Nighttime VS. Daytime Skin Care Routine: Which Products to Use When and Why

Best night and day face creams
Image courtesy of Spring
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* Skin cell turnover is greater at night, so use active products before bed
* During the day, skin needs protection from the sun
* Try to use four products in the morning and a different four in the evening

There are thousands of different skin care products on the market today. From snail mucous to cleansers, it can be tough to know exactly what your skin needs and when. Thankfully, science has proven exactly which products should be used during your morning skin care routine and which are better applied at night. In fact, skin cell turnover is greater while you are asleep. During these hours, your skin runs its detox and renewal processes. That makes the PM a better time to use active skin care products, like restorative creams and acids.

On the other hand, your skin is exposed to the elements during the day. This means you should be applying sunscreen-containing products in the morning. In addition, your morning skin care routine shouldn’t include any products that can be weakened due to UV exposure or cause negative reactions to the sun. Read on to learn exactly which skin care products to use during the day and at night.


Day Time:


During the day, your skin needs protection from the sun and environmental pollutants. Try not to apply any heavy skin care products in the morning, and, instead, focus on lightweight moisturizers, gentle cleansers and other SPF-containing creams.

1. Gentle Cleanser

A great way to wake up in the morning is by washing your face. There’s something about the fresh splash of water that really illuminates the day ahead. Luckily, a gentle cleanse is the ideal way to start your morning skin care routine. Pick up a cleanser with a low pH and natural ingredients, like this COSRX Gel Cleanser, so as not to shock your skin with harsh chemicals first thing in the morning.

low ph gel cleanser Image courtesy of Amazon

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

$7.95 $14.00 43% OFF

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C has two benefits for your skin. First, it aids in collagen production and brightens skin tone, creating a younger appearance. Second, it protects your outermost skin layer against free radicals, which can cause skin damage. That’s why it’s best to use Vitamin C serums in the morning. Check out this highly-rated Dermalogica serum and add Vitamin C to your morning skin care routine.

 vitamin c serum Image courtesy of Nordstrom

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum



3. Hyaluronic Acid

Much like Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid has antioxidants that protect the skin from sun damage. Therefore, applying it in the morning is most beneficial to your skin. Do you see the theme here? Not only does hyaluronic acid protect your skin from the sun, it also provides the necessary hydration for a younger-looking appearance. Use the Asterwood Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum to get all the anti-aging benefits these serums provide and more.

anti-aging hyaluronic acid Image courtesy of Amazon

Asterwood Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum


4. Lightweight Moisturizer + SPF Protection

Your face needs protection from the sun each and every day. Use a moisturizer with SPF protection in the mornings to ensure your face never sustains any sun damage. This lightweight moisturizer from CeraVe is a great option thanks to its affordability and proven moisturization abilities. It includes a broad spectrum sunscreen and won’t clog your pores even after daily application.

anti-aging cerave moisturizing lotion with sunscreen Image courtesy of Amazon

CeraVe Ultra-Light Face Lotion


Night Time:


At night, your body works to repair skin through cell production and detox. Take advantage of this process by using heavier, more active skin care products before you go to bed.

5. Cleanser/Makeup Remover

At the end of the day, the first step in your skin care routine should be removing your makeup or cleansing your face after the stress of the day. To do so, we recommend the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. When compared to traditional cleansers, this oil-based option removes makeup more efficiently and prevents acne. It’s also water soluble for easy removal and hydrates skin during the cleansing process.

anti-aging deep cleansing oil dhc Image courtesy of Amazon

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

$23.20 $28.00 17% OFF

6. Exfoliators/Acids

Exfoliators and acids can be harsh on your skin and therefore require application during the time when your body is most active repairing skin cells. Apply serums like this one from La Roche-Posay to aid your body’s natural cell renewal process. This particular effaclar serum exfoliates to unblock pores, smooth the skin’s surface and combat signs of aging.

anti-aging effaclar acid serum Image courtesy of Amazon

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum


7. Retinol

Retinol is great for your skin, but it should only be used at night because it increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, use during the day could result in sunburn or irritation. The LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream is particularly gentle on skin and contains hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, green tea, shea butter and jojoba oil. The all-natural company promises a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles with regular use.

anti-aging lilyana naturals retinol cream Image courtesy of Amazon

LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream

$19.99 $29.99 33% OFF

8. Restorative Night Creams

Last but not least, applying restorative night creams just before bed gives your face an extra bit of moisture for the busy night ahead. In this particular version, Context has included collagen and elastin to soothe and firm skin, while the herbal extracts and antioxidants provide protection against future damage. Not only will this rich cream feel luxurious on your skin, your face will also feel refreshed.

anti-aging context restorative night cream Image courtesy of Spring

Context Restorative Night Cream



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