My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Hello there! As promised in my morning skincare routine post, I wanted to share my current nighttime skincare regimen. I’ve come to enjoy taking care of my skin during the evening, but it hasn’t always been that way. In the past, I would remember to wash my face right before going to bed–and then it felt like an unbearable chore. But, diligence and my burgeoning appreciation for self-care has made doing so less of a burden.

One thing that helps is making a point to take care of my skin an hour or two before bedtime. That way, I’m still awake and can actually take my time. Of course, it also helps to have products that actually work. Just like with exercise, seeing positive results makes it easier (and more enjoyable!) to keep at it.

So, with that in mind, let’s get right into the products I’m using!

Step One: Remove Makeup

I like to use two separate products here. First, I gently take off my eyeshadow using a cotton swab dipped into Clinique’s Take the Day Off Makeup Remover, which gets the job done without stinging my eyes. I also wiggle the cotton swab gently from the base to the tips of my eyelashes to dissolve the mascara, a tedious but important step. Leaving excess mascara on your lashes can weaken them over time.

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Next, I soak a cotton round with Pacifica’s Rose Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic to remove the rest of my makeup. While this product can slightly sting the eyes, it feels refreshing on the rest of the face and easily wipes away foundation and powders.

Step Two: Cleanse

Currently, I’m using the same face wash at night as I use in the morning: Bliss Makeup Melt Jelly Cleanser. I really like using this in the A.M, but I’m not so keen on it for nighttime cleansing, particularly when I’m wearing makeup. Despite the name, this cleanser just does not do a good job of removing the excess makeup left over after step one. I felt the same way about Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, which this is undoubtedly modeled after. To be sure, I really do like both cleansers, just not after wearing makeup.

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What would I like to see in a nighttime cleanser? Honestly, more suds. In the Glossier post linked above, I wrote about how surfactant cleansers can strip skin of moisture. Since then, I’ve found that not all sudsy products are the same. I love Pacifica cleansers, which foam up beautifully but never leave me feeling dry. I do think it’s smart to use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser in the morning, when the skin hasn’t yet been exposed to the day’s residue (makeup, sweat, dirt, etc.). At night? I want something a bit stronger.

Step Three: Anti-Aging

I’ve started focusing on this step in the last two years, and I’m just starting to get serious about it. There is one anti-aging ingredient to rule them all, and that’s retinol. This is one of the few topical ingredients that can both prevent aging and lessen existing signs of it.

For this step, I’m using Indeed Labs’ Retinol Reface, and I’m already in love. I heard of Indeed Labs while listening to an episode of The Emma Guns Show where she featured the company’s President and creator, Dimitra Davidson. Indeed Lab’s take on skincare really resonated with me. It’s all about making science-based skincare accessible at a reasonable price–similar to The Ordinary.

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Now, I love The Ordinary, but the retinol I tried from the brand, Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, didn’t visibly do much for me (though it might have been preventing aging in the long run). Retinol Reface, however, leaves my skin looking smoother, brighter, and more even-toned by the next day. We’ll see over time if it has the long-term anti-aging benefits retinol is known for.

Since retinol can initially irritate the skin, it’s important to gradually ramp up how many nights you use it per week. I started with two nights the first week and then added another day per week until I reached five (though it may take longer if you have particularly sensitive skin). I’ve been using this Monday through Friday for a few weeks now, and I have not experienced any irritation.

Also, if you’re going to use a retinol, please don’t forget to wear sunscreen the next day! It’s important to use sunscreen regardless, but especially after retinol, since it works by speeding up the rate of skin cell turnover. That’s a good thing, but it does leave your skin more susceptible to burning.

Step Four: Moisturize

I always do some heavy-duty moisturizing before bedtime. After all, my face has all night long to absorb the product in! First, I start with cream-based lotions. I’ve been using Indeed Labs’ 10balm all over my face for hydration. It has a rich consistency but absorbs into the skin quickly. Then, under my eyes, I use Indeed Labs’ Eyesilix II Multi-Action Eye Treatment. This does a great job of hydrating the delicate eye area, and a little goes a long way.

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Next, I go over the cream lotions with oils. Sometimes I use The Ordinary’s Rosehip Oil (love), but lately I’ve been applying Indeed Labs Squalane Oil, and I just might like it even more. Squalane if often considered an “oiless” oil, and it really does feel that way. It’s light and almost watery in texture. It is a derivative of squalene, which is found naturally in the sebum your skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Since squalane is so close to skin’s natural moisturizer, it helps to control your sebum levels and, thus, tame oiliness. Personally, I have found my skin stays hydrated longer since incorporating squalane into my regimen.

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Then, I pat a Tropical Eye Cream by Olivu 426 all over my eye area–yes, even after using Indeed Labs Eyesilix II. It contains a blend of beneficial oils and cocoa butter that feels so nourishing. This cream also has a gorgeous, herbal scent that I just can’t get enough of. 

Finally, I treat my lips to my very favorite Olivu 426 Vitamin E Lip Balm. So good, I can’t live without it!


So, that’s my P.M. skincare routine! I’m sure some of it will change over time, but I definitely plan on continuing to use the Retinol Reface for a while. I’m so curious to see how retinol works in the long run. Also, if you’re looking for a new brand to try, I really can’t recommend Indeed Labs enough. I’m super impressed with the quality and efficacy of the products I’ve tried from them thus far!

What are your go-to nighttime skincare products?

xoxo Kelli

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