Steps to Building a Nighttime Skincare Regime

Designing a night time custom skincare regime is an important step to beautiful skin. There are so many services offering custom skin programs but the reality is that, unless you have extreme issues, you can design the perfect plan on your own. We recently published the details on how to build your daytime steps; in this post we’ll share the recommendations for your nighttime regime. So, let’s get into the steps.

Determine your Skin Type

Before you design the optimal skin regime, it’s critical that you define your skin type. We recommend a simple test which involves though roughly cleaning your skin with a mild cleanser. Once you’ve done that, leave your skin to dry without any moisturizer of makeup. After waiting a minimum of 30 minutes you should check your chin, cheeks, forehead and nose for shine. Wait another 30 minutes and then consider how your skin feels. If when making facial gestures your skin feels tight then you likely have dry skin. If you still have shine on your T-Zone (forehead and nose) then you likely have combination skin. If you have shine on your T-Zone as well as your cheeks then you likely have oily skin. Note: if you have noticed that your skin in sensitive you shucked seek products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. 


Dry Skin – seek ingredients with Glycolic Acid, aloe vera or lactic acid. You should look for ingredients like looking for ingredients such as petrolatum, lanolin and mineral oil on the label. All of these ingredients moisturize without leaving a film. We also recommend seeking something natural that is hypoallergenic, free of fragrance, chemicals, or alcohol and has a non-foaming formula.

Combination Skin – combination skin is tricky because you need a balance of moisturizing with drying and deep cleaning. Luckily, most products are labeled clearly for combination skin. If you want specific cleanser options we think this article summarizes options well.

Oily Skin – is the result of additional oil being produced by the skin, which can lead to clogged pores, trapped bacteria and ultimately acne. It makes sense that you want a cleanser that unclogs skin so that you have better balance but this can be very tricky if you have oily but sensitive skin. Look for ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil or glycolic acid

If you want to read more about the best cleanser brands, we liked this article from NY magazine.

Note: Note: if you have noticed that your skin in sensitive you should seek products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. 


This is where the big difference lies between a daytime and night-time regime. To answer your question: You do need a daytime and nighttime moisturizer. We actually lose water in the skin at night, so nighttime is all about locking in moisture. Night time allows you to add retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids ,that are light sensitive, making their use during the day risky.

Dry Skin – If you suffer from dry skin you should seek a heavier, oil-based moisturizer. Think cream or even ointment. If you want some ideas on specific brands we like this summary from Allure.

Combination Skin – If you have oily or combination, a lighter texture, like lotion will be best. We like this summary from health line which breaks down options by specific use.

Oily Skin – Remember that the key to glowing but not oily skin is to keep the pores open and unclogged so you should seek a lotion with non-comedogenic moisturizers like shea butter, jojoba oil, lavender oil, aloe vera gel, olive oil, honey, and almond oil. 

If your still struggling with which cream to try we like this summary from byrdie as if focused on quality/benefits and where to buy.

Note: Note: if you have noticed that your skin in sensitive you should seek products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. Look for a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturizer that contains a minimal number of ingredients. Try to focus on all-natural products/ingredients as this makes it easy to define any allergies or reactions.

Special Skin Needs

Night time is the best time to focus and treat any specific skin needs since you literally get 8-10 hours of skin therapy with no effort. The evening treatments tend to be thicker and more potent. Let’s get into some of the most popular:

Eye Treatment – Many of us seek a solution for wrinkles and fine lines; caused by the smiling or squinting or puffy/dark underage circles. Amalie recently created Under Eye Dark Circle & Wrinkle Serum. a powerful hand crafted formulation designed to minimize the appearance of dark circles, wrinkles and fine lines. Our serum is made with 100% organic ingredients. The formulation is non-greasy and absorbs easily into the skin. Roll it on daily as part of your routine and say goodbye to dark circles and fine lines.

Under Eye Dark Circle & Wrinkle Serum

We like the recommendations highlighted in ny magazine because they highlight the best creams on specific needs.

Note: the skin around and under your eyes is very fragile so we advise using something organic or natural first. Assuming you have no allergies to the ingredients, your body is more likely to accept organic ingredients than it is harsh chemicals. If you need something stronger you can test other stronger formulas later. 

Spot Treatments – If you have any specific issues with your skin like dark spots, individual acne break-outs, fine lines in one place, other… Seeking a spot treatment may make sense. Yes, it’s just what it sounds like. Applying a specific cream or gel to a spot as needed. 

Wrinkles & Fine Lines – If you feel your moisturizer isn’t enough you can add another step to your regime. Good Housekeeping highlights the best anti-aging night creams.

Acne – If you struggle with acne, the night time is the perfect chance to treat skin. Cosmopolitan doe s a good job of summarizing the best acne spot treatments.

Note: we don’t recommend adding additional steps until you try the basic daily 3 step routine first. You actually may not need additional treatment if you get your core regime right.

In summary, you can test and create the optimal skin regime for yourself. Building your night time skincare regime can help to restore and build beautiful skin while you sleep.  By combining your daytime regime with your nighttime treatment you will maximize your skin’s potential.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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