- Wandeth Van Grover, MPH
A Guide To Your Skincare Regimen
Wash your face: Morning and night, rinse your face water and rub a small amount of gentle cleanser between clean palms. Massage face wash all over your face using gentle pressure. Rinse your hands and massage your face with water to rinse your face until you’ve removed the cleanser and grime. Gently pat your face dry with a soft towel. If you wear makeup, you may need to cleanse twice at night. First, remove your makeup with cleansing oil or micellar water. Try leaving dedicated eye-makeup removers on for a couple of minutes to allow the makeup to come off more easily and avoid rubbing your eyes. Follow up with a full-face gentle cleanse.
Apply toner: If you use toner, apply after cleansing your face and before everything else. Pour a few drops of toner into your palms or a cotton pad and gently swipe onto your face. If your toner is exfoliating—meaning that it removes dead skin cells with ingredients like glycolic acid—use only at night. Hydrating formulas can be used twice a day. Do not use exfoliating toner and retinoids or other exfoliators at the same time.
Apply serum: Morning is a great time to use a serum with antioxidants—like a brightening vitamin C serum—because they protect your skin from free radicals you’ll encounter throughout the day. Nighttime is a good time to use a moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid, which keeps your skin from drying out at night, especially if you’re using anti-aging or acne treatments that can irritate and dry out the skin. Serums can also contain exfoliants such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or lactic acid. Whatever you’re using, always remember: Water-based serums should go underneath moisturizer; oil-based serums should be applied after moisturizer.
Apply eye cream: You can apply regular moisturizer to your under-eye area, but if you decide to use a specialized eye cream, you’ll typically want to layer it underneath moisturizer, since eye creams tend to be thinner than face moisturizers. Try using an eye cream with a metal roller-ball applicator and storing it in the fridge to counteract puffiness in the morning. Using a hydrating eye cream at night can cause fluid retention that makes eyes look puffy in the morning.
Use spot treatment: It’s a good idea to use acne spot treatments at night, when your body is in repair mode. Be wary of layering acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acids with retinol, which can cause irritation. Instead, make sure you’re doing the most to keep skin calm and hydrated.