A couple weeks back, we discussed all the high-points that you need to hit in your morning skincare routine in order to keep your skin protected throughout the day — while also not spending 30 extra minutes in front of your bathroom mirror. Taking several steps each day to apply skincare products might feel excessive, but as we like to say — you can’t create a youthful complexion later in life, you can only maintain the one you have now.
If you can commit to doing the bare minimum each morning and making that extra time investment into your skin, you’re already well ahead of the curve. However, you’ll need to incorporate just a few more steps, nightly and weekly, into your PM routine in order to keep your complexion in tip top shape.
Step 1: Makeup Removal
Your eye area is host to the most sensitive skin on your face and is also this first area to show aging. Avoid having to scrub and tug at this gentle area by using a dissolving eye makeup remover and cotton pad, few makeup removing wipes are saturated with enough product to be effective in this way.
Step 2: Cleanser
A water based cleanser is necessary to lift and remove water based free radical damaging agents at the end of the day. Bonus points if you double wash with an oil-based cleanser.
Step 3: Toner
The unsung hero of the skin care regimen, toner is essential for balancing skin pH and prepping skin for all of the ingredients and formulas that follow. After patting skin dry with a towel, apply a quarter-sized amount of product by pressing it onto your face, not swabbing it on with a cotton pad.
Step 4: Serum
Serums are the most potent and customizable step in your skincare routine, and, depending on what issues you’re having with your complexion, will determine exactly which product you will need. A good rule of thumb is to focus more on hydration and regeneration with your nighttime formula, while sticking with a Vitamin C or antioxidant-rich option during the day.
Step 5: Oil
Applying an oil overnight will enable the skin to combat the overproduction of sebum and pore clogging oil that leads to the breakouts, blackheads, and enlarged pores of combination and oily skin. Dry and sensitive skin will also greatly benefit from the additional moisture.
Step 6: Night Cream
The final step in your nightly routine should always be a viscous moisturizer to seal in the effects of all the hard work you’ve put in to the previous steps. Sleeping masks and night creams are intended to still be lingering in the AM, therefore also starting your morning routine with an oil based cleanser is an absolute must in order to begin your day with properly cleansed skin.
The removal of dead skin cells at the surface level is vital to improving overall texture and tone, but harsh scrubs and granular exfoliants often cause more damage than they do good. It’s important to use gentle powders and polishes. And use them sparingly — physical exfoliants should never be used more than twice a week.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids and Beta-Hydroxy Acids are ingredients that your skin requires in order to initiate exfoliation at a deeper level in the skin rather than just sloughing away what is already dead at the surface. Treating with a chemical exfoliation two to three times a week promotes more rapid cell turnover resulting in brighter and clearer skin and slows the aging process.
If you can’t make it in to see an esthetician once a month for a clinical strength chemical peel, you can still reap the benefits from the milder formulations for home applications. Acid peels should be used once a week at the absolute most, and always be sure to test your product on a small patch of skin before committing to a full application.