Your routine at night will take a minute longer than in the morning, because now you’ve got your makeup and all the dirt and residue buildup from the day to take off. But this doesn’t have to be laborious. If you washed your face in the morning, you can use the same mild cleanser such as Cetaphil liquid or a Dove bar at night so long as it removes your makeup efficiently. It helps to use a separate eye-makeup remover on both your eyes and lips (especially if you’ve been wearing a heavy-duty, long-lasting lipstick). One to try (and that you can pick up in just about any drugstore) is Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads. If you’ve got oily skin, a foaming cleaner may be best. Cleansers with hydroxy acids (such as glycolic or salicylic acid) can help exfoliate your skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines but again, you may not want to exfoliate every day; this is a treatment you’ll want to do weekly, biweekly, or once every few days based on your personal skin needs. If you must use one to get that cool, refreshing feeling, find a gentle alcohol free toner that won’t exacerbate any dryness (one to try: Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner).
Use lukewarm water and be sure to work your cleanser all over: above the browline, into the hairline, and down past your jawline. Use your hands rather than a washcloth; washcloths can actually transfer pore-clogging bacteria to your face after a few uses. Pat your skin dry with a soft, clean towel. No rubbing! Then, it’s time to put on your night creams and any anti-aging formulas that should be applied at night, such as retinols or prescription retinoids. When your body unwinds and relaxes during sleep, certain parts of you go into power-saving mode, while other parts turn on and go to work repairing and rejuvenating your cells. Your body’s cellular (and skin!) renewal team has the night shift, so this is when want to equip your skin with as many nutrients and hydrating ingredients it needs to do a fine job.
Apply your anti-aging products first, then your moisturizer last, unless your anti-aging product doubles as a good moisturizer. You can choose to put on a heavier cream at night if you’d like, and you do not need a separate eye cream unless you find your regular moisturizer irritating to that area. Pull your hair away from your face before hitting the pillow.
From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.
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