After a long day, the last thing you probably want to do is stand in front of the bathroom mirror with a huge selection of cleansers, ointments, and moisturizers. Your skin naturally regenerates while you are sleeping, which means night is the perfect time to set your skin up for success. However, it doesn’t have to take a 30-minute routine to get your skin looking its best.
Here are five steps to an easy and effective nighttime skincare routine:
1. Wash your face
Cleaning dirt and makeup off your face is essential. Even if you don’t do anything else, make sure you wash your face every night. Leaving makeup and other dirt and grime that naturally accumulates on your face clogs your pores and can lead to irritation and breakouts. Use a water-based cleanser to gently wash your face with a soft washcloth or your fingers; you don’t want to scrub too much and take away good skin oils. There are cleansers for every skin type and condition from acne to dry skin—choose one and be consistent with it. Don’t forget to also cleanse your neck and chest to avoid breakouts. To remove makeup from the sensitive eye area, use makeup remover pads or on a cotton ball and swipe lightly.
2. Apply toner
This step is often overlooked, but it plays a huge role in making sure all the other skincare products actually do their job. Put a little bit of toner onto a cotton pad and press it onto your face. The toner will refresh the skin and balance the pH levels. Toner is especially good for people who have oily skin because it helps remove excess oil from the pores.
3. Apply a retinoid serum or cream
One of the best ingredients in skincare is retinoid, which can help reduce clogged pores, fight the effects of aging, and even out the skin tone. Retinoids also help increase the production of collagen, which is what keeps your skin supported and elastic. Retinoid comes most commonly in either a cream or serum. Apply a thin layer to the entire face except around the eyes. Some stronger retinoid products can dry out the skin, so be sure to use moisturizer right after.
4. Add night cream
Sleeping masks or night creams are powerful moisturizers that keep working the entire time you are asleep. They seal in moisture and set other products that are on your face. Night creams are different than daytime moisturizers because they are thicker and don’t have other ingredients like sunscreen. Look for a night cream with hydration and retinoid to reverse the effects of aging. Don’t forget to apply it liberally all over your face and neck and let it work while you slumber—it really is beauty sleep!
5. Tap on eye cream
Eye cream is a simple product that can make a big difference in helping your skin stay and look more youthful. It even opens your eyes and can help you look more awake if you didn’t get a full night’s sleep! The skin around the eye is very delicate, so this special cream is needed to keep it smooth, hydrated, and wrinkle-free. Look for an eye cream with caffeine to reduce puffiness and be sure to apply it with your ring fingers to avoid pushing too hard on the skin.
About once a week or every few days, it is helpful to do a slightly longer skincare routine and exfoliate your skin and apply a face mask. This doesn’t need to be done every day, but it can be the extra TLC your skin needs. Exfoliating your skin with an exfoliating cleanser or brush removes dead skin and leaves behind a layer of fresh, new skin that will absorb treatments better. There is a huge variety of face masks available to combat any kind of skin condition, from clearing clogged pores to adding extra hydration or smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. When used consistently, these products can show strong results.
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to get enough sleep. A good sleep schedule combined with a consistent skincare routine can work wonders for your complexion. You can adjust your routine as your skin needs change, but taking just a few minutes every night can pay off in the long run with youthful, clear skin.