Esthetician’s Guide To PM Skincare Routine

Following a proper PM skincare routine is not only imperative for skin health, but can do wonders for your skin!  Nighttime routines take the day off, literally.  These steps will ensure you are removing all dirt, makeup and pollutants and then treating with the right products. 

OAT Cleansing Balm part of double cleanse routine

FIRST STEP: Double Cleanse

Cleansing your face before bed is crucial for healthy, clear skin.  Your skin goes through a process of  repairing itself in the evening.  If your skin isn’t cleansed, it disrupts repair and can cause acne.  You must cleanse your face before you go to sleep!!

Whether you wear makeup or not, double cleansing is the best way to cleanse the skin free of crap.

This two step process works together and is perfect for all skin types.

First, go in with an oil cleanser with clean dry hands on a dry face.  Work the oil into your face for about 30 seconds.  You will see it break apart your makeup like buttaah.

Next, wet your hands and then massage them around again.  It will look “milky” this is the water reacting with the oil to emulsify.  Breaking up and lifting off all that gunk. Rinse off, and then follow up with your regular face wash.

In a small study, this method has been shown to be the most efficient way to remove dirt, oil, makeup, sunscreen and whatever else from the day!

I’ve done a whole post dedicated to the method because it’s the best way to cleanse your face at the end of a long day: Why You Should Be Double Cleansing

In that post I’ve listed some great oil/balm cleaners.

SECOND STEP: Treatment

When you are asleep, your cells are busy repairing and rejuvenating themselves from the damages of the day.  This is the time to take advantage of treatment products to boost and aid your skin in its repair.

Without the presence of UV radiation, you can really step it up a notch with products.  AHAs and retinols can degrade and cause sensitivity with sun exposure, so pm is the best time to apply these guys to receive their maximum benefits.

I always suggest using a retinol or retinoid at night.  Aside from sunscreen, these are the most well-studied ingredients to help slow the signs of aging.

They’re great to start incorporating into your routine in your 20s.

Refer to Retinol, What’s the Hype? for more info and product recommendations.

Make sure to always apply SPF in the morning, but especially when using these ingredients as they can make you more sensitive when exposed to the sun.

THIRD STEP: Moisturizer

Overnight you lose water from your skin, a process called transepidermal water loss.  Water evaporates from your skin,  leaving it dehydrated and dry.  That is why it’s common to see nighttime moisturizers that are a bit thicker.

Most skin types can use a heavier cream, unless you’re oily or acne prone.  In that case, a nightime moisturizer may be too heavy and cause breakouts, so your regular moisturizer will do.

a cat sleeping on a counter


This might seem like a no brainer, but sleeping is so important, not only for your overall health and wellbeing, but particularly for your skin as well.

I’m sure there’ve been times when you looked in the mirror when you haven’t gotten enough rest and probably weren’t feeling yourself that day.  There is a reason it’s called beauty rest.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol.  This leads to sullen skin and dark under eyes.

In larger amounts, cortisol can even break down collagen, the protein that keeps our skin supported and youthful.  Ohhhh hell no.

Getting yourself into a healthy sleep pattern is important.  Staying up late on your phone is the worst thing you can do.

Not only does the blue light from your phone cause problems for your eyes over time, it will prevent you from getting into that sleepy state as well.

Instead pick up a book and make some herbal tea to help calm you and unwind.

FIFTH STEP: Sleep Position

Sleep position is important.  The ideal position is to sleep on your back with your head elevated a bit.  This prevents skin creasing on pillows and fluids to build up.

Elevating your head lets fluids move around better so you don’t wake up so puffy.

I recommend investing in a silk pillowcase from slip.  They’re much softer on the skin and hair.  They prevent hair breakage and frizz, while also helping the skin from creasing.

They do not pull moisture from the skin compared to other fabrics.

With Love,


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