Nighttime Skincare Routine

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.




Physical Exfoliation

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.


Chemical Exfoliation

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.


Chemical Peel

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.


Tell us about your nighttime skincare routine! What works for you?

  • Ellese Launer

    These are such great tips! I am always on the look for great night routines. XO, Ellese


  • Brooke Hydrick

    Love these tips!
    I’ve used Rodan + Fields products for three years now and love them! The cleansers, the toners, the serum, and the night cream…not to mention eye cream ;).

  • I am buying a toner and I use almond oil as my last step and my skin looks great in the morning. And most important than great skin products, eat fruits, veggies and drink water. It all starts from the inside out. And be nice, you’ll look prettier!

  • Emily H

    Could you explain the difference between serum and oil? Help!

    • Jordan Bishop

      Of course! Serums contain more potent active ingredients and are usually more viscous in consistency, they are used to treat specific skin concerns like acne or uneven tone and texture. Serums will often contain either alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids which are chemical exfoliates. Serums also can be used to deliver potent anti-oxidants like Vitamin C to the deeper layers of skin, which is why they are also effective to use during the day. Oils are mainly for hydration and moisture and can be very effective in balancing over production of bad oils in the skin, like sebum, that cause breakouts. I hope this helps!

  • Jenna

    I’ve always read to apply oil last, otherwise the benefits of your moisturizer aren’t able to penetrate the skin because the oil acts as a barrier. Just something to keep in mind if your moisturizer doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, it could be because another product is preventing it from working.

  • Hmmm, I don’t use a toner. Maybe I should invest.

  • Olivia Stone

    Wow will this really be done under 5 minutes? it takes for about a minute for a single product to be absorbed by the pores, most often than not I would just slather a good amount of Solvaderm as my nightly routine, I guess I am really missing something