Nighttime Skin Care Routine

Streamline your nightly beauty routine with our expert's simple tips.
Erin Shaw Street

It’s tempting to crawl into bed without taking off your makeup or washing your face, but don’t do it, says Julie Hafer. The owner of Beauty Ethics spa and salon in Raleigh, North Carolina, says skipping proper skin care at night can result in dull skin and breakouts. “Taking a few minutes to care for your face each night will help you achieve a healthier, more youthful glow,” she says.

Julie works with clients to streamline their beauty routines. “Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming—you just need to choose the right products,” she says.

Try Julie’s simple routine. It takes less than five minutes, and your skin will thank you for it in the morning.

Cleanse: Hot water may feel soothing, but it dries your skin. Instead use lukewarm water and a washcloth. (Julie recommends using a clean washcloth each day to prevent the spread of bacteria.) Be sure to remove all traces of makeup, which can clog pores and irritate eyes.

Exfoliate: Everyone should use an exfoliant on their face at night, Julie says. Exfoliants remove dead skin, making your skin look brighter and lines less obvious. Skip grainy scrubs (they irritate skin) and look for alpha hydroxy acid if you have normal to dry skin and beta hydroxy acid if your skin is oily. “This is the essential antiaging step in the routine; it needs to be done nightly for best results,” Julie says. If you have sensitive skin, try exfoliating every other day.

Moisturize: Protect and soften skin by using a moisturizer. “Use the lightest one possible for your skin type to add just enough moisture without weighing skin down,” Julie says. Look for one with an antioxidant, which helps skin repair itself. And skip expensive eye creams—your facial moisturizer will work just fine, Julie says.