Quickly swiping a makeup wipe over your face before bed no longer cuts it when it comes to being good to your skin. Skincare isn’t rocket science, but there is a science to applying your skin care products in the proper order to ensure that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. And what better time to give your skin a dose of TLC than when you’re settling down each night for some R&R?
Your skin naturally repairs itself at night, so your nighttime routine should be giving your skin a dose of what it needs to help reveal an incredible glow by morning.
So what’s the right order of application? Follow these seven simple steps:
Step 1: Cleanse
When it comes to cleansing, make it a double: Between makeup, sweat, and environmental pollutants that can clog your pores, it’s tough to remove it all in one fell swoop. It’s a myth that you need to shampoo twice to cleanse your scalp, but for your skin, you’ll only reap greater benefits.
First, take off your makeup with makeup remover, cleansing oil, or a cleansing wipe, then wash your face with a gentle foam or gel cleanser. With a clean slate, all of the products you’ll be layering on will be able to absorb and do their thing that much better.
Step 2: Toner
Next, let’s even out your skin tone. Toner will remove any lingering grime that survived the double cleansing sesh, and will also help restore your skin’s pH levels for a more even complexion. With a balanced pH, you’ll establish a hydrated base upon which all subsequent products will better absorb. Toner will also help tighten cell gaps after cleansing, keeping impurities out while keeping natural oils in. So set the tone for fresh skin with a toned foundation.
Step 3: Spot Treatment
Pimple-prone babes can apply their spot treatment next. If there are too many layers between the active ingredients (like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) and your skin, they won’t be able to kill acne-causing bacteria or unclog pores.
“Spot treatment” doesn’t only refer to creams and pastes. This step also includes face masks, like sheet masks or peel-off masks. Anything that removes blemishes or rough spots will need to start taking effect before any additional products can.
Step 4: Wait, then Serum
The order of application is important, but if you don’t give the ingredients in each product ample time to sink in, they can’t work properly. So wait at least 1-5 minutes after applying your spot treatment (and in between each step moving forward) to give it time to react with the skin. Then, apply your serum.
Serums are lightweight and made up of small molecules that are absorbed deep into the skin. So if you’re hoping to target a specific issue--such as dullness, fine lines, or age spots--choosing the right serum is crucial. Serums are highly concentrated, so a little dab will do you (or, a pump the size of two pomegranate seeds).
Step 5: Eye Cream
The skin around the eye is super thin, and its delicate nature makes it highly susceptible to premature wrinkles. The answer is yes, you do need to use eye cream (doesn’t matter what the question was).
Eye creams can brighten under eyes, reduce puffiness, and add an extra hit of moisture where you need it most. Choose a formula containing hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which will draw in and then maintain moisture, as well as vitamins C and E to aid in collagen production, skin elasticity, and keeping the area soothed and protected. Lightly tap on your eye cream with your ring finger, which will apply the least amount of pressure to the sensitive area. Be sure to hit the inner and outer corners of the eye, as well as the brow bone.
Step 6: Moisturizer
You shouldn’t skip any of these important steps, but if all else fails, you must moisturize! Hydrated skin is glowing skin, and what Bikini Babe doesn’t value a gorgeous glow? The key is choosing the right formula for your skin type. For dry skin, choose a moisturizer containing natural oils like jojoba or safflower seed oil, which will soften and repair without leaving your face a greasy mess. Acne-prone or oily babes should reach for a gel formula that contains green tea, which will prevent further irritation.
Saving moisturizer for almost-last will lock in all the ingredients that were previously layered under it, creating a cushioned barrier that gives every product the opportunity to get to work.
Step 7: Oil
Face oils sound scary. Won’t adding oil to your face basically guarantee a breakout? Aren’t you just asking for a ruined pillowcase?
No and no.
The small molecular structure of face oils allows them to penetrate deeper into your skin and continue to hydrate it through the night. Oil needs to go last because, similarly to moisturizer, it will create a protective barrier on your skin and keep the good stuff contained. It’s extremely difficult for many of the beneficial ingredients in serums, eye creams, and the like to penetrate an oily layer, but they’re given the opportunity to do their thing when trapped in by a light face oil.
Seven steps will take some getting used to, but when you wake up to gorgeous, clear skin with an unmistakable luminescence, you’ll know it’s worth the extra time. Are you ready to give this seven-step PM skincare routine a try?
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