We’re Obsessed With This Expert’s Overnight Skincare Routine—Here’s How to Perfect It at Home

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One thing our editorial team shares in common: we’re obsessed with morning routines (hence our dedicated Wake Up Call series.) A morning ritual is grounding, helping to center yourself before the busyness of the day ahead. But a nighttime routine can be harder to curate, as this is the part of your day when you’re likely the least energetic—and therefore unlikely to commit to a 12-step skincare ritual. Because really, when all you want to do is go to bed, is it worth it to layer on your overnight skincare products?

Turns out, the answer is yes. We all know that sleeping in your makeup is the biggest skincare faux pas, but some nights, you can barely manage more than a makeup wipe. Well… you might be sabotaging your skin more than you think. Your overnight skincare products take advantage of your skin’s prime repair hours, concentrating their effectiveness. By curating an effective nighttime routine—which can be as short or long as you need—you can supercharge your skincare. And create a ritual you’ll be just as excited for as your morning matcha.

Featured image from our interview with Remi Ishizuka.

How do overnight skincare products work?

Everyone loves talking about biohacking—the current wellness trend du jour. From cold plunges to cycle syncing, optimizing your health is no longer just for billionaires or bros. I’ve started thinking of my nighttime skincare routine as beauty biohacking. By aligning your overnight skincare products with your goals, you can take advantage of your skin’s nighttime healing process.

For further insights into the topic, I spoke with Agatha Relota Luczo, founder & CEO of Furtuna Skin. Ahead, we discuss how overnight skincare products work and how to make the most of your beauty sleep.

“A comprehensive nighttime routine is just as important as a daytime skincare routine,” says Luczo. “You need both to achieve every type of skincare goal, whether that’s preventing breakouts, slowing down the aging process, or achieving a healthy glow.”

Keep reading for Luczo’s expert insights into using overnight skincare products to wake up with your best-ever skin.

overnight skincare products

Agatha Relota Luczo

Founder & CEO of Furtuna Skin

Woman making bed.

Overnight Versus Morning Skincare

Just like our bodies, our skin has its own 24-hour biological clock ruled by the earth’s day and night cycles called the skin circadian rhythm. The skin’s circadian rhythm regulates dermal functions, so it’s important that your daytime and nighttime skincare is in sync with these functions. If not, the skin’s biological clock is disrupted, causing dehydration, breakouts, diminished radiance, and more pronounced dark spots, lines, wrinkles, and sagging.   

What should a nighttime skincare routine consist of?

During the day, our skin enters “protect mode.” As the skin fights environmental stressors like sun radiation and air pollution, it thickens to prevent moisture loss and elevates its acid mantle, protecting it from bacteria and inflammation. In the morning, you want to apply antioxidants like vitamin C and niacinamide to boost the skin’s defenses.

At night, when our skin is in “repair mode,” it naturally increases cell turnover to rid itself of toxins. This decreases the layer of natural oils and causes moisture loss, so look for products made with ingredients to help stimulate turnover and replenish moisture. 

Woman making bed.

How to Perfect Your Overnight Skincare Routine

1. Start With a Clean Slate

In terms of where to start, focus on cleansing the skin and getting rid of all impurities without depleting the skin of its natural oils. For this step, I love a cleansing balm, which is an oil-based cleanser that has more of a solid consistency that breaks down makeup but also helps with cleaning away dirt, sunscreen, and other products from the day.

Overnight Skincare Products for Uneven Texture and Hyperpigmentation

To tackle texture and pigmentation, I love using an exfoliator at night. Historically, we as consumers have had to choose between chemical or physical exfoliants when what’s really needed is a multifaceted product that targets the skin’s complex layers. I love how it lets my moisturizer absorb better, so I can truly reap the benefits of the powerful active ingredients while my skin is repairing itself at night.

overnight skincare products

Overnight Skincare Products for Fine Lines

To help with turnover and improve fine lines and texture, I turn to bakuchiol, also known as nature’s retinol. Bakuchiol is generally more tolerable than retinol or tretinoin, so you are less likely to experience side effects like redness or flaking.

Overnight Skincare Products for Dry Skin

Whenever I’m feeling particularly dry, I apply an occlusive balm as the final step in my skincare routine at night, especially during the winter or after a long day in the sun. It creates a cocoon-like environment for the skin to repair itself by preventing water loss.

More Overnight Skin-Boosting Products

I’m a huge fan of facial massage. It helps release the day’s tension in my facial muscles and assists in the lymphatic draining process. Over time, facial massage can help rebuild the elastin and collagen in our connective tissue. Increasing blood flow, especially when I can’t get in a workout, is a daily priority for me. 

I alternate between using our Gua Sha and Jillian Dempsey’s gold-plated vibrating bar. I also recommend using a Canopy humidifier in the bedroom overnight in dry weather to decrease the amount of transepidermal water loss.

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