For many twenty-somethings, a multi-step skincare routine can seem tedious and unnecessary. After a late night at the bar, the last thing you want to do is wash your face, let alone, tone and hydrate. If you're a skincare enthusiast, then you've probably seen firsthand that establishing a good skincare routine early in your life has helped you minimize breakouts, maintain an even tone, and keep those stubborn wrinkles at bay. Chances are, you've probably come to enjoy your nighttime routine and look forward to cozy evenings with a face mask, some candles, and a glass of wine! We're here to bring you the detailed lowdown on skincare routines, morning and night - where to start, in what order, and how often.
Cleanse - Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to wash your face in the morning. Your face should already be free of makeup residue since you should have done a thorough cleanse the night before. The purpose of cleansing your skin is to remove oil and sweat that may have built up while you were sleeping and to prep the skin for daytime (and for makeup). Try to do this at the sink rather than in the shower (since your shower water is likely way too hot to be used on your face). Use a soft flannel or wash cloth to pat your skin dry. Pro Tip: If you struggle with under eye puffiness in the morning, keep a couple of spoons in the freezer and then lay them over your eyes while you wait for your coffee to percolate.
Acid Tone (Optional) - Depending on the needs of your skin, you may only want to do this at night. An acid toner is essentially a chemical exfoliant that lowers the pH level of your skin and preps it for moisturizer. Using a physical exfoliant such as a beaded scrub daily is far too harsh for the skin.
Eye Cream - Many people tend to apply eye cream at the end of their routine, if at all, but it's actually best to apply it before you go in with other lotions to ensure it is applied directly on the skin to optimize effectiveness.
Serum (Optional) - If you are trying to address particular skin concerns such as redness, pigmentation, or wrinkles, you may want to invest in a good serum.
Moisturize - Hydrate your skin and neck using a face cream.
SPF - A sunscreen that has both chemical and physical UV blocks is most effective. Check the label if you are unsure or do some research, especially if you live in a very hot climate. Keep in mind that the SPF should be specifically for the face.
Remove Makeup + Cleanse - If you are wearing makeup or SPF it is best to double cleanse your skin or remove your makeup with a balm or oil, followed by washing your face with cleanser.
Acid Tone - Use the same product as in the morning - or if you prefer and you have no major skin concerns, you can just use an acid toner in the evenings.
Eye Cream - To keep things simple, buy an eye cream that can be used day and night (make sure it does not have SPF so it is nighttime appropriate). In terms of hydration, a cream formula will generally work better than a rollerball or gel.
Treatments - If you use a serum, use that first. Next, try out a facial oil in place of or before your moisturizer. Many people are afraid of using an oil because they think it will make them breakout, when in fact, oils are generally much more effective at hydrating the skin than a conventional moisturizer. Although an oil can also be used during the day, you may want to avoid it if you wear makeup as it can cause you to look slick and greasy and generally does not work well under make up.
Hydrating Mist - This is a bonus step for the skincare lover! A hydrating mist made of rosewater or other essential oils can be really soothing for your skin and your mind. Plus, it smells great!
This varies depending on the needs of your skin, but for most people, using a face mask once or twice a week can really help. If you feel like pampering yourself, use a detoxifying mask first (like a clay mask) followed by a hydrating mask. Your skin will thank you!
Remember that like our clothing, our skin often changes with the climate so it is important to adapt your routine accordingly. For instance, you might use a more lightweight moisturizer during the summer if you tend to get more oily. During the winter months, however, you might find that your skin looks sallow or dull so try using an intensive hydrating mask once a week in conjunction with your night oil to combat the dryness.
Patience is key when it comes to your skin so don't expect things to turn around overnight - it takes time to see the results of your skincare!