The Best Nighttime Skin Care Routine, According to a Top Dermatologist
Could your nighttime skin care routine use some work? We tapped a board-certified dermatologist and skincare.com consultant to share her best nighttime skin care routine. Read on for her tips!
When nighttime rolls around, we all have our go-to rituals, whether it be cozying-up with a great book, watching TV, or—in our case—reaching for the best nighttime skin care products. Are you really surprised? A thorough nighttime skin care routine is important for many reasons, one of the most important being that as we are enjoying deep sleep, our skin is working to repair and renew itself. By following a routine and applying nighttime skin care products to target our key concerns before catching some Zzz’s, we can help set our skin up for success.
To share with us the best steps to follow and products to use at night, we went straight to a pro. Board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman shares her best nighttime skin care routine, ahead! Get ready to take notes.
WHY YOU NEED A NIGHTTIME SKIN CARE ROUTINE
As mentioned above, it’s during deep sleep that your skin undergoes natural self-repair. In addition to getting the recommended amount of shut-eye, it’s equally important to ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed while it works on regeneration. Failing to follow a proper nighttime skin care regimen could potentially leave your skin looking worse in due time. After all, it’s called beauty sleep for a reason.
Step 1: Cleanse…Twice
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the popular K-beauty ritual,. The double-cleansing method is a great practice to incorporate into your nighttime skin care routine to help ensure that all of the day’s dirt and makeup have been effectively removed from skin’s surface.
“In the evening, it’s all about removing the day’s makeup and dirt from your face,” Dr. Engelman explains. To do so, she follows a double-cleansing ritual every night. “Step one involves removing the day's cream, makeup, and dirt with a nutrient-rich towelette,” she says. Makeup-removing towelettes are an easy, fuss-free way to remove impurities on the surface of the skin in a pinch. (Psst—Need a makeup remover wipe rec? We share our favorite drugstore makeup remover wipes, here.)
Step two? Cleansing with a liquid cleanser. “Next, help draw out excess sebum and additional impurities using a gentle oil cleanser and lukewarm water,” Dr. Engelman says. Why oil, you ask? Most oil cleansers can gently and effectively melt away impurities like makeup and excess sebum without drying out your skin.
Step 2: Exfoliate Regularly
After double cleansing, if her skin is feeling dull, Dr. Engelman reaches for a gentle exfoliating cleanser. “The complexion looks radiant when it’s smooth enough to reflect light,” she explains, “But when dead cells pile up, those layers can diffuse that light and thus make the skin appear dull.” Exfoliating regularly can help buff away dead skin cells to promote a glowing, smooth complexion.
Editor’s note: If you have sensitive skin, be sure to reach for an exfoliating formula that is suitable for your skin type. When in doubt, talk to your dermatologist or a skin care specialist.
Step 3: Apply Serum
Up next: Anti-aging serums. Dr. Engelman reaches for one that’s formulated to help prevent and correct the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while improving the texture and tone of the complexion. She then follows with a prescription retinoid. “These vitamin A derivatives are the ultimate multi-taskers,” she explains. If you’re curious about retinoids and want to incorporate one into your nightly routine, be sure to read our beginner’s guide to using them, here!
Important: Retinol/retinoids are powerful. Before use, talk to your dermatologist to ensure you’re a good candidate. When using retinol, start at a lower concentration first and slowly work your way up to build your skin’s tolerance. Start by using retinol once or twice a week, gradually increasing frequency as needed to every other day, or every night. Just be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every morning, as retinol can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
Step 4: Hydrate Your Skin
You’re at the home stretch! After cleansing and smoothing on your favorite serums, it’s time to hydrate your skin. “The skin can lose a lot of water while you sleep,” Dr. Engelman says, “So I like to use hydrating products that are specifically formulated for overnight use, like an overnight mask.” No matter what formula you use—think: a gel hydrator, a rich cream, or an overnight mask—moisturizing the skin is an absolute must for me. With so many formulations out there that can target specific skin types and concerns at every price point, there’s bound to be a moisturizer-match out there for you. To lend a helping hand, we’re sharing four night creams for every budget, here!