Anti-Aging Skin Care: Simple Morning and Evening Routines for Younger-Looking Skin
We all want younger-looking skin, but most of us have not even the slightest clue how to achieve it. Do we really need to use serum? Can we skip SPF when it’s cloudy? What products are a must and how do we use them? To answer these very important questions, we’re sharing a straightforward, 4-step anti-aging skin routine to follow morning and night complete with product picks and expert-approved tips. Who said anti-aging skin care could never be easy?
ANTI-AGING MORNING SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Step 1: Wash Your Face
In the morning, your facial skin can have oil and impurities on it after a night of sleep. Give it a good wash as a first step to your morning routine. Find a gentle cleanser that matches your skin type, be it oily, acne-prone, or sensitive.
If you have oily skin…try a gel cleanser, like the Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Shine Control Cleansing Gel. This daily gel cleanser is infused with charcoal and draws out impurities like a magnet, dissolving dirt, excess oil, and makeup.
If you have dry skin…try using a cream cleanser to hydrate your skin even while cleansing. The Lancôme Lait Galatée Confort gently melts away makeup and impurities. The comforting formula contains honey and sweet almond extracts and conditions and pampers skin, leaving it feeling soft, supple, clean, and comforted.
If you have aging skin…try using a foaming cleanser, like the La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Brightening Deep Cleanser. This cleanser is formulated with micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid and can remove impurities, and address uneven skin tone, visible dark spots, and dull-looking skin—all of which are common signs of aging skin.
If you have sensitive skin…try using micellar water, which is powered by gentle micelle molecules that cluster together to surround and lift away impurities and makeup with no rinsing or harsh rubbing. The L’Oréal Paris Cleansing Micellar Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types is a great option for your sensitive skin.
Don’t see your cleanser match? We lay out a handy guide to finding the right cleanser for your specific skin type, here!
Tip: A few days per week, spend a little extra time on your morning skin care routine to exfoliate your skin with a fine scrub—like La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub—to help eliminate dead skin cell buildup from the surface of the skin to reveal brighter-looking, more polished skin. It adds in an extra step, but the results are worth it. Trust us.
Step 2: Incorporate an Antioxidant Serum
In response to the question of whether or not serum is an arsenal must-have, the answer is a resounding yes. Serums are formulas that are often highly concentrated and consist of nutrients, vitamins, and other skin-benefitting ingredients. In addition to targeting specific skin concerns, serums can help improve the overall appearance of your complexion.
Try: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. The synergistic formulation of antioxidants in SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic helps to enhance protection against free radicals to better prevent premature signs of aging. The formula can also help reduce the look of wrinkles and reveal younger-looking skin. To discover more benefits of C E Ferulic, check out our review of the vitamin C-rich serum, here!
Step 3: Treat Your Eyes
The delicate area around your eyes is one of the first places to show visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Help to ward off the signs of premature skin aging or minimize their appearance with the help of an eye cream. Reach for a formula with SPF during the A.M. since unprotected and prolonged exposure to UV light can make wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots in the eye area more prominent and pronounced, as well as introduce more into the mix.
Try: SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50. This tone-enhancing tinted sunscreen formulated for the delicate eye area defends, enhances, and optimizes the entire eye area, including the eye lid. The eye treatment is formulated specifically for the unique structure of the thinner and more sensitive skin around the eye. It provides broad spectrum SPF 50 protection, and the formula won’t migrate into the eyes.
Step 4: Apply Moisturizer with SPF
Any time you wash your face, it’s important to reintroduce moisture back into your complexion to help avoid dry, dehydrated skin. When your skin maintains the proper moisture balance, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles can be visibly reduced. Opt for a moisturizer with built-in SPF—like Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Lotion Day Cream—to protect against harmful UV rays. This moisturizing lotion contains broad spectrum SPF 30 and vitamins E, B5, and CG. The greaseless formula provides all-day hydration to leave skin looking its best and feeling soft all day. You skin will have what it needs to help fight the visible effects of environmental skin damage. If your moisturizer doesn’t have SPF, follow up with broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Tip: Always apply SPF as the last step of your morning routine—even when it’s cloudy! Reapply at least every two hours. For the best line of protection, pair your sunscreen applications with additional sun protection measures like wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and avoiding peak sun hours.
