Evening skincare can really be where it all goes right, or all goes wrong. It’s worth understanding a few basic principles in terms of the skincare steps and ingredients you should be looking for from your pm skincare. Your evening routine should include a different combination then your morning routine. Although there can be some crossover on hydration.
The key points to consider in the evening are…
- Cleansing – Oil Based (and sometimes water too)
- Acids – AHA and BHA
- Hydration – Hyaluronic Acid
- Renewal – Retinol
Rather like the morning routine you can find these components in a multitude of different products. So it is worth reviewing the products that you already have and checking if they already include some of these ingredients.
In the evening it really is vital to have a proper Cleanse to remove the skincare, SPF and any make-up that you’ve been wearing during the day. Failing to remove the day property can result in all the following products failing to penetrate or work efficiently. Only an oil cleanse will properly remove everything. Depending on the oil product you use you may also need to follow this with a water based cleanser (micealler water or foam cleanse). This helps to remove any unwanted residue, and reset the pH of your skin.
Exfoliating is key to glowy, soft and plump skin. Gone are the days were large grainy scrubs were the most efficient products. Now we look to AHA and BHA Acids. Acids can decrease inflammation, acne, rosacea, and other skin concerns. They can decrease the appearance of surface wrinkles, even your skin-tone, improve your overall skin texture, as well as unclog pores and remove dead skin cells. AHA’s are water-soluble and work more on the surface of your skin (your skin will feel smoother to the touch after using them). If you’re looking for dry skin relief and anti-ageing benefits try an AHA (Glycolic, Lactic, Tartaric, Malic, Mandelic) BHA’s are oil soluble and go deeper into your pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. If you’re looking to treat acne and sun damage it’s the BHAs you want to ensure to include (Salicylic).
As with the morning routine all skin benefits from pure hydration, which is where Hyaluronic Acid comes in.
You can think of Retinol as the partner of SPF for your evening routine. Retinol is another term for Vitamin A. This is a key ingredient in your skincare routine, as much as SPF is, in terms of preventing unnecessary ageing. Retinol is a type of retinoid which is made from Vitamin A. The small molecules that make up Retinol go deep beneath the outer layer of your skin. It is here that Retinol helps neutralise free radicals to boost the production of elastin and collagen (this creates a plumping affect and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as diminishing the appearance of large pores). At the same time Retinol has an exfoliating effect on the skin surface which can help improve texture and tone. For this reason Retinol can help to treat severe acne and scarring. Retinol has also been proven to balance your skin’s hydration levels. However Retinol does make your skin more sensitive to sun which is why it needs to be applied in the evenings, and followed by an SPF in the morning. It is normal to have a slight reaction to Retinol when you first introduce it in your skincare routine. In order to reduce these affects apply the product only once a week increasing to twice and eventually every day of the week once your skin has adjusted to it.
You should avoid using actives (Acids and Retinol) if you are pregnant or on open skin, eczema etc.
In general you want to apply your skincare from the thinnest (lightest water) to the thickest (heavy cream) texture. This is the general order for a basic Evening skincare routine. You can include the starred steps (*) if you would like to get a bit more into skincare.
- Oil Cleanse
- Water Cleanse
- *Eye Cream
- *Face Oil
- Face Cream
- *Lip Balm
- *LED Light Treatment
I would recommend the following arrangement of ingredients and products…
- CLEANSE – I like Eve Lom Balm to Oil style cleansers in the evening to remove the day (Eve Lom Cleanser, Omorovicza Cleansing Balm, Clinique Take the Day off).
- WATER CLEANSE -I find if I use Eve Lom cleanser I don’t need a second step but some of the others (and oilier skin types) could benefit from being followed by a Foam cleanse or Micellar water. (Fresh Soy Cleanser, La Mer Foam Cleanser, Elemis Biotec Skin Energising Cleanser, Dr Sebagh Foaming Cleanser, Decorté Phytotune Foaming Wash, By Terry Micellar, La Roche-Posay Micellar, Drunk Elephant Milki Micellar, La Mer Micellar Water)
- *TONE – This is optional, but I like to tone with a mild acid as I have sensitive skin. If you have breakout prone skin you can add a probiotic or salicylic acid. I normally use these as I feel my skin needs them. If I look at my skin and it feels a bit more textured or there are breakouts I add this step. (La Mer Tonic, SkinCeuticals Blemish+Age Toner, Pixi Glow Tonic Pads, Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel, Eve Lom Rescue Peel Pads, )
- SERUM – This is where layering really comes in. I like to layer serums up. The only thing I don’t layer over each other is actives. So I will not use an acid and retinol in the same night. If you have used an acid in the previous step don’t use a retinol serum or cream. I always add a hydrating serum or mist first, then I follow with retinol and any multi benefit serums I like. (Revive Mist, Skincueticals Hydrating B5, Bioeffect EGF serum, Sensai Micro Mousse, Skincueticals Retinol, Murad Retinol, Alpha H Liquid Gold Serum, Cle de Peau The Serum, Cle de Peau Firming Serum, La Mer Lifting Contour Serum, Estee Lauder ANR, La Mer Concentrate)
- *EYE CREAM – I really love to use an eye cream, I feel my skin is hugely benefits from the massage and product. (La Mer Eye Concentrate, Sisley Black Rose Eye Cream)
- *FACE OIL – This is an optional step. I find oil is quite divisive. You love or hate it. All good face oils are noncomedogenic so you need not fear them clogging your pores and creating breakouts. In fact they work with your skins oils to benefit it. They are great to include if you want to do some facial massage too. (Eve Lom Radiance Face Oil, La Mer Face Oil, Drunk Elephant Marula Oil, Sisely Black Rose Oil)
- FACE CREAM – I love a richer cream in the evenings. This allows for my skin to really boost overnight. I think night creams are the hero product of any routine. It’s really where you feel the luxury of a product and get the feel good factor. I swap in and out products depending on my skin needs each day. If I am dry in the winter I go for a oil based cold cream feel, in the summer I would go more with a gel formula. If I am sensitive I add in a cream to battle that etc. (La Mer Creme and Soft Cream, Cle De Peau The Cream, Cle De Peau Intensive Fortifying Cream, Sensai Cellular Performance Extra Intensive Mask, SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer, Eve Lom Moisture Mask, La Prairie Sleep Mask)
- LIP BALM – I can’t go to sleep without a good lip balm. I keep them by my bed for just before sleep application. I like to wear thicker ones that last all night. (Sensai Lip Treatment, Ilia Lip Wrap, La Mer Lip Balm, Clinique Moisture Surge Lip Treatment, Dr Sam’s Flawless Lip)
- *LED LIGHT TREATMENT – This is an expensive product to invest in but I love to use mine before bed. I find it relaxes me, preps me for sleep and noticeably improves my skin. Red light stimulates collagen proteins to promote fuller smoother skin (from wrinkles, stretch marks etc). It also reduces inflammation and improves glow. (The Light Salon Bib, MZ Skin Light Therapy, Cellreturn Mask, Dr Dennis Gross Pro LED Device)
These are by no means the only options just my most used ones currently. There are other steps that can be added in as you get more and more into skincare but this is a good starting point.