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The Perfect Nighttime Skincare Routine

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

You’ve read up on the latest and greatest skincare ingredients and products. You’ve built an arsenal to stave off wrinkles and clogged pores. It’s just before bed and you stare blankly into your medicine cabinet. ”What do I do now?”

To get the most out your nighttime routine you have to pay attention to how, why and when you apply your products. For best results follow this guide.

  1. MAKEUP REMOVER (optional) If your wearing foundation, liner or mascara (especially waterproof) your cleanser alone won’t cut it. The evidence is clearly left on your towel. I recommended a non-oily makeup remover so that there is no film left on the skin that might interfere with your treatment products. Makeup wipes are not recommended as they also leave a film on your skin. Any makeup remover you choose needs to be followed up with a gentle milky cleanser to complete the cleansing process.

  2. CLEANSER Removing the day’s accumulation of dirt, oil and makeup off your skin feels so good and refreshing. Milky cleansers are your best choice at night. Milky cleansers are gentle, increase hydration and ease irritation. Try massaging your cleanser in on a dry skin (don’t add water yet) in circular motions for about thirty seconds. This helps emulsify oil soluble dirt for easy removal. Then wet your fingers and massage again for another thirty seconds. Make sure to remove your cleanser with a clean, soft, wet wash cloth. The wash cloth is better than just splashing your face with water for getting everything off. Pat dry and your ready for the next step.

  3. TONER (every time water touches your skin) Make sure to choose an alcohol free, non-drying formula. Toners are a particularly important step in your cleansing routine because the tap water we use to rinse our faces with these days is loaded with impurities like chlorine, fluoride, sodium and bacteria. All of which have the negative effects of drying your skin, increasing irritation and creating a film that interferes with your treatment product’s efficacy. If your toner comes in a spray it’s okay to spritz a couple of times to hydrate the skin but, it is crucial that you also douse a cotton pad with toner and swipe it over the skin to remove that tap water residue. Start your next step while your skin is still damp from your toner.

  4. EXFOLIATION Exfoliation not only removes the top layer of dead dull skin cells. Exfoliation also sends a subtle message to basil cells at the bottom of your epidermis, “Step up production of newer, healthier skin cells.” So, your skin looks brighter, smoother and clearer for the long term as well getting that immediate glow that comes from visibly revealing a layer of fresh new skin. Here are some general recommendations that work for most skin types. Check our skin type guide for more specific recommendations. Exfoliating Acids: (Try twice a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays) Using an exfoliating acid like glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid gets deep into the pores to clean and brighten the skin while they remove dead cells and step up new cell production. A simple guide: Choose glycolic acid for clogged pores, lactic acid for brightening and hydration or salicylic acid for problem breakouts. Scrubs: (Usually twice a week) Some clients prefer to use their scrub in the morning but others, who’s skin can tolerate it, piggyback their scrub following an application of an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) exfoliating acid. Not all skins can tolerate a scrub, but if you choose to use one make sure it contains smooth surfaced particles that won’t scratch your skin. Those with more sensitive skin might skip both the AHA and scrub and instead choose gentle exfoliating enzymes and exfoliate just once a week. If using the piggyback method, apply your scrub right over the exfoliating acid to remove it, about 5-10 minutes after the acid has been applied. When using a scrub do not use pressure! Light gentle circles will do. Rinse, rinse, rinse then follow up with another application of toner. Retinol: (Usually three times a week - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) Retinol is the gold standard when it comes to anti-aging ingredients. It has proven itself for decades for leaving skin brighter, clearer and firmer. Retinol easily gets into the skin because your skin has specific receptors to accept this Vitamin A derived ingredient right through your cell membranes. Retinol works by speeding up cell production at an increased rate and reorganizing them to form a smoother texture. It exfoliates as the new cells rise up by pushing off those older cells. We call this “bottom up” exfoliation. AHAs exfoliate by dissolving the glue that holds older cells together at the surface of the skin. This is known as “top down” exfoliation. When you alternate between both types of exfoliation you get a really nice result. At the same time retinol exfoliates it’s also sending messages to the lower layers of the dermis to speed up production of collagen and other important components that give skin volume and firmness. I recommend waiting 30 seconds for either exfoliant to get into your skin before applying other treatment products.

  5. SPECIALTY SERUMS If you want to get incredible results from your nighttime routine, using a reparative serum at night is your most important step. Almost all the repair actions for your skin take place at night while you sleep. And, since your skin’s permeability increases at night, the small molecular structures of a specialty serum allows it to penetrate right through the cell’s membrane and initiate repair. My favorite repair serums contain growth factors, architectural peptides, anti-inflammatory antioxidants, extremophiles and energy boosters. No need to rub it into the skin, just smooth it over your skin gently, serums should be easily absorbed.

  6. EYE CREAM I’m a huge believer in eye creams but I think they got it all wrong in the past. The thought at that time was that you needed a heavier formula around the eyes because the skin around the eyes is thinner and drier. Well it is, but the heavier eye creams would weigh down this delicate skin and add to puffiness and loss of tone. Consider an eye serum, feather light and chock full of architectural peptides to support and strengthen thinner skin (even on the lids). The most common mistake I see is using too much product. Remember you are using this on a small area so don’t overload the skin, “Just a little dab will do ya”.

  7. NIGHT CREAM Night cream is just a fancy way of saying a moisturizer, sans the sunscreen. Moisturizers have one important function... to moisturize. Look for a moisturizer that’s right for your skin type. It doesn’t have to be heavy if you have oilier skin. Does your skin feel tight or flaky? It might need humectants to hold in moisture and maybe a bit of an emollient depending on how much oil you produce. If you are bone dry and produce no oil you will need more robust emollients to moisturize while adding to that important barrier protective layer. Our Skin Type chart can help you decide which moisturizer is right for you.

  8. NECK CREAM (optional) I love my neck cream and use it every night. Since my neck has been the bane of my existence I need to give it special attention. When using a neck cream I focus on tightening. Albeit it’s not like a neck lift, which I’ve been threatening to do for years, a neck cream that’s based on stem cell antioxidants can help with the the crepiness and hydration. When it comes to neck creams its a bit like eye creams. Don’t go too heavy. The problem with crepiness on the neck is mostly due to the effect gravity had on the skin, causing a loss of tone, and over the years this problem has been exacerbated by the accumulation of sun damage. Remember to apply your neck cream in upward motions for best results.

There you have it. Getting addicted to a night time skincare ritual will make your skin look and feel fresh and hydrated, and a lot younger. Its is the best way to preserve your beautiful skin for life.

If you would like a more specialized routine, geared for your unique skin type try booking a virtual consultation.

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