin with this alcohol-free toner that will also leave you dewy and glowy.
Glow On The Go

Step 4: Treat Your Blemishes

In addition to following our tips for clear skin, using a treatment product is a must if you often struggle with breakouts. You’ll want to spot treat any blemishes or breakouts using acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. Our Treat acne treatment gel contains 2% salicylic acid, making it a powerful and effective yet gentle option for addressing problem areas.

When using treatment products, it’s important to introduce them slowly, especially if you have sensitive skin. Some treatments may be too strong or aggressive when first using them, so keep a close eye on how your skin reacts. If you experience any dryness, use it less frequently to allow your skin to adjust.

Complexion Perfection

Reduce breakouts and prevent future ones with this powerful, yet gentle exfoliating gel.
Bye Bye Breakouts

Step 5: Use a Serum

Protect the skin against free radical damage, early signs of aging, and other issues by using a serum. Serums contain nourishing ingredients in high concentrations so they’re particularly effective in treating various skin concerns. Vitamin C is useful for reducing inflammation and increasing collagen production while niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, helps improve skin elasticity, minimize the appearance of pore size, and reduce signs of aging. If you have dry skin, look for a serum containing ultra-hydrating ingredients that helps quench thirsty skin and retain moisture. Drink It Up, our oil-free hydrating serum, is designed to deliver an immediate surge of hydration while continuously releasing moisture all day or all night. Uneven skin tone? Look for a serum containing licorice root, like Zen, to soothe skin and fade hyperpigmentation.

Let's Get Zen

Ultra Calming serum packed with plant power to soothe, calm and nourish the skin.
Calm Skin

Step 6: Apply an Eye Cream/Gel

Not all face products are formulated for the undereye area, so an eye product will provide the ingredients needed to refreshed, bright, and youthful. The eye area is very thin and delicate and should be treated accordingly. Apply your eye cream or eye gel lightly using your ring finger, which has the gentlest touch, and then tap it into place to help it absorb into the skin.

Step 7: Add In a Facial Oil

None of us want to look oily or greasy so putting a facial oil on your skin may sound counterintuitive, but let’s dive deeper. Your skin does naturally produce oil known as sebum, which helps protect against environmental stressors, soften skin, and minimize water loss, thereby keeping skin hydrated. Without sebum, your skin will become dry -- those with dry skin experience dryness because their skin doesn’t produce enough sebum on its own. Dryness can also be caused by the products in your skincare routine in that you may be using products that dry out the skin, which then causes the skin to overproduce oil to compensate.

The biggest benefit of using a facial oil is skin hydration. It complements the oil naturally produced by your skin, and helps keep moisture in by forming a barrier on the top layer of skin, so a skincare routine for dry skin would be the best fit for a facial oil. Use it as a separate step, or add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer. A little goes a long way, so use oil sparingly. Depending on your skin, you may want to use oil less frequently than the rest of your products, such as only on days when your skin feels particularly dry.

Step 8: Seal in All the Goodness With a Night Cream

While sun protection is a key element during a morning skincare routine, replenishing moisture is key when it comes to your nighttime skincare routine. Because your skin naturally loses moisture at night, it needs a little something to avoid looking dull and tired. For an extra boost, finish up your skincare routine with a night cream to allow your skin to rejuvenate until morning.

Night creams are typically richer, thicker products made with formulas designed to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin with ingredients like peptides and ceramides. Peptides are chains of amino acids that serve as building blocks for collagen, elastin and other proteins. Without peptides, your skin may be prone to fine lines, wrinkles, dullness. Ceramides are fatty acids that help protect the skin barrier and retain moisture, making them especially beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated skin.

Depending on your skin concerns, your favorite moisturizer may suffice but the bottom line is that night cream gives you a boost when you need it. With consistent use of a night cream, you can have a plumper, softer, healthier complexion.

Find What Works Best for You

After all this, we hope the idea of a nighttime skincare routine is a no-brainer. But remember that not all products were created equal so be mindful of your skin type when adding new products to your regimen. Find what works best for you and your skin. When combined with healthy sleeping habits, a well-balanced diet, consistency, and patience, a nighttime skincare routine can take you far on your skin journey.

Abby Vinas

Abby Vinas

Abby Vinas has long been an active member of the holistic health community, advocating in favor of its benefits to both our physical and emotional well-being. Her commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle has made her an authority on self-care practices. Abby is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and proper skincare, and is also an avid lover of avocado toast and dog-petting.