Your Nighttime Routine

Hi Loves!  Happy Hump Day!  Hope it was a good one for everyone and before we all hit the sheets, I wanted to go over how to make sure you’re getting the most out of your skincare products that you use at nighttime.

Did you know it matters what order you apply each one?  Did you know other hygiene tasks can affect how your products work?  Did you know that the pillow case you sleep on can also affect the absorption of the products you’re using?    Let’s go over some tips on how to maximize what you’re already using.

Step 1 – Remove makeup

This may seem like a “duh” step, but it’s really important to remove your makeup BEFORE you cleanse your skin.  You may use a cleanser that removes makeup, but then you will want to wash twice basically – once to remove makeup, then again to actually cleanse/treat the skin.  Does this make sense? It’s important to use a cleanser that isn’t too harsh on the skin if you’re going to use it to wash twice – which is why most people benefit from either a separate product to remove makeup or use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin when used twice. I often use refined organic coconut oil to remove my makeup before cleansing my skin.  I keep it in a mini mason jar in my bathroom and its super easy to scoop a little out and massage it onto my skin to remove my makeup and mascara. But I know not everyone is keen on the texture or feel of this, so you could also use organic face wipes to remove your makeup first, or another gentle makeup remover.  Because I love trying new products, I’m always switching it up.  But I tend to go back to the coconut oil when I can’t find the next thing I want to try.


My Fave Face Wipes – Honest & Co

Step 2 – Cleanse

This is another obvious step, but after you’ve removed your makeup, it’s time to wash.  I recommend using a facial brush of some kind a few times a week, if not every day.  If you don’t own one of these, it’s a great tool to invest in. (Be on the lookout for my favorite beauty tools post in the near future).  However, a typical wash cloth can be just fine, it’s just important to use a fresh washcloth EVERY night!  Some people might not use anything, which is fine too.  Everyone has a different preference.  Because everyone has different skin, it’s so hard to recommend a universal cleanser.  I will just say that because your cleanser is a product you put on your skin for a very short time & then rinse it off, it literally goes down the drain!!!  So out of all your skincare products this should be the one you spend the least amount of money on.  It’s not as important as serums and creams.  I will also say that not just any cleanser will do.  Some key ingredients to always stay away from  – in ANY product – are parabens (most common are butyl, methyl and propyl), fragrance (which is a loop hole for companies to add any ingredient they want and label it “fragrance”), petroleum (also can be labeled as propylene glycol, butylene glycol & isopropyl alcohol), and DEA, MEA and TEA (which are known carcinogens and linked to hormone disruption).

Here are a couple of my favorite cleansers:

Juice Beauty Organic Facial Wash

Mychelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Enzyme Cleanser  (a Colorado local company – bonus!)

Step 3 – Tone

This is a step that many might feel isn’t necessary.  What exactly does it mean to “tone” my skin?  Well, a good toner is going to help sooth, nourish and hydrate the skin, along with prep the skin for your next product that you’ll use to maximize it’s absorption (like a night cream or serum).  It also helps restore your skin’s ph balance.  This is another product that I feel like you don’t need to spend a lot of money on – to be honest, my very favorite toner is something that has been around for AGES, all our great grandma’s probably used it on their skin.  Good ol’ Witch Hazel is an amazing toner!   Just be sure you buy one WITHOUT alcohol – as that will dry out your skin, which can lead to your skin being dried out so it thinks it needs to produce more oil, which then the additional oil will clog your pores and then that leads to breakouts!   It’s a vicious cycle.  Which is why it’s so important that if you are breaking out, you really don’t want to use products that are going to dry up your skin too much.  Here is a link to my very favorite toner – I buy it on Amazon!  I have seen it at Whole Foods as well.   It runs anywhere between $8 and $10 which is a huge bonus too.  This is a step that when worked into your nightly routine on a regular basis, you’ll see a difference in your skin.


Step 4 – Serum

This is where things can get a little hairy, what’s next?  My serum, my night cream, my eye cream?   Serum is next and here are the reasons why!  A serum is usually a super concentrated product that contains active ingredients that will treat whatever skin issue you are working with (whether that be acne, aging, sensitivity, etc).  This is a product where money is WELL spent.  You want this product to be the first thing to absorb into your freshly cleansed and toned skin.  The skin should be a little damp from the toner, which also helps this product absorb well.  Applying a serum to completely dry skin won’t help in the absorption process, and because you probably spent a pretty penny on your serum, you want to maximize it’s benefits by using it correctly and in the proper order.  Think of your serum as your skin treatment step.  I’m currently using the Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Firming Serum, and I’ve been really happy with it.


Step 5 – Night Cream

Anyone else tired yet?  Haha  You’re almost done!  Your night cream is next and this is the product that is going to give your skin the moisture boost it needs, and can often seal in the benefits of a serum.  A night cream is important because as you sleep, this is when your skin is acting like a well-oiled machine regenerating, enhancing it’s own ability to fight signs of aging.  This is why it’s so important to use special products at night that will even further enhance your skin’s natural ability to fight aging.  AND also why sleep is so important to healthy skin in general.  The main importance of a good night cream is to moisturize your skin – so look for a cream with hyaluronic acid in it – which helps attract moisture to the surface of your skin and lock in hydration.

A couple of my faves are:

REN Vita Mineral Emollient Rescue Cream (REALLY thick and REALLY moisturizing)

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Step 6 – Eye Cream

I beg of you – everyone please use an eye cream!  Morning and night no matter what your age!  It’s so important to take care of that delicate/thin skin around your eyes.  It’s typically where aging can show up before you know it.  Using all of the knowledge above, pick an eye cream that has good ingredients and gives that skin around your eyes some moisture.  (Be on the look out for a future post dedicated eye creams!)

Step 7 – Facial Oil (if you use it)

This is your very last step if you choose to use a facial oil.  Typically oil molecules are larger so IF you were to apply this product before anything else, it would prevent EVERYTHING else from absorbing into the skin. What a travesty, right?  You spend all that money on serums and creams and if you put your oil on first, you aren’t getting any benefit from anything you apply after your oil.  An oil is like a barrier – not letting anything in or out – so this should be the very last thing you apply.  I have used so many oils I love, but this is currently the one taking occupancy in my collection, MyChelle Advanced Argan Oil, and at $14.50, that price point is well appreciated.


Okay – there you have it – just 6 (or 7) easy steps before you can lay your exhausted head down to rest. It may seem overwhelming, but I promise your skin will thank you later.  A few other products I don’t go to bed without using are a nice, thick lip balm and some Moroccan oil on my hair.

A few last tips….

I should have added a Step 0 – BEFORE you even start your nighttime routine, brush your teeth FIRST!  If you do all these steps I’ve just mentioned and THEN brush your teeth…what do you do next?  You wipe off that excess toothpaste and water from around your mouth, right?  So if you brush your teeth last, you’re wiping off all of those skin treatment products you just applied.  What a waste!!!  This is the fastest way to get those age lines around your mouth – so don’t forget to brush your teeth FIRST!

Last, I will mention that depending your sleeping style, your pillow case may be getting some of the benefit of all these products as well instead of your skin.  So it’s key to let these products fully absorb before you nestle into your pillow.  However, there are pillow cases that eliminate this – any satin or silk pillow case works.  I will say that a satin or silk case also benefits your hair…which is a whole other post!  haha  Bed, Bath & Beyond sells pillow cases that prevent product from transferring and gentle on your hair too.  Don’t forget your 20% off coupon!  And Amazon has some good pillow case options too!

This was a really long post, but thanks for staying with me and I hope you feel like you’ve learned a thing or two.

Kisses from Sarah K

What are some of your nighttime skincare regimens that help you cozy in for the night?

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