My Night time skin Routine

night time skin care routine

This post should probably be called “My Early Evening Skin Care Routine,” but that doesn’t feel quite as snappy as “Nighttime.” 

I usually shower and do all of my “nighttime” skin care around 6pm, right before we give Charlotte a bath and put her to bed. 

I wasn’t always like this, but this pregnancy/toddler chasing thing is making SO tired in the evenings. I like to be clean and ready for bed before I get so exhausted that the mere thought of picking up a washcloth sounds impossible. 

Nighttime skin care is so important! I always, always, always make the time for it. Usually Charlotte and Tyler read or play on our bed while I lotion up and take care of my face before her bathtime. 

I never get facials, so going the extra mile to take care of my skin at home is crucial for me. And I am not an aesthetician or an expert, so obviously take all of this with a grain of salt. The following is what I’ve found that works for me (after many hours of obsessive research over the years, lol). 

Here is what I do every night to take care of my skin: 

1. Double Cleanse 

I always do a double cleanse. I like to think of it like cleaning a floor. First, you vacuum or sweep up the crumbs/dust, then you scrub or mop to really get in there and remove the grime. 

The same goes for washing my face. 

First, I use a cleansing balm to remove my makeup/sunscreen while my shower water heats up. There are tons of amazing cleansing balms on the market right now (Farmacy Green Clean and Clinique Take the Day Off are two that I’ve tried and loved), but I have been using the Clean It Zero balm for about 6 months now and really love it. It feels heavenly and costs less than $20. I apply it directly to my dry skin, gently rub it in a circular motion to remove my eye and face makeup and then rinse it off when I get in the shower. 

You could also use a cleansing oil for this first step. I like the Josie Maran one or the one from Simple which is much cheaper. 

Then, in the shower I use the Saturday Skin’s Rise + Shine Cleanser. It leaves my skin feeling SO clean and fresh without drying it out. I also like the Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier

If you are wondering how effective your face washing method is, try rubbing a wet white washcloth around the sides of your face after you’re done. If you see any residual makeup on the cloth, you might want to step your game up. 

2. Tone 

After my skin is as clean as a whistle, I bust out my trusty Glossier Solution exfoliating toner. I use a cotton pad to apply it all over my face, neck, and chest. I can honestly say that this product changed my skin. 

Since I started using this product, I have pretty much stopped using any kind of a physical face scrub. I learned that the beads in face scrubs can cause micro-tears in your skin, and the chemical exfoliation that this toner accomplishes is far more impactful anyway. 

Solution contains a gentle blend of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. All three are important when it comes to removing dead skin cells and improving tone and texture. 

My pores now appear much smaller, and I rarely deal with breakouts anymore (save the occasional hormonal chin zit). I have also noticed way fewer blackheads on my nose since using this product.  

I give the Solution a couple of minutes to soak in before I move on to my next step. 

3. Serum 

If you are going to splurge on any step of your routine, night or day, make it on your serums. 

Pay attention to the ingredients and what you are getting for your money. Serums are your chance to get those important active ingredients absorbed RIGHT into your skin before you move on to moisturizing and protecting.

I typically have a couple of different night time serums in the rotation, each serving a different purpose. 

Retinol or a plant-based alternative: 

One of the most efficient ways to fight against aging (besides drinking water, eating clean, and using SPF), is by using a retinol product. 

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that is universally recognized as a powerful anti-aging ingredient.It is a great place to start for any age. 

A few of the most celebrated retinol serums are from Shani Darden, Sunday Riley. In the past, I have used this inexpensive one from The Ordinary and liked it a lot! 

Most doctors advise against using retinol products during pregnancy, though, so I have been using a plant-based alternative all year. I apply this all over my face and neck twice a week. 

Sadly, the one I’ve been using from Herbivore seems to be discontinued at this time, but this one from Biossance looks good too! Bakuchiol is a great ingredient to look for. 

Products like this are really more of a long-term play, showing results slowly over time and preventing aging before it occurs. However, I have noticed a difference in the line between my eyebrows and those around my eyes in the time since I’ve been using it. 


Resurfacing Serum: 

Once or twice a week, I use the Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum from Farmacy. I LOVE everything I’ve tried from Farmacy, but this serum in particular is a game-changer. 

The ingredient lineup in this product actually has some similarities to the Glossier toner I use (lactic and glycolic acids) but it is much more powerful which is why I only use it once or twice a week. It also has hyaluronic acid in it which helps skin cells hold onto water and stay hydrated. 

When I use this, I notice a difference the second I wake up the next morning. My skin feels smoother and brighter. 

Like I said, it’s very powerful, so proceed with caution if you have very sensitive skin–and it does tingle a tiny bit when I first put it on, fair warning! 

4. Moisturize 

After my serum has soaked in, it’s time to lock it all in with a moisturizer. 

Everyone has their own preferences here, but my skin is as dry as the Sahara. When I moisturize at night, I like to use something THICK and EFFECTIVE. 

Enter Skin Food by Weleda. This stuff is my holy grail. It’s clean and costs $12. 

I was perusing Into the Gloss one day and saw this product referred to as an affordable Le Mer dupe, so of course my ears perked up. As someone who has been savoring Le Mer samples from Nordstrom since middle school, I knew I needed to give this cream a try. 

Skin Food is so thick and intense that it honestly feels like a face mask, but JUST TRUST ME. If you struggle with dryness whatsoever, this product is life-changing. 

I slather this on my face, neck, and chest, and my skin just feels so…nourished, you know? 

NOTE: If it is a “self-tanning night,” I do not use Skin Food at this step. Around once a week, I mix a dropper full of the Tanologist Tanning Drops with any thinner moisturizer to wake up with a subtle–but necessary-glow. 

5. Oil it up   

If I’m feeling extra dry, or just extra, I like to apply an oil as well. I also do this on nights if I’ve done any kind of peel or intense mask to ensure that my skin is fully hydrated. 

I really love the Rosehip and Argan oils from Ordinary (so cheap too!) and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate Oil from Kiehl’s

Using an oil is a great chance to do a little facial massage to encourage lymphatic drainage and release tension in your face (use a jade roller or just your hands, there are tons of YouTube videos you can follow!). 

6. Lip mask

I save this last step for bedtime. And although most people with an Instagram have at least heard of the Laneige Lip Mask, I feel obligated to mention it JUST IN CASE. 

I don’t know what kind of fairy dust is infused into this product. What I do know is that I wake up with, dare I say, pillowy soft lips when I use it. I couldn’t be more on board for this trendy little jar of magic. It costs $20 and has lasted me *exactly* 18 months so far at this point. 

I use it as a lip balm during the day sometimes and it lasts for hours on end. 

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