If you want glowing and clear skin, having a night skincare routine is crucial! In this post we share the daily steps and what order to apply products, plus our top natural, non-toxic skincare picks for anti-aging and acne concerns.
This post had been updated in June 2022 since is was first published to reflect product updates and changes to our routines!
Welcome back to the #betterforyoucrew series! Today we are sharing about our night skincare routine and we’ve teamed up with our girls Suzi from Gurl Gone Green, Lisa from This Organic Girl, Caroline from Olive You Whole, Kristina from Love & Zest, and Sarah from Whoorl to highlight green, yet effective food, beauty and lifestyle products that are rocking our natural mama worlds. This series will publish the last week of every month so check back for the latest. You can also search #betterforyoucrew on our blogs and Instagram to access the entire series (see The Best Natural Hair Care Products and 20 Healthy Kitchen Essentials to check out previous month’s topics). Wanna join in? Tag #betterforyoucrew on social with your picks. We want to see your faves, too!
We're back with one of our favorite topics here at R+R: natural, clean beauty!
We've shared some of our favorite products in posts like 105 Non-Toxic, Natural Beauty Products That Actually Work, and The Best Natural Acne Treatments + Products, and Our Top Picks from Beautycounter.
But how do you put that all together into a skincare routine? What do you first? Last? When and how do you exfoliate? Where and when do masks come in? When do you use an oil vs. a moisturizer, or an oil-based cleanser vs. a water-based cleanser?
Is your head spinning yet?!
Don't worry–we've broken it down step-by-step in this post, so regardless of what products and brands you already have at home, you can make sense of it and maximize your results once you know how to put everything together.
If you're looking for product recommendations, well we've got those too, of course!
We've focused on how to create a night skincare routine in this post, because typically people use more products in the evenings since our skin has been full with makeup and exposed to environmental toxins all day–so having a nighttime routine is critical! But fear not, we'll also mention how we tweak this routine when it's time to rise and shine.
What order do I apply my night skincare routine?
This is a common question, and rightfully confusing with so many products in our arsenals! Regardless of what specific brands you use, here's the best order to optimize your results:
- Remove makeup: this is important for obvious reasons! Choose between a balm, oil-based cleanser or makeup wipes (or make your own DIY makeup remover)
- Water-based cleanser: This step is optional, but double cleansing by washing your face to remove impurities can be helpful if your makeup remover doesn't quite get everything
- Exfoliate one to three times per week: gets rid of dead skin cells, promoting cell turnover and renewal
- Add a mask (optional, a few times per week): to treat problem areas, boost your glow through vitamins and minerals, add hydration, etc.
- Toner: balances your pH and preps for next steps
- Spot treatments: if necessary
- Serums or Overnight Treatments: tailored for your specific needs
- Eye cream: plumps skin while minimizing dark circles or wrinkles
- Night cream or moisturizer: locks in moisture, seals your skin, and allows it to repair overnight
It may look like a lot of products here, but some are optional or not needed every single night. Essential you want to cleanse, prep, treat, and protect the skin, in that order, every single day.
Perhaps the most important thing? Consistency! You've got to be committed to doing this every night if you want to see results.
We know… sometimes it's the last thing on Earth we feel like doing at the end of a long day, so on those nights, you can skip the extras. Just be sure you're always at least removing makeup. Even better if you can tone, treat and moisturize for protection and healing.
We also try to do this a little earlier in the evening (like after dinner) when I still have energy, vs. waiting until we're dog tired late at night and all we can think about is getting some shut-eye.
Our Night Skincare Routine and Favorite Natural Products
Here's what our night skincare routine has looked liked:
- MAKEUP REMOVER: We're absolutely addicted to Leahlani’s Pamplemousse Tropical Enzyme Cleansing Oil. It smells INCREDIBLE, gets off all our makeup, while gently exfoliating and brightening the skin. We swap between that and Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm, alternating nights or based on what our skin needs. The balm is a bit more hydrating and contains radiance-boosting vitamin C, whereas the enzyme oil is a bit more exfoliating due to pineapple and papaya enzymes. Sometimes if we're feeling lazy, we’ll use these makeup remover wipes (they’re bio-degradable and seriously get rid of every last trace of makeup). We also like True Botanicals' Nourishing Cleanser.
