The perfect morning and night-time beauty routine

The perfect morning and night-time beauty routine
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Meet our expert

Sally Penford is education manager for the International Dermal Institute

If your skincare routine is the same at both ends of the day, it could be time to ring the changes. “Your skin has different needs in the morning and the evening,” says Sally Penford.
“In the daytime, it mainly needs protection from sun and pollution, whereas at night, when you’re sleeping, your skin has the opportunity to absorb nutrients and regenerate. That’s why there are different products designed for night and day.” That’s not to say you can’t double up with some products – try this routine for younger-looking skin all day long.

Rise and Shine

1. A soap-free cleanse

Never use soap, even in the morning when you don’t have any make-up to remove.
“Your skin maintains a barrier pH of 4.5-5.5, which makes it acidic,” says Sally. “As soap is alkaline, it will strip the skin’s natural barrier and leave it vulnerable to both moisture loss and the invasion of pollutants and bacteria – definitely not what you want at the start of the day.”
Instead, choose a cleanser that has a pH in line with the skin. If you like the feel of water on your skin, choose a cleansing wash.

2. Pat on an eye cream

Eye creams help to reduce puffiness and dark circles to brighten your face during the day. “Many moisturisers can be used around the eye area,” says Sally. “But take care if your product has an SPF (and it really should during the day) as this may cause irritation.”
Ideally, you should look for a product designed specifically for the eye area that’s multifunctional – reducing puffiness, concealing dark circles and containing age-fighting ingredients to slow the development of lines and wrinkles.

3. Smooth on a serum

Designed to sit beneath your moisturiser and penetrate deep into your skin, serums fight the signs of ageing with concentrated ingredients and give you an extra layer of protection during the day. 

4. Moisturise and protect

“Choose a moisturiser with antioxidants to guard against ageing free-radical damage, caused by stress and pollution, and a sunscreen to protect against the ravages of ultraviolet rays from the sun,” says Sally.

Ready for bed

1. Cleanse thoroughly

Your skin will need a deeper cleanse at this time of day. “Even if you don’t wear make-up, the skin picks up a lot of debris and grime throughout the day, and natural oils gather on the surface,” says Sally. “This combination can lead to congestion and a dull appearance.” Go for a rich cream cleanser to whisk everything away.

There’s no need for toner to refresh your skin, you can simply splash it with cold water after cleansing. If you wear eye make-up, it’s worth investing in a separate product designed to shift stubborn mascara and eyeliner.

2. Treat your skin

Taking time to exfoliate and use a face mask a couple of times a week will have a big pay-off for your skin. “As you age, the rate of skin cell turnover slows, giving your skin a dull, uneven appearance,” says Sally.
“Exfoliation gives your skin a well-needed slough and is the easiest way to revitalise your complexion.” Do it twice a week for great results. This step doesn’t have to take long:

Then indulge in a face mask – you can leave this on for ten minutes while you’re in the bath or watching TV. 

3. Feed your face!

“Overnight, your skin is able to concentrate on absorbing lots of nutrients, so it’s a good idea to use a proper night cream,” says Sally. “They contain ingredients designed to be deeply absorbed by your skin while you sleep.”