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Night Skin Care Routine

Beauty sleep is real! Get un-ready with our guide to building the best night skin care routine. Tuck your skin in for a good night’s sleep and wake to a fresh complexion. 

Night Skin Care Routines Aren’t Just For Celebs 

We’re a little obsessed with the Go To Bed With Me skincare series from Harper’s BAZAAR. It’s fun peeking into the beauty stash of celebs and influencers as they share the lowdown on their evening skincare routines.

But a great night skin care routine isn’t just an influencer thing - it’s something we all need! What you put on your skin in the evening plays a huge role in the health of your complexion.

What Your Skin Does At Night

During the day, your skin is in defence mode, fighting off free radical attacks caused by environmental stressors including pollution and UV damage. At night skin switches into repair mode - combating any damage done during daylight hours. It does the heavy lifting of regenerating itself while you sleep.

Skin is more permeable at night which means it’s better able to absorb the ingredients in your skincare. You want to maximise the benefit of this deep absorption by using products brimming with active ingredients such as retinol (Vitamin A), peptides, vitamin C, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid.

At night, your skin isn’t contending with the environmental stressors it handles during the day. That’s good news too because there’s nothing to ‘interrupt’ its natural regeneration process; providing you get good quality sleep.

Your skin is as individual as you are! This means there isn’t one optimal routine to suit everyone but our guide below will help you put together the best night skin care routine for you.

Step One: Cleansing

Think about all the things that make their way onto your skin during the day - makeup, excess oil, pollution particles, and dirt.

Going to sleep with all this on your skin is not a recipe for a glowing complexion!

Without cleansing your skin, pores become clogged with debris which leads to congestion and breakouts. Pollution nano-particles can do long term damage too - they’ve been found to trigger free radical activity which can speed up the signs of ageing.

The best night skin care routine should include a double cleanse to remove all traces of build up. All skin types and concerns benefit from a gentle, non-drying cleanser which maintains the delicate balance of oil and moisture on your skin.

Look for ingredients including:

Aloe vera: Hydrating and calming for skin with very gentle exfoliant properties.

Green tea extract: Anti-inflammatory to soothe and calm redness.

Stearic acid: Emollient properties minimise water loss while cleansing.

Capric triglyceride: Reduce skin dryness by minimising moisture loss.

We recommend using The Uncomplicated Cleanser for the first and second cleanse. Or, if you’re targeting a specific skin concern, you may like try one of the following cleansers for the second cleanse:

The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Anti-Redness - Redness concerns

The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Brightening - Hyperpigmentation and dullness

The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Anti-Ageing - Ageing concerns

The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Charcoal - Congestion and oiliness

Step Two: Exfoliating 1-3 times Per Week

Exfoliation removes the dead, dull skin cells and other build up on the skin’s surface. The result? Fresher cells are revealed and skin appears brighter, clearer, and more even.

Read: Why Your Skin Needs Exfoliation

The best night skin care routine should include an evening exfoliation session 1 - 3 times a week depending on the frequency your skin can handle.

Choosing the type of exfoliation ingredients right for you depends entirely on your skin type and concerns you’re dealing with.

Here’s our quick guide on suggested exfoliant ingredients to match skin concerns.

Dry and sensitive skin

Bamboo extract has mild exfoliation properties that can encourage cell turnover to reveal younger, softer skin.

Jojoba beads and rice powder are also gentle exfoliant choices for skin needing extra TLC.

Lactic acid offers the gentlest exfoliating action of all alpha-hydroxy acids and generally well suited to sensitive and dry skin.

We recommend: Rose And Bamboo facial exfoliant. The delicate exfoliation action of bamboo extract works in harmony with the power of mixed fruit enzymes for sensitive skin and a dry, damaged complexion.

Breakouts and congestion

Exotic Polynesian sand has an ultra-fine texture to provide gentle exfoliation and assist in removing pore-clogging debris to encourage a clearer complexion.

We recommend:Fresh Sea And Salty Sand facial exfoliant from esmi Gentle Foliant range for oily and congestion prone skin.

Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and papaya enzymes are good choices for oily skin types with large pores prone to congestion and breakouts.

Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right exfoliant. Exfoliating with the wrong product or too frequently can cause micro-tears in the skin and lead to excessive irritation.

Step Three: Skin Treatments

The best night time skin care routine wouldn’t be complete without a treatment to target specific skin concerns. The improvement of hyperpigmentation, ageing concerns, dullness, and dryness can all be addressed while you sleep.

A few of our favourite treatments to use overnight include:

Golden Anti-Ageing Serum

Fine lines and hyperpigmentation

Potent antioxidant activity makes this serum the perfect night time defence against free radical damage, fine lines and pigmentation associated with ageing. All ages and skin types. 

Pomegranate Brightening Serum

Hyperpigmentation, dullness, and uneven skin tone

Ideal for most skin types to improve the look of pigmentation, sun damage, dull skin and enhance skin's luminosity and clarity.

Face Masks

Is there a more luxurious way to treat your skin overnight than with a face mask?

Thanks to increased permeability, skin deeply absorbs the active ingredients while you sleep - plus it has more time to work!

Each Booster Mask in our range is a great choice for night time use.

Step Four: Eye Treatments

The skin around your eye area is delicate and prone to puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.

Including a separate eye treatment in your nighttime skincare routine is an effective way to target these concerns. Eye serums are lightweight with a potent hit of active ingredients that can penetrate more deeply into the skin than cream based formulations.

Key ingredients to target specific concerns and eye serum recommendations for the best night skin care routine

Brighten: Peptides, Vitamin C

Brightening Eye Serum 

Address signs of ageing: Caffeine, peptides, Vitamin E

Anti ageing Eye Serum

Hydrate: Hyaluronic acid

Hydrating Eye Serum

Apply the treatment hour or so before you go to bed to give the product time to absorb before placing your face on the pillow. 

Step Five: Moisturise

The increased permeability of your skin at night isn’t all good news.

While products are better absorbed the downside is moisture evaporates more easily from the skin while you sleep.

Choosing the right moisturiser for your best night skin care routine will help minimise water loss and work to lock hydration into the skin.

What does a moisturiser do?

Moisturisers work on the topmost layer of the skin to prevent the moisture from evaporating off the skin’s surface and soften skin with occlusive and emollient ingredients.

If the formulation includes humectant ingredients (those that attract water to the skin) a moisturiser can help top up water levels, too.

Overall, moisturiser helps skin plump, soft, hydrated, and strengthen the skin barrier.

Face oils as moisturisers

Face oils can act as the moisturising step in your best night skin care routine to improve skin hydration. Face oils contain beneficial emollient and occlusive properties which help seal moisture into the skin and strengthen the skin barrier.

Or, you can follow your cream based moisturising step with a face oil.

The most beneficial oils for skin:

Some of the most beneficial oils include:

Rosehip: Anti-ageing and encourage hydration

Avocado: Moisturising, promotes collagen production, and healing

Jojoba: Can help balance oil production

Evening primrose oil: Addresses dryness, fine lines, and improves skin texture

Acai oil: Improve skin elasticity, anti-ageing, and acne clearing

Black tea seed oil: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

Peppermint oil: Anti-microbial and refreshing

Face oils for oily skin

Even oily skin types will benefit from certain lightweight face oils to help keep skin hydrated and regulate oil production to control breakouts. Jojoba, acai, rosehip, and almond oil are the most beneficial for oily skin.

The final step in your routine

Applying a face oil should be the final step in your evening routine. Leaving it until last creates a shield over the skin - helping lock in moisture the serum, eye treatment and/ or cream moisturising steps have delivered to your skin.

We recommend:

24K Gold Nourishing Oil (All skin types)

Luxurious 24-karat gold leaf face oil nourishes to encourage a firmer, more youthful complexion. Suitable for all skin types, it can aid in boosting skin elasticity, stimulating collagen production and improving blood circulation.

Acai Skin Balancing Face (Excellent for oily skin types)

Ideal for all skin types, especially oily skin with balance concerns, this nourishing oil can replace moisturiser to improve tone, calm and hydrate while regulating oil flow.

Peppermint Green Oil (Oily, acne prone skin in teens)

This lightweight oil will help to balance oil flow whilst being cooling and providing anti-bacterial benefits.

If you need help putting together the best night skin care routine for your complexion, our esmi Skin Experts are here to guide you! Book your free skin consultation today.

Infographic: night skin care routine