When it comes to building your routine, simplicity, consistency and specificity are key. I know it’s incredibly easy to start your own bathroom cabinet hoard of serums, moisturisers and other assorted goodies, but you really don’t need an army – growing your skincare collection is exciting, but finding ‘the one(s)’ is far more rewarding!
We’ll start with the evening… (You can also scroll to the end for a visual overview!)
Our basics are cleanse, tone, serum and moisturise. The products you use at night should clean, balance, and repair your skin.
The obvious first step, cleaning your face. If you’ve been wearing makeup or SPF, or have been outside, one cleanser just isn’t enough! The important thing to remember is that your first cleanser is most effective when it is oil-based, like a cleansing oil or cleansing balm. The oils stick to all the unwanted particles on your face, from makeup to dust, dirt and excess sebum, to help remove them from your skin. Don’t worry if you’re an oily or combo skin type, oil-based cleansers aren’t going to make your skin feel extra oily.
Our Grapefruit Cleansing Balm is the perfect oil-based first cleanse.
To follow up whilst your face is still damp is a water-based cleanser. These use surfactants (which just means cleansing agents) to keep the cleaning party going, picking up anything your first cleanse didn’t get to. Double cleansing might seem daunting to a dry or sensitive skin type worried about stripping moisture from your face, but if you pick a cleanser with hydrating ingredients (like hyaluronic acid) and free from harsh surfactants like SLS, you shouldn’t feel any tightness or dryness when you’re finished your second cleanse.
Toners were once formulated to rebalance your skin after a harsh face wash, but now deliver far more benefits. Good for removing any lingering bits, the right one will help hydrate and calm your skin, and even out your skin tone.
We’d recommend our Niacinamide Daily Toner.
Now you get to be a little more specific with your skin woes. Without going overboard, all you need is one or two serums which target things like dryness, breakouts, and signs of ageing. Some serums might require you to apply to a damp face (like our Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum), and all of them need a few minutes to properly absorb before you layer the next thing on.
The best serum for you is totally based on your skin type, so make sure to explore our selection!
A good moisturiser, or night cream, will lock in the previous products and protect them (and their effects) whilst you sleep, ensuring the best chance at repairing their benefits and waking up with repaired, soft skin.
The basics, easy! If you’re just starting out, or just know you’ll pick sleep over skincare 6 nights out of 7, these are the steps not to miss. But now the fun part… the extras.
Mask: 1-2 times per week
Who doesn’t love a good face mask? Whether it’s your biweekly treat, or a regular application, the best time to out on a mask is after cleansing. Using it beforehand is just going to trap all the day’s grime underneath it, which will then block the actives from doing their jobs. Waiting until later poses the risk of removing your toner, serums etc. from your skin when you wash it off. Always follow the instructions on your mask and don’t be tempted to leave it on the skin for longer than suggested, that time is there for a reason!
Our Activated Charcoal Face Mask is a perfect biweekly detox!
Chemical Exfoliator: 2-3 times per week
We love a chemical exfoliator because they dissolve the bonds between dead and damaged skin cells to help remove them from your face, rather than scratching them away like a physical exfoliator can do. Use this after your cleanser instead of a mask, but try to avoid applying one if your skin is feeling sore or sensitive as we don’t want to upset it further! Chemical exfoliators can increase your sensitivity to UV rays, so it’s best to use at night before hours of darkness, and make sure to slap your sunscreen on the next day. Remember, you do not need to exfoliate your skin daily, as this could cause more harm than good to your skin barrier! 2 to 3 times per week is plenty.
If you’re looking to introduce an exfoliator into your regime, we’d recommend our Apple AHA Exfoliating Gel, which is gentle yet still highly effective.
Eye Serum/Gel/Cream: nightly
Let’s not forget about our eyes! A long day can certainly show on your under-eye area, so give it some TLC in the evening. Best applied in between toning and your serums, they act as a protector for your delicate under eye area, and contain actives targeted to treat those common under-eye complaints like puffiness and dark circles.
Face Oil: 2-3 times per week, depending on your skin type
This is an either/or kind of product, unless you have particularly dry skin, or are using it to target specific areas. Packing a strong hydration punch, an oil can give your skin a more intense boost than your regular moisturiser, with a thicker physical barrier against TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) and irritants in the air. We’d recommend applying a few drops of facial oil after your favourite moisturiser for intense hydration! If your skin is particularly dry, your skin could benefit from using facial oil daily.
Another moisturiser alternative you might use in an overnight face mask.
So, to recap...
I hope this has helped clear up any questions you had about structuring your evening routine, but as always if you’re look for some specific help or advice, my emails are open!
Until next week,
Amy @ Team Q+A
eCommerce coordinator at Q+A and looking so much clearer with the introduction of Apple AHA into my routine 🍏