ANTI-AGING EVENING SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Step 1: Wash Your Face
As you do in the A.M., wash your face with a gentle cleanser. You can use the same formula as the morning or opt for a new one if you wish. A few times per week, swap in an exfoliating cleanser to remove dead skin cells that can build up on the surface and give your skin a dull appearance.
Try: Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Argan Nut Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser. This daily exfoliating cleanser works double duty to brighten the look of skin and deeply cleanse. The non-drying formula is formulated with finely ground, sustainably sourced argan nut shell, antioxidant vitamin C, and multi-fruit acid to provide effective, yet gentle exfoliation. The blend helps to refine pores, even skin tone, and wash away dirt, oil and makeup in one step.
Tip: If you’re wearing heavy makeup that day, follow with toner to ensure that every last trace of cosmetics, dirt, pollution, and grime is wiped away. Try using the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner—a gentle, alcohol-free toner for all skin types—to tone, comfort, and hydrate your skin. Formulated with effective emollients like squalane, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E, this gentle facial toner is pH-balanced for optimal comfort without over-drying or stripping skin of natural oils.
Step 2: Apply Retinol
Retinol is widely regarded for anti-aging, as it’s known to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from both environmental and intrinsic aging. Incorporate a retinol product at night since it’s photosensitive and breaks down in UV light.
Try: SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5. It’s formulated with .5 percent pure retinol as well as bisabolol and can help calm the skin from the irritations that can be associated with using retinols. If you’re new to retinol, start with lower concentrations of the ingredient and gradually increase in the percentage as tolerated. For a guide on how to best use retinol in your skin care routine, read this!
Step 3: Moisturize with Night Cream
Similar to your morning routine, moisturize in the evening after cleansing your face. Instead of using your moisturizer with SPF from the A.M. (there’s no need for SPF in the evening!), reach for a night cream that’s formulated with anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, LHA, and/or retinol. Just make sure whatever you’re using is formulated for your skin type. For normal, dry, and combination skin, try Vichy Idéalia Night Cream. The formula brings restorative power to your skin’s appearance so that it looks like you had a good night's sleep. You’ll wake up to a radiant and rested-looking face.
Tip: If you’re applying pure retinol onto your skin during another step, avoid also using a night cream with retinol. Too much retinol can irritate your skin.
Step 4: Treat Your Eyes
Before bed, apply the same eye cream you used in the morning to maintain a youthful-looking appearance. If yours has SPF formulated into it, consider swapping it for another one that can help increase moisture levels and target wrinkles, dark circles, and other eye-related skin concerns. Whether you have young or mature skin, an eye cream is an important step in your skin care routine.
Try: Kiehl’s Youth Dose Eye Treatment. Formulated with Pro-Retinol, vitamin C, and red grape seed extract, this hydrating eye cream instantly smooths and brightens the appearance of the under-eye area while also helping to visibly reduce fine lines, eye puffiness, and dark circles over time. The lightweight, creamy texture absorbs quickly and smoothly allowing it to wear well alone or under makeup. To use, apply three dots under the eye area, gently patting and smoothing under the eye and along the orbital bone.
Tip: A few times a week, add an extra step to your evening skin care routine by using a face mask. A face mask can give your skin the extra TLC it needs. Try using an overnight mask, like the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask—a hydrating mask for dry skin that intensively moisturizes overnight. The mask is infused with fountain plant, glacial proteins, and desert plant extract and can help smooth and soften skin while you sleep. Can’t decide on one face mask to address your skin concerns? You can multi-mask to benefit the individual concerns on different areas of your skin.
Remember: Evening skin care products can only do so much. They cannot—we repeat: cannot—take the place of actual sleep. If you feel tired, your skin will surely show it. Get the recommended amount of shut-eye each and every night for your best-looking skin come morning. No excuses!