In our last post we covered the fundamentals of having a structured day routine, outlining which ingredients perform best throughout the day and in which order to use them. It's now time to turn our attention to how we can best care for our skin throughout the night. This approach, combined with a balanced diet and regular physical activity, will not only make you feel good, but will also keep your skin looking and performing optimally. To learn which ingredients make up our recommended Skinfood.care PM routine and which order to apply them in, keep reading.
Remove Your Makeup
Before you sleep, it is essential to take time to double cleanse. What this entails is cleaning your skin in two separate steps. Start by removing all traces of makeup, dirt, pollution or SPF with a micellar water, then follow by washing your face using a cleanser before applying your subsequent products.
Before you touch your skin, don't forget to wash your hands, as you want to ensure that they are fully sanitised. Follow by taking two cotton rounds and pouring generous amounts of micellar water onto each of them. Move from the centre of your face outwards in a sweeping motion, until the entire surface area of your face and neck has been wiped clean. When removing any eye make up, gently press the pad over each eye until the micellar water has had a few seconds to break down any mascara, then wipe clean without tugging on the skin. The micelles which make up micellar water are attracted to make up, dirt and oil, making it the perfect product for your first step. (It you don't wear makeup we would still recommend using this as your first step in order to remove SPF that can otherwise be hard to break down with cleanser alone.)
Cleanse Your Skin
Now that your face has been stripped of any external dirt or products, you can move onto the process of actually cleaning your skin! Our #SkinFood recommendation is to use a gel-based cleanser. Dispense about a 10p or Quarter sized amount of gel cleanser into your palm, then gently run a small amount of water over your cleanser while it's still in your hand to allow the cleanser to foam easily when you apply it onto your face. With both hands, apply your cleanser in circular motions all over your skin and down your neck. After you have sufficiently massaged it into your skin, allow it to sit on your face for around 40 seconds to 1 minute. We recommend brushing your teeth during this time, so that the ingredients have slightly longer to penetrate the skin.
Gel cleansers clean your face effectively without stripping essential moisture from your complexion. Always remember, clean and prepped skin leads to greater product absorption later in your routine.
Once you've finished cleansing, take a clean towel and gently pat your face and neck dry. Don't tug or pull on your skin. Patting is always the best motion. Apply your spritz toner to your face and neck until a light layer has been distributed. Give it around 10 seconds to sink in before moving onto your next step. Your toner's ingredients will penetrate your skin, tightening your pores and restoring your skin's optimal pH level after cleansing (which unless corrected, becomes unbalanced).
To read more about the benefits of toning and to see which products made it to our #SkinFood favourites read our post.
Apply a Retinol
Retinol is the hero ingredient of your night routine. It is an active ingredient which has been proven to perform multiple functions; speed up cell turnover, deepen the lower layers of the skin, boost collagen production and refine the skin's surface. It has been hailed by dermatologists and aestheticians as a key ingredient for its propensity to reverse signs of ageing in the dermis. If you are new to retinol you can start with a naturally derived version made from Rosehip oil, nature's form of Vitamin A, to allow your skin to acclimatise. Once your skin has plateaued you can then progress to stronger formulas.
Dispense two to three pumps or drops into your hands (depending on your formula) and massage this in circular motions into your face and neck. Allow the formula to sink into your skin for a couple of minutes before moving onto your next step. Please note, dermatologists and aestheticians have also raved about the benefits of applying retinol to your under eye area. Although the skin under your eyes is more delicate, retinol can be beneficial in treating both dark circles and under eye wrinkles. Should your skin be extremely sensitive it would be better to see how your facial skin reacts prior to progressing to this area.
For an in-depth breakdown of how to use retinol and to see which products are #SkinFood favourites, read our post.
Apply Your Night Cream
Day and night creams are formulated with completely different sets of ingredients to help target your skin's respective concerns. PM moisturisers tend to be richer and thicker in consistency helping to counteract any trans-epidermal water loss experienced throughout the course of the night, they also incorporate targeted ingredients which help to reverse cell damage as the skin goes into repair mode while we sleep. This is why we recommend using a dedicated night cream.
If your pot of moisturiser comes with a spatula scoop out a 10p or Quarter sized amount of product and warm it between your hands before massaging it into your face and neck. If you don't have a spatula to hand, apply the moisturiser with clean hands directly to your skin. (It is widely believed that using a spatula helps keep the rest of your formula as hygienic as possible.)
To read more about the benefits of using a dedicated PM moisturiser and to see which products made it to our #SkinFood favourites read our post.
Apply Argan Oil
This step is completely optional and can be used if your skin suffers from dryness or if it tends to become dehydrated from central heating or cold weather. Argan oil, which is predominantly recommended for smoothing the strands on our heads, can actually be incredibly beneficial for our complexions, even for those who sufferer from acne. This magic oil helps to reduce inflammation as well as nourish the skin. Containing a combination of omega fatty acids, linoleic acids and antioxidants, argan oil can act as an excellent seal to perfectly prepped skin. Dispense two to three drops and massage into your skin, neck, under your eyes and into your lashes and eyebrows to condition them over night.
This oil can be purchased from your local pharmacy or health food store. Just be sure to purchase pure Argan oil so as the reap the full benefits. (For a branded option, Josie Maran is renowned for her 100% pure Argan oil.) You can also rub this into damp hair once it has been freshly washed
for added shine and hydration.