There’s nothing better than waking up to find calm, clearskin looking back at you from the mirror.
For many of us this doesn’t happen often, but with a little extra attention to yourskin before bed, waking upwith an improved complexion doesn’t have to be a rare occurrence.
As much as I enjoy myskincare routine, I’ll sometimes rush through it in a sleepy fog – or I’ll skip it altogether and go to bed without washing my face. But when I want to wake up with that radiant, beauty-restedskin, taking the few extra minutes to properly and gently care for myskin makes all the difference.
Step 1: REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP
Start your night with this step if you wear makeup, sunscreen or any other heavy product on yourskin. Many cleansers aren’t upto thejob ofremovingtacky sunscreens and waterproof eye makeup, so I like to do this step with a cleansing oil and a cotton round.
I start by rubbing a few pumps of the cleansing oil all over my face, working it around in gentle, circular motions. My favorite part of this step is the “gritty” feeling ofcomedones coming loose from theskin. After a minute of massaging theskin, I move to the eye area. After this, I remove most of the oil residue with a clean cotton round.
This step leaves myskin hydrated and ready for the next step - cleansing.
Step 2: CLEANSE
Cleansing doesn’t takelong, and it benefits theskin so much, especially after an oil cleanser has done most of the heavy lifting. The second, water-based cleanser’s job is to cleanse theskin now that the heavy
sunscreen and makeup are out of the way. This should ideally be a plain, pH-balanced cleanser that is non-irritating and non-drying. All it needs to do is clean theskin, nothing fancy.
Step 3: (OPTIONAL) MASKING
If you’re going to do a mask, now is the time in your routine to do it.
Once a week or so, the night before a big event or just because, I like to use a good face mask. Each day varies in what mask I reach for, but I’m partial to clay and apple cider vinegar masks, as well as masks that offer a lot of moisturizing and repairing properties.
Depending on the products you choose for the rest of your routine, this would also be a good time for a wash-off exfoliating mask. Every so often a nice chemical or physical exfoliation will help your products to penetrate better, revealing clearer, softerskin in the morning.
Step 4: TREATMENT
Once your face is dry, the next step in the routine is your treated product. Depending on yourskin’s needs this may be a prescription, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tea tree oil or any other number of other “active” products (retinoids, AHAs). All of these have benefits for acne, so which one you use is up to you.
Use a very small amount and let your treated product dry completely on yourskin before moving on to the next step (treated products may react with subsequent products, so give them time to neutralize).
Step 5: SERUM
Once dry,I recommend following your treated product up with a light serum, ideally something soothing, repairing or regenerating (which is what yourskin needs most at night).Use just a few drops and smooth over your entire face. When done right, layering your products results in the most benefits.
Step 6: MOISTURIZE
I recommend following your serum up with a thin layer of moisturizer. Depending on your serum, it may offer enough hydration on its own.
Step 7: OIL
I always top my moisturizer off with a little oil, which nicely seals it all in, paying special attention to the dry areas, like around my eyes. This keeps myskin nice and hydrated but doesn’t overwhelm the acne-prone areas.
Step8: SPOT TREATMENT
If you used a treated product earlier, you probably won’t need to spot treat. However, if you have any big spots you want to get rid of, dampen one end of acotton swabandwipe it overthe pimples you want to treat. Then use the other end to apply your spot treatment directly to the pimple. This ensures that the spot treatmentcan work directly on yourskin without the other products getting in the way - meaning youwill wake up with less redness and irritation!
Remember, what youdo outside of yourskin care routine affects how yourskin looks when you wake up, too.All theskincare products in the world won’t save you from a lousy night's sleep on a dirty pillowcase.
On top of getting a restful sleep,using a clean pillowcaseevery night can also help in your quest to wake up with clearskin.
While everyone will need a slightly modified routine, waking up to a clearer, calmer complexion is no impossible feat. Carefully choosing products and layering them appropriately will enable you to keep your acne away while also taking proper care of the rest of yourskin.