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Nighttime vs Morning Skin Care Routine: 4 Key Differences

by @Author_Heather
Mar 23, 2022


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Finding a skin care routine that works for you requires an awareness not just of the different products out there but of the unique and changing demands of your skin. Otherwise, you might get lost in an endless sea of skin care questions and skin care products or routines.

At first, I thought skin type was the only important factor in determining what my skin needs. However, as my skin care journey progressed, I learned that I should also consider factors like changes in season and how my skin’s condition shifts from day to night.

This article will focus on the differences between daytime and nighttime skin care. We’ll also learn how exactly our skin’s needs change throughout the day. And we’ll discuss the differences between an evening and a morning skin care routine.

Morning skin care routine vs nighttime skin care routine

In the morning, your priority should be protecting your skin from all the UV rays and pollution you’ll encounter once you step out into the sun. Plus, cleansing your face in the morning gets rid of your nighttime products as well as any bacteria and dirt you may have gotten from your pillows and sheets.

On the other hand, your evening skin care routine should focus on pampering your skin after a long, tiring day, and any exposure to dirt, dust, and pollution. Your nighttime regimen should prep and help your skin cells in time for the regenerative process that takes place during sleep.

With that in mind, let’s look at four important differences between evening and morning skin care.

Differences between morning and evening skincare

The primary differences between an evening and morning skin care routine are your priorities and the products you have to use. But the order of steps in each routine is the same: cleansing, moisturizing, and adding products for protection or repair. Now, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty.

Sun protection in the morning

Let’s get the most obvious difference out of the way. In the daytime, it’s crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays before going out. Even if you’re staying indoors, sun protection is necessary, especially if you’re sitting near or across a window. Make sure to get an SPF of 30. Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 is a good choice if you want a lightweight, makeup-friendly SPF that gives you a pretty glow. I prefer sunscreen that leaves no cast at all, so I like their Unseen Sunscreen better. If you have combination or acne-prone skin, you can try Coola’s Sport Classic SPF 50.

Day cleansing vs night cleansing

In the morning, it’s alright to use light and gentle cleansers like the ones from Cetaphil or Glow Recipe. But at night, you’ll need a cleanser that will be able to get rid of makeup, pollutants, and dirt that accumulated under your skin throughout the day. This is precisely why some people prefer to double-cleanse at night, though it can be done twice a day. Start with an oil-based cleanser and then finish off with a gentle cleanser to remove leftover impurities. The DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is great for removing makeup and hydrating the skin at the same time.

Day moisturizers vs night moisturizers

Daytime moisturizers tend to be more lightweight than nighttime moisturizers. That’s because makeup and other products usually go on top of your daytime moisturizer. Meanwhile, night creams are often heavier and contain retinoids and glycolic acid to plump and polish your skin.

A day moisturizer that suits combination or oily skin is the Tatcha Water Cream. But if you have dry skin, you’ll get better results with the CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion or Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre. For night hydration, get a rich cream like Caudalie’s Brightening Glycolic Night Cream or Derma E’s Hydrating Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid.

Skin repair at night

Nighttime skincare products include a variety of products that help the skin repair and rejuvinate itself. Some beauty enthusiasts swear by an eye cream like the Sweet Chef Booster Turmeric + Vitamin C Eye Cream to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Others love using the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask so they can wake up with hydrated and ready-to-kiss lips. Meanwhile, sheet masks can be used a few times a week for balancing out your skin tone (Florapy Beauty Even Skin Tone Sheet Mask) or soothing your skin (Purlisse Watermelon Energizing Sheet Mask).

Key takeaways

In a nutshell, your morning skin care routine is supposed to protect your skin from pollutants and UV rays while your nighttime skin care routine is meant to treat and soothe your skin. SPF products are for the morning, while heavier treatment-oriented products are for the night. Make sure to use appropriate cleansers and moisturizers, too.

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