Alaska Sleep Education Center

5 Steps of an Ideal Bedtime Skincare Routine

Posted by Mikkie Mills on Jul 5, 2021 5:04:00 AM

middle aged woman cleaning her sking over the sink
Where nighttime skincare products are concerned, options abound. From eye cream to Vitamin-C serum to toners and primers, the choices are enough to make anyone's head spin. Are you interested in products to improve your skin but unsure how and in what order to apply them? If so, fret not. Read on to learn how to utilize your skincare products in a sequence that will maximize their benefits and leave you waking up daily with healthy, glowing skin. 

1. Cleanser            

Nighttime is your skin's opportunity to repair and renew. As such, start your night routine with a clean canvas by washing your skin regularly with a gentle facial cleanser. Use a product that rids your skin of daily impurities such as dirt, makeup, oils, and environmental pollutants. 

Additionally, double cleansing is a new and effective practice to incorporate once or twice a week. It involves first washing with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve makeup and dirt. After gently wiping away the soap with a damp washcloth, follow up by washing your face with your regular cleanser. This method is an excellent way to prime your skin for the products that follow.

2. Toner

In the past, toners carried a somewhat of a bad reputation. Dermatologists would often not recommend them to their patients with sensitive skin, as at the time, they tended to be harsh and irritating. Luckily, products today are much less abrasive and much more effective than they were in the past. Now, you can find a myriad of products to suit sensitive, dry, oily skin, or anything in between. 

Toners, also referred to as essences or boosters, serve as a delivery system for products into the skin's surface. They allow serums and moisturizers to penetrate the skin more effectively than they would alone. Further, toners restore the skin's pH balance if it alters as a result of harsh cleansers. 

If your toner comes in a spray bottle, mist your damp face lightly and evenly. If your toner or essence is in liquid form, pour a dime-sized amount on your palm, rub your hands together, and gently press the liquid into your pores. 

Often, dermatologists will prescribe several toners or boosters to be applied nightly. In this case, always use the thinnest product first, and work up to the heavier, thicker serum. Allow each layer of toner to dry before moving on to the next step.

3. Eye Cream

The skin surrounding the eyes is some of the most delicate, sensitive skin on the human body. Therefore, always treat it carefully and gently to avoid damage that could lead to premature wrinkles, discoloration, or thinning skin. 

The main functions of eye cream are to protect the delicate skin around the eyes and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Dermatologists suggest introducing eye cream to your skincare routine when you reach the age of 20. The goal is to help maintain eyelid thickness and health as you age. Further, this miracle cream acts as a barrier from your harsher, preventing your harsher, more potent products from damaging the skin around your eyes. 

That said, apply your eye cream directly following your toner application. Use your ring finger to lightly dab the salve under your eyes and on top of your eyelids. Don't forget to apply the cream to your crow's feet and carefully pat it into the inner corners of your eyes as well. 

Where eye cream is concerned, consistency is essential. Effects do not appear overnight, and doctors recommend twice-a-day applications for the quickest, most effective results. Further, consider using an eye cream containing SPF during the day to protect the fragile skin from the sun's harsh rays.

4. Serums and Peels 

As mentioned earlier, your skin does the majority of its repairing at night when you are asleep. For this reason, it is best to apply the most targeted, type-specific skincare products at night. 

Dermatologists recommend several products to their patients depending on each person's specific skin concerns. If a patient complains of fine lines and wrinkles, a doctor might prescribe a retinol cream or an anti-aging serum. Similarly, when acne is present, dermatologists often recommend prescription-strength gels or creams to treat stubborn breakouts. 

While many individuals may benefit from a host of targeted products, that does not mean that they should apply all of them nightly. Often these treatments are particularly potent, and layering one on top of the other could cause excessive irritation, dryness, or sensitivity. That said, specialists recommended assessing your skin's daily needs and applying what you feel it needs most at that moment. 

There are several matters to consider when it comes to layering serums and peels. If you use acne medications and also enjoy a thorough exfoliation, choose only one. The combination can result in highly irritated skin. If you use retinol creams, avoid using them in conjunction with exfoliating treatments as well. Retinol creams thin the skin and improve cell turnover, so combining a harsh exfoliant could result in redness, peeling, or other types of skin damage. Finally, where exfoliation is concerned, use sparingly. While they effectively remove dead skin cells and prime the skin's surface for targeted products, exfoliating more than once or twice a week will cause more harm than good. 

5. Night Cream

While some people choose to use the same moisturizer during the day and at night, night creams provide an extra boost of moisture and hydration for your skin. Further, they are more concentrated, thicker, and intended to absorb into the skin over several hours.

The primary function of night cream is to serve as a protective layer over the skin's surface. You already applied toner, eye cream, and serums, so this moisturizer seals them into your skin while you sleep. Additionally, it prevents water from evaporating during the night, keeping it soft, supple, and hydrated. The more water your skin contains, the healthier it will look and feel. Therefore, use a heavy cream every night to prevent moisture loss and product displacement.

If you have dry skin, consider adding a hydrating oil to your face prior to your night cream application. This extra layer of moisture will give your skin a boost of hydration and a glowy, dewy appearance. Apply oil much the same as you apply essence. Place a few drops in your palms, rub your hands together, and gently press the oil into the skin's pores.

Remember that timing matters as well as product order. Give each layer of skin care ample time to soak in before applying the subsequent product. Rushing the process lessens product efficacy, wasting time and money. Taking your time and correctly spacing products will maximize their benefits and keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. 

If you still find yourself having missing out on sleep even after practicing good sleep habits, you may want to talk to your doctor about your sleep problems and to schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist.  At the Alaska Sleep Clinic we treat hundreds of patients throughout Alaska for various sleep disorders including: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and more.  Click the link below to receive more information regarding scheduling a sleep study.

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Topics: beauty sleep, skin

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