- CLEANSER: Honestly, we don't often use a water-based cleanser after the oil cleansing as it works wonders for the skin… but sometimes, if our skin still feels grimy or we've had a particularly toxic day, we'll double cleanse with Countermatch Pure Calm Cleansing Milk (great for hydration!) or Beautycounter’s Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser. Not only does it remove all our makeup, and without harshly stripping the skin of its natural oils, but jojoba beads gently exfoliate and clean out the pores. We usually save this for cleansing in the shower, often after a workout.
- EXFOLIATOR: NOTHING makes our skin as silky smooth as Goop Glow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator, and it only takes 5 minutes. We usually put it on while we brush our teeth. Made with natural alpha and beta hydroxy acids, plant-based cellulose beads and 86% USDA-certified organic ingredients, it’s amazing how effective this treatment is! We also switch it up and mix in Leahlani’s Honey Love Exfoliator, which leaves our skin unbelievably soft and clear!
- MASKS: There are lots of options here depending on what our skin needs that day; some favorites are Beautycounter's Charcoal Mask when our skin is congested or broken out; Leahlani’s Mermaid Mask–a superfood mask for the ultimate glow; Laurel Skincare’s Honey Berry Enzyme Mask–which plumps, brightens, and firms the skin; and Laurel's Brighten Mask–perfect to balance out discoloration and heal acne scars.
- TONER: Once again, we alternate between two products, depending on what our skin needs. If we're broken out, we reach for True Botanicals Clear Nutrient Toner, which is super gentle and yet a super effective antibacterial toner that clears acne and congestion. It also balances out the oil in your skin (unlike traditional acne astringent which actually strips your skin of oils and causes it to produce more sebum leading to more breakouts!). The other toner is Leahlani's Bohemian Ruby Toner which is super nurturing for when our skin is feeling sensitive. It provides enriching moisture and calming hydration, and gently balances redness and inflammation. Like all their products it also smells amazing!
- SERUMS + TREATMENTS: #1 hands down is True Botanicals Repair Nightly Treatment (we also mix in the Vitamin C Booster at night). Nothing gets rid of acne and scarring like this combo! It fights infection and clears congestion thanks to black willow bark extract, while strengthening and hydrating your skin with hyaluronic acid. And Vitamin C is the #1 way to brighten and lighten skin–this powder is the most potent form, as liquid form vitamin C loses its potency. It’s mixed with ferulic acid, which also stimulates collagen ( leads to less wrinkles!)! Seriously one of our very favorite beauty products of all time.
We also recently got turned onto Laurel Skincare and we're addicted to their Anti-Inflammatory Serum, which is perfect when we have active breakouts. It’s a concentrated moisturizer, serum, and elemental defense oil in one, getting to the root cause (inflammation) of all secondary skin symptoms; including but not limited to cystic acne, rosacea, redness, broken capillaries, excessive dryness, loss of elasticity, and hyper-pigmentation.
- NIGHT CREAMS + MOISTURIZERS: Laurel Skincare’s Restore Nightly Balm. OMG we totally get why this balm is such a cult favorite. This nightly balm has the most beautiful orange hue thanks to potent, raw, unrefined botanicals, it melts into the skin, deeply repairing cellular free radical damage and restoring vibrancy. It’s one of the most advanced anti-aging products we’ve ever used and because it’s so phytonutrient dense, we wake up with buttery soft glowing skin. Tip: you can apply a heavier layer of this at night and use it as a mask. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse. Sometimes we alternate with Beautycounter’s Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream. It’s silly, but we love the pump dispenser that gives you the exact amount you should apply when pressed. And then, of course, the advanced blend of hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum creates a protective layer to help replenish hydration and revitalize skin while you sleep—so skin looks youthfully smoother, softer, and more radiant in the morning. YAAAAS!
- EYE CREAM: Beautycounter’s Ultra Renewal Eye Cream for puffiness and wrinkle reduction
What are the essentials in your night skincare routine? Let us know in the comments below!
LIKE THIS? CHECK OUT OUR FRIENDS’ NATURAL NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINES HERE:
- Natural Nighttime Skincare Routine from Gurl Gone Green
- Natural Evening Skincare Routine for Mature Skin from This Organic Girl
- My Evening Skincare Routine from Whoorl
- My Clean Nighttime Skincare Routine from Olive You Whole
- Nighttime Skincare Routine from Love & Zest