Part 2 of our skincare routine series – our Evening Skincare Routine.
The foundation of our evening skincare routine follows the below 6 steps with ‘add-ons’ depending on your skin type and skin needs. Similar to our morning skincare routine, each step serves a distinct purpose, and the main difference is the additional cleansing step in the beginning.
The Double Cleanse
We outlined why we think doing the ‘Double Cleanse’ is important in a previous post. To summarize, our belief is that using an oil cleanser or cleansing water to specifically target oil-based makeup & eye make up, followed by a Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-free cleanser to thoroughly wash off any remaining impurities, sebum, and debris is needed to truly cleanse skin. Even if you don’t wear make up, SPF is very often designed to withstand sweat and moisture, so using an oil cleanser or make-up remover will help fully remove any traces of residue on skin.
The toner step is to help balance skin and prep the skin to best receive the skincare products that follow. There is a belief in Asia that the more liquid the treatment, the deeper it penetrates – hence the new trend of ‘essences’ or mists laden with anti-aging and hydrating ingredients to jump start your skincare routine even before a serum or moisturizer. While this may not necessarily apply to all products, it is true that moisturizers often contain occlusives to help seal moisture into skin. While this is great for creating a moisture barrier, this will also mean that your moisturizer will not penetrate as deeply as a treatment (ie. a serum or essence) without these types of occlusives. We think it’s a great idea to start with a toner ‘plus’ that can not only balance and prepare the skin but also provide hydration and essential nutrients. You can use the same toner as you do during the day time at night, or you can choose one that is a little heavier. The great thing about night time skincare is that you can experiment with products that are a little more emollient. You may be surprised to find that your skin is more starved for moisture than you think!
As discussed in our morning skincare routine post, we believe in layering on an eye cream before your serum to protect the eye area from any treatments used after. It’s entirely possible that the facial serum you use is not designed for eye area use and can irritate the eyes. Another tip is to dot your eye cream along the orbital bone and then gently tap in with your ring finger. While you may be tempted to spread your eye cream as closely to the eye as possible, keeping it along the orbital bone will prevent your eye cream from migrating into your eye and potentially causing irritation.
If you have a key skin concern – dullness, lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, etc, – a serum is your best bet to address it. Serums are the most potent skincare product in your arsenal, with the highest level of actives – and for us, is the product we like to invest the most in. If possible, we also think it’s nice to have at least 2 different serums on hand, so you have a choice depending on what your skin needs at that time.
The great thing about nighttime skincare is that you can use products that are a little more emollient, since you don’t have to worry about shine. Matte skin equals dull skin in Korean skincare and hyper-hydration is the time-tested basis for healthy, glowing skin. Also, even oily skin types can be dehydrated. An easy test to do to see if your skin is dry or dehydrated? Try the aesthetician’s method of using a ‘pinch test’. Pinch the skin area and see if the fine lines smooth away immediately – the sign of hydrated, elastic skin.
Skin turnaround happens approximately every 28 days but as we age and due to multiple environmental factors such as stress, pollutants, etc this timing can slow down. Exfoliate regularly to help skin turnaround and remove dead skin cells and flakes, which may be stopping your skincare from penetrating properly. In the winter, if your skin feels particularly sensitive, a gentle exfoliation once a week should be more than enough.
One of the more frequent questions we receive is ‘where do I integrate masks into my skincare routine’? Most masks should be used directly on skin. We’ve often seen recommendations to use a sheet mask after your serum, but after speaking with multiple chemists in Korea, we’ve confirmed that masks are designed to be used closest to skin. Think of a facial – you wouldn’t get one after you put on a serum….you would get the facial first and then when your skin emerges treated, plumped and hydrated – you would then add on your skincare steps. An exception would be a sleeping mask. While a sleeping mask can also be used directly on skin, it can be also instead of a moisturizer or cream as the last step of your night-time routine for an extra boost.
Note that when using a sheet mask, while you may think ‘the longer the better’, it’s essential to remove the sheet mask before it starts to dry out and absorbing moisture back from your skin. After removing, apply your serum and moisturizer.
Still waking up with paper-dry skin after these 6 steps? Your night regimen is an opportune time to try layering an additional emulsion or oil before your cream for an extra boost of moisture.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get your glow on,
The Glow Recipe Team