For healthy skin, you need to follow an effective day and nighttime skin care routine. That routine may have numerous steps. On top of those steps, there are also hundreds of different all-natural skin care products to choose from. And if you don’t use the right products for your skin type or use them in the wrong order, you’ll waste your time and money and might end up needing a costly trip to a dermatologist.
Follow our daily step-by-step skin care routine for morning and night to get a youthful, glowing complexion naturally.
Morning Skin Care Routine
Your morning skin care routine is all about protection. You want the products you use to protect your face from the sun, pollutants, and other elements you’ll face during the day.
Step 1: Cleanser
Any of those all-natural skin care products you apply to your face in the morning will be ineffective if they’re not applied to a clean face. Use a gentle, but deep, cleanser in the morning that benefits your skin type and removes pollutants you came into contact with at night (from your bedding) and any leftover makeup from the day before.
Step 2: Toner
Today’s toners won’t irritate your skin like old ones used to. They’re kinder to your skin and made to do a variety of things, like hydrate dry skin, chemically exfoliate acne-prone skin, restore skin, and prep your skin for the next product (serum).
Step 3: Serum
It may be one of the smallest bottles on your vanity, but face serums do the heavy lifting with your daily skin care routine. In the morning, use an antioxidant-packed face serum. Vitamin C serum is one of the best natural face serums to use in the a.m. because it protects your skin from free radicals, reduces under-eye color, makes your skin look younger, and more.
Step 4: Eye Cream
It’s probably no surprise to you that your under-eye area is the most delicate part of your face—it’s also where you first start showing signs of aging. This is why it’s not only important to apply eye cream every day, but to do it gently. Use your ring finger and lightly tap it on, working from your outer eye inward. Never pull or tug. Also, note that eye cream comes before moisturizer. That’s because it’s a lighter cream than moisturizers, and the rule of thumb with the order of your skin care routine is to use your lighter products first.
Step 5: Moisturizer
This step is one of the most crucial, as your moisturizer will hydrate your skin and help lock in all the previous products you’ve just applied. Find a gentle, lightweight moisturizer so your skin feels nourished without feeling greasy or heavy. If you don’t plan on applying sunscreen with SPF later on in the day, use a moisturizer with at least SPF 30 in it. Make sure after applying moisturizer to let it soak into your skin for about five minutes before applying makeup.
Step 6: Sunscreen
Finish your morning skin care routine off with a little sunscreen with SPF. No matter the time of year, make this step a morning habit. It’s what protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Nighttime Skin Care Routine
Your skin has different needs in the evening than it does in the morning. While protection was key in the morning, correction should be your focus at night. So the order you apply your all-natural skin care products is slightly different at night, as well as the types of products you will need to use.
Step 1: Cleanser
Don’t sleep with makeup on. We’re sure you’ve heard this phrase hundreds of times. That’s because you need to take the same time and care of putting on makeup as you do taking it off. Some women choose to double cleanse at night, using a makeup remover and then cleansing with a face wash.
Step 2: Serum
A hyaluronic acid serum is a great nighttime serum choice. It hydrates your skin by pulling water into your skin from the air.
Step 3: Eye Cream
Like most women, you probably itch and rub your eyes a lot throughout the day. You may not even realize how much you do it. Help reduce the under-eye bags and dark circles and repair your skin barrier by tapping some hydrating eye cream on under your eyes.
Step 4: Moisturizer
Use a richer moisturizer at night; one that’s thicker and meant to be absorbed over several hours. But make sure your night cream is one that’s oil-free so you don’t add to the oils your body already produces naturally as you sleep. An anti-aging or firming night cream is always a good nighttime choice, especially the older you get. Whatever you use, it should nourish your skin all night so you wake up to a bright, even complexion in the morning.
Step 6: Retinol
Want to reduce the appearance of your wrinkles? Better yet, want to defy the laws of aging? Then don’t skip using retinol in your nighttime skin care routine order. A form of Vitamin A, retinol promotes collagen production, smoothes fine lines, and fades dark spots. If you’ve never used retinol before, ease it into your routine. Some women use a retinol serum to regenerate their skin at night, so instead of it being the last step, they may apply it during nighttime’s step 2.
Bonus Step: Exfoliate
Gentle exfoliation, whether done with an exfoliating facial scrub or peel, removes dead skin cells and debris off the surface of your face while also rejuvenating your skin and giving it a radiant glow. But it’s something you only want to do 1-3 times a week, after cleansing your face and before moisturizing it, which is why it’s our bonus step. Also, there’s some debate about when you should exfoliate. Some women do it in the morning, while others are nighttime exfoliators. It really depends on your skin and habits. For instance, if you have oily skin or your face looks a little dull in the morning, exfoliate when you wake up. But if you wear makeup all day every day, then you probably want to exfoliate at night to get rid of any lingering makeup particles.
Your Skin, Your Skin Care
These skin care routines should work for everyone, but it’s important to remember that skin care routines can vary based on skin type, skin issues, season, the climate you live in, and what elements your skin comes in contact with during the day or night. Be sure you’re using the all-natural skin care products and following the skin care routine order that works for you and is kind to your skin.