Does My Skin Care Routine Need to Differ From Day Versus Night?

Simply put, yes it is imperative your skin care routine be different in the morning than at night – or at least for a few products. The reason why you have to use a different routine in the morning than at night is because your skin has different needs during the day than when you are asleep at night.

During the day, your skin is in a high level of stress. It’s exposed to makeup, excessive oil production, dirt, bacteria (from touching your skin all day with or without realizing it), UV exposure, pollutants, and other environmental elements. Because of this stress, harmful free radicals are damaging your skin cells and causing wear and tear to your skin’s collagen and the cells’ DNA. Because of this, it is important to use skin care products that will provide proper defense for your skin to control the stress and help prevent damage to your skin.  During the day, because of the environmental stresses on the skin, your skin needs potent antioxidant vitamins to not only suppress free radicals, but also to boost skin protection. You also need a good sunblock moisturizer to protect your skin from damaging UV rays. I personally love and use Daily Protection SPF 30.

The truth of the matter is the majority of skin aging occurs during the daytime…

Read: The Free Radical Theory of Aging

Did you know? According to the medical journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a study concluded that sunscreen is the most biologically active anti-aging ingredient in skin care products.

Read: What’s The World’s Best Anti-Aging Product?

What your skin needs during the day:

Step 1: In the morning, wash your skin with a mild, sulfate-free cleansing gel to rid the skin of your previous nighttime skin care products, as well as any sebum residue that was released on the skin while you slept. See the Renée Rouleau sulfate-free cleansing gels.

Read: Is Washing Your Face in the Morning Necessary?

Step 2: Apply an alcohol-free toner to the skin to remove cleanser residue and provide hydration and nourishment to the skin cells. See the Renée Rouleau alcohol-free toners.

Step 3: Apply an antioxidant serum to the face, neck, and any exposed chest area like our Vitamin C&E Complex.

Step 4: Apply a sunscreen (minimum of SPF 30) to the entire face, neck, chest, ears, and any other exposed areas. I love our Daily Protection SPF 30.

Step 5: Apply mineral-based powder makeup like ColoreScience SPF 50 Mineral Powder to provide added sun-protecting benefits to the skin. Apply eye cream (optional).

What your skin needs at night:

At night, your skin is in its reparative state, because while you sleep, your skin is at rest and is not being exposed to the environmental stressors that age the skin. I truly believe that by washing your skin at night and performing a nighttime specific routine, you can really help repair your skin and help to control how quickly your skin ages.

Read: Five Reasons to Wash Your Face at Night

Since your skin is not exposed to the environment, the focus should be on providing hydration and nourishment to the skin cells to help keep your skin’s moisture barrier intact to retain proper moisture levels in the skin. Your skin cells are like fish, they need water to live, and when they do not have the hydration they so desperately need to maintain health, your skin will not look its best – and won’t act its best either.

Read: How to Wash Your Face

Did you know? Studies confirmed the simple act of applying moisturizer daily to a pregnant woman’s belly can help prevent stretch marks, compared to those who did not. So if applying moisturizer can help prevent something as traumatic as tearing of the skin (which results in stretch marks) imagine the impact moisturizer can have on the health of your skin!

Your skin needs anti-aging ingredients to encourage collagen formation, so at night, your routine needs to be:

Step 1: Wash with a mild cleansing lotion to remove the day’s dirt, oil, bacteria, and makeup. Rinse well. See the Renée Rouleau cleansing lotions.

Step 2: Apply an alcohol-free toner to remove cleanser residue and provide hydration and nourishment to the skin cells. See the Renée Rouleau alcohol-free toners.

Step 3: Use a nighttime specific anti-aging serum to the face, neck, and chest area to help nourish and repair the skin and its cells. See the Renée Rouleau specialty serums.

Step 4: Apply a nighttime moisturizer suited for your skin type to help hydrate your skin cells. Apply to the face and neck. See the Renée Rouleau moisturizers.

Step 5: Apply a lightweight eye cream to provide essential hydration to the delicate skin around the eye.

By treating your skin with what it needs both morning and night, you are sure to get both healthy and glowing skin.

Which products are right for your skin? See our nine skin types and get products recommended.

For more expert skin advice, check out Skin Source–the A-Z guide on all things skin. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and like our Facebookpage. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time!

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  1. Hi Renee! I love your blog and thank you for the informative article. I was wondering if I should use a vit c serum or an anti oxidant serum or both?! With so many options its very confusing.

    Posted By: Lavanya  | 

    • Renée Rouleau

      Hi Lavanya! An antioxidant serum should generally have vitamin C in it and vitamin c is what is ideal for use in the daytime. To get the best benefits, look for a serum that contains both vitamin c and e (like our Vitamin C&E Complex) because researchers have determined that when both vitamin c and e is used under sunscreen, it actually provides four times the protection of sunscreen alone! -Renée

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  2. Hey RR,
    Do you recommend using a lightweight night cream for summer, as well as a lightweight sunscreen?

    Posted By: Jabeen  | 

    • Renée Rouleau

      Yes, lightweight is always the vest way to go, especially if your skin is oily.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 


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