I am so excited about today’s post! While I’ve had a solid nighttime skincare routine for 10+ years, over the last year or so, I’ve really taken a deeper interest in skincare and have found a lot of joy in testing new products and working to perfect my routine. Since I turn 30 this year, preventing aging and keeping my skin as youthful as possible has been my biggest priority. I’ve been sharing a little bit more about the skincare products I love over on Instagram Stories, and it seems like a lot of you are also interested in and dedicated to your nighttime skincare routines, too, so I wanted to share mine here today on the blog.
Before I dive in, there are a few housekeeping notes I want to preface this post with—
First, I wanted to share a little bit about my skin type sine I always find it helpful when I’m reading other’s skincare recommendations. I’m lucky in that I don’t have super acne prone skin—other than a breakout or two here and there, it’s not something I struggle with. However, my skin runs on the drier side, especially in the winter, and is on the more sensitive side. I’ve started to notice a few fine lines, especially on my forehead, but overall, am happy with my skin and don’t feel like I’m at the point where I need botox, intense chemical peels, or anything like that yet. (Though I am definitely not opposed when the day comes!)
Second, while some of the products I use are “clean,” it’s not a huge priority for me personally. If the best product for me in the category is clean, that’s great! But using “normal” skincare products doesn’t cause me any angst—I just want the product that works the best. And, let’s be real, even if all my skincare and makeup was clean, I’ll still be drinking diet soda everyday.
Third, some of the products below are on the pricier side. Skincare is something I choose to invest my money in, and you might have different priorities—that is totally OK! Just like I used to not have the same budget for travel, I also haven’t always had the money to spend on skincare. For the first several years I was out of school, my budget was really tight, and I relied solely on drugstore skincare because that’s what I could afford. (And, my skin was clear and moisturized then, too!) Now, I feel like the products I splurge on are in the $80-100 range—the same ones I used to lust after—and I am lusting after the products that are in the $180-200 range (like Vinter’s Daughter and Augustinus Bader!). If I was on a stricter budget or wanted to spend less on skincare, I’d prioritize taking my makeup off everyday, and use a drugstore cleanser, moisturizer, and eye cream. A good serum is the product I’d recommend saving up for since there are typically more/better active ingredients in the pricier products versus what you can find at the drugstore.
So without further ado—here’s my current nighttime skincare routine!
Step 1: Cleanser + Exfoliater
I shower at night—I always have and since I usually workout after work, it’s just what works for me! I have naturally fine, straight hair so sleeping on it wet also causes me no grief. Because I shower at night, I usually take my makeup off in the shower. I have two go-to cleansing products:
- Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($10)—my go-to cleanser for years, it’s really gentle and isn’t stripping. If I don’t wear any foundation/blush/bronzer, this is the cleanser I reach for since it can easily take off all my eye makeup and eyebrow pencil + gel, which is everyday makeup look for work.
- Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm ($34)—if I’m wearing a fuller face of makeup, this is the cleanser I reach for! It’s a relatively new addition to my skincare routine, but it seriously takes everything off, meaning my pores won’t be clogged by any leftover makeup.
If for whatever reason my cleansers don’t remove all my eye makeup, I’ll put some Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover ($8) on a cotton ball and wipe any any remaining residue.
After I’ve washed my makeup off, I use the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($59), which is one of my holy grail beauty buys! It’s a gentle enough exfoliant that you can use it everyday, and unlike the St. Ives scrub of my youth, it doesn’t tear your face up or cause any redness. It’s a powder you mix with a little bit of water and then rub gently on your face. It’s on the pricier side, but a bottle lasts me about 5-6 months and it is so worth it.
Step 2: Toner
I used to think toners were a waste of money, but about a year ago, I received a sample of the Pixi Glow Tonic ($29) and saw the light. This particular toner has 5% glycolic acid in it, so in addition to rebalancing the PH of your skin after cleansing, it helps with exfoliation and removing that top layer of dead skin so that your products, especially the ones with active ingredients, work better.
Step 3: Serums or Hyaluronic Acid
Once I’ve cleansed, exfoliated, and toned, I apply a serum or hyaluronic acid, just depending on what my skin needs that day. Here are the ones I keep on hand:
- SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel ($83)—if you’ve never used a hyaluronic acid before, I can’t recommend it enough, especially in the winter if you have extremely dry skin. It really helps keep your skin hydrated and lock in moisture.
- BeautyCounter Countertime Radiance Serum ($79)—this is a great serum for anti-aging since it’s got a mix of peptides, amino acids, and BeautyCounter’s plant-derived Retinatural Complex, which is their “clean” version of retinol. I feel like whenever I use this one, my skin is firmer and brighter the next day, but I will flag that the smell is a little weird.
- M61 JetGlow Serum ($82)—this serum is also good for anti-aging since it has petides, vitamin C + E, and lycopene to help cut some of the impacts of environmental stressors. Because it also has glycolic acid, if I am going to be reaching for this serum, I usually skip the Pixi toner.
Step 4: Moisturizer
After I let my serums soak in, I moisturize. These are the ones in my medicine cabinet, and I grab them based on my mood:
- Atopalm Moistuizing Skin Revitalizing Complex ($32)—when I had a facial last month at Silver Mirror Facial Bar in Dupont (you can read my review here!), my aesthetician recommended this moisturizer and it is so hydrating! I’ve been reaching for this one most often.
- M61 Hydraboost Cream ($84)—if you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fan of the Hydraboost line at BlueMercury! Unsurprisingly, this one pairs especially well with the Hydraboost Eye Concentrate.
- BeautyCounter Countertime Supreme Cream ($89)—while I like that this night cream is great for anti-aging, I don’t think it’s the most hydrating one out there, so I typically reach for this in the warmer months of the year when my skin doesn’t need as much moisture.
- Aveeno Ultra-Calming Nourishing Night Cream ($20)—whenever I feel like my skin is in a really sensitive place, this is the moisturizer I reach for. It is so cool and calming.
- Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream ($26)—another drugstore favorite moisturizer; when I travel, this is the one I use since it’s as hydrating as the pricier products, but easier to replace in case it breaks in transit.
Step 5: Eye Cream
The last step for me is eye cream! Some people lock in all their products with a face oil, but I’ve tried so many and without fail, they break me out. So I wrap up my routine with eye cream and then call it a day. Here are the ones I reach for:
- Farmacy Cheer Up Brightening Eye Cream ($45)—because this has vitamin C in it, it’s really good at brightening up my under-eye area.
- BeautyCounter Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream ($69)—my favorite product in the BeautyCounter Countertime line, this is a great eye cream; it feels so hydrating.
- M61 Hydraboost Eye Concentrate ($78)—when my skin is really dry, I love this eye cream because it has B5 and hyaluronic acid. It’s also really concentrated, so you don’t need a lot—it lasts me a long time.
After I finish applying my eye cream, I finish off the whole routine with the Laniege Lip Sleeping Mask ($20). It is amazing and keeps my lips so hydrated! It also lasts forever, so even though it’s on the pricier side, you’ll get your money’s worth.
In addition to my nightly skincare routine, there are a few products I don’t use everyday, but use on a weekly basis that I think really make a difference in my skin:
- Counter+ Charcoal Facial Mask ($49)—I use this mask about once a week to help prevent any acne outbreaks; it is really good a purifying the skin and drawing out any impurities.
- Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel ($63)—one to two times a week, I use this peel in place of a serum and swear by it! Whenever I use it, my skin wakes up brighter, and I think it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, especially the ones on my forehead.
- Sanitas Papaya Pineapple Mask ($33)—one to two times a week, once I wash my makeup off, I put this mask on in the shower in lieu of using my Dermalogica microfoliant. It is so good at removing the dead skin and decongesting your skin so that your products can really soak in.
My morning skincare routine is a lot simpler—I wash my face, put on a Vitamin C serum (I like the Ole Henrisken Truth Serum!), and then mix a few of these Coola Full-Spectrum Sun Silk Drops with one of the moisturizers above. I let all those products sit for a few minutes, and then do my makeup.
I would love to know what skincare products you swear by, as I am always looking to try new ones! Feel free to drop me a comment below if you have any questions about my skincare routine—this is something I love to talk about!
Ha, good for you for even using drugstore skincare back in your broke days… I was too much of a cheapskate to even buy that. Now I’m Arbonne (another clean brand) skincare/makeup ALL the way and that ish is pricey. I guess I’m subconsciously making up for my cheapskate years 😉
Haha I love it! I am glad you found what worked for you! x