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Skin AM to PM

Fact: You wake up every morning with the same skin you took to bed with you the night before, so your morning skincare routine should be the same as your evening skincare routine, right?

Think again, ladies and gents!

While it may be super convenient to use the exact same facial products both morning and night, it’s time to shake things up and make some changes to your PM and AM regimen. Here’s why.

Your skin is exposed to completely different things in the nighttime versus the daytime.

Think about it: The only thing your PM skin really needs to worry about is whatever is on your pillow (drool, anyone?) and its own oil production.

On the flipside, your daytime skin is exposed to a practically endless variety of contaminants, including dirt, makeup, airborne pollutants and bacteria. Even seemingly harmless activities like talking on your cell phone expose your skin to more bacteria and impurities than you want to know about (trust me!)

During the day, your skin’s role is mainly offensive (think Xena, the Warrior Princess