Disclaimer: this came out waaaaaaay more involved than I intended, but I may have underestimated how extensive my evening skincare routine is. If you make it all the way to the end, you’re my favorite person.
When someone hears “skincare routine”, especially evening skincare routine, there’s probably some ire or excitement. You either love having a routine, or it’s a chore. Or you’ve probably heard off the infamous 10 step skincare popularized by K-Beauty and your head starts spinning. I used to be in the camp of feeling that it’s a chore, and that the idea of a routine that’s longer than three steps made me nauseated.
But as I began to focus more on self care, and as I started to experiment with products and I found that there were products that would work for me, I changed my mind. I’ve started viewing my skincare routine, particularly my evening routine, as more than just skincare. It’s time I’m spending with myself, on myself, to care for myself. So I’m one of those folks with a longer evening skincare routine. This may not be for everyone, but it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. And if you’re a skincare fiend, you might just enjoy this.
For the past couple months or so now I’ve been dual cleansing as the first part of my evening skincare routine, which is a two step process originating from K-Beauty. You first cleanse with either a balm or an oil, and then with a regular cleanser. For the first step I’ve been using the Banila Co Clean It Zero cleansing balm, however this is not a cruelty free product. When I run out of it, I will be purchasing one from a cruelty free brand! And for the second step I’m using the Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser. This product feels very gentle on my skin, and my face doesn’t feel stripped at all after washing it off.
Though it seems redundant, I’ve actually been enjoying dual cleansing! My skin has been much clearer than before when I would use only one cleanser, and I do feel that my skin is much cleaner afterwards without being too harsh on my skin. The use of a balm or oil definitely helps with this, as does using a gentle cleanser as the second step.
After I’ve cleansed my face, I will use a scrub. This isn’t something I do every day, as that’s simply too much on my skin. About once a week I’ll use my Yllo Scrub, which you may have seen in my post about what Instagram made me buy. I’ll rub it on, careful not too be too rough, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, I’ll wash it off with cool water while rubbing in circular motions.
This helps my skin stay clear and soft, and gives my skin a nice glow. Since I do deal with congested pores, this also helps reduce texture on my skin and keeps my pores from getting out of control. I particularly like the Yllo scrub because it also helps treat acne scarring and has anti-aging properties.
This is another one of my steps that I don’t do every, or even most, days. Chemical peels are great for encouraging cell turnover, keeping skin clear, and preventing early signs of aging (not that I’m particularly concerned about that, but hey it can’t hurt). Right now, I’m loving The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, since it’s specialized for acne prone skin.
I’ve noticed the most improvement in my skin when I use this particular product consistently. This has a big impact on how smooth and clear my skin is, and I use my weekly scrub just as a booster. About twice a week I’ll use this particular one, and Deciem doesn’t recommend you use it more than that. This is actually the only peel I’ve used, so I really want to try others, including one by Drunk Elephant.
I do not use a facial peel on the same day that I use a face scrub, but depending on what kind I use, I may use a face mask!
Here’s where I start getting a little extra: I use a face mask at least every other day, sometimes a couple a day in my evening skincare routine. They’re my absolute favorite type of skincare product. I likely don’t have the biggest mask collection in the world (not that I would want that) but I have numerous ones, of all different types, clay, peel off, sheet. But I like having options, and my clay ones especially last a very long time. And frankly, I’ll have to do a separate post on my masks because I have just too many at the moment.
For the days that I do a peel or a scrub, I am definitely sure to use a hydrating mask, typically a sheet mask. This gives me a lot of moisture, while also treating whatever I wanted to focus on that day. If my skin is breaking out (since it isn’t perfect by any means), I use a clay mask or a peel off mask, the latter which is just so satisfying to use.
As far as toners go, I don’t experiment too much, and I like to make sure that I’m giving my skin a little chemical boost by using one. The one I use at night is The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, which they say to use only once a day. I can feel it working on my skin, and I apply it with my bare hands so that I don’t waste product! Also, those little cotton pads add up, ya know?
On the days that I use a facial peel, I don’t use a toner of any kind. My skin’s usually been through enough chemically speaking and I don’t want to agitate it.
OK, I may have been lying when I said face masks were my favorite part of skincare. Maybe. Serums are either a close second or a tie. But these are great for treating anything you would like about your skin, and there’s a formula for literally everybody. When I religiously used Korean skincare about a year ago, I had (and still have) a bunch that I would rotate. I’ve managed to narrow it down a bit though.
The first one I tend to apply is The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% (now called Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion).This is to treat acne and any signs of aging, and if you are struggling at all with texture I definitely recommend looking into a retinoid. I don’t use this product on the same day that I do a facial peel, since AHA/BHA and retinoids don’t actually play well together! They tend to deactivate one another, bummer. This is one of those products that they recommend only for nighttime use.
The second is The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%, which I use to maintain a healthy glow, and treat any acne scarring that may pop up. They recommend day and night use, so I tend to incorporate this into my morning skincare as well as my evening skincare routine.
Finally, on the days that my skin could use a little extra TLC I’ll use The Ordinary “Buffet”, which is a peptide blend. Peptides are excellent for all around skin health, so when my skin could use a boost, I’ll use this at night so that my skin can soak up the goodness. However, I don’t use this every day, and generally not if I’ve used a sheet mask.
And we’re at the end of the madness. This is another two part process for me, and frankly the part I’ve struggled with the most. Either I’m very picky, or very dumb, but I couldn’t ever find one that sat how I wanted on my skin. But for now, here’s the combo that’s doing the trick. First I’ll apply the Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Facial Oil, which has balancing properties formulated for combination-oily skin. Then I’ll spritz on the Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist. Between both of these, I’m able to wake up in the morning with my oil under control, and have it stay that way without getting dry and flakey skin.
The oil smells totally amazing, by the way, and it’s hard to describe. And the mist also smells lovely, more like rose than coconut. But since I know scent can be a deal breaker or some people, these aren’t overly fragranced, so I don’t think they would irritate anyone.
So that’s it! My extra, lengthy evening skincare routine. I love to take my time on this, and I love playing with products. It ends up being very relaxing, soothing, and pampering. What’s your favorite part of your nighttime routine? If you don’t have one, is there anything you want to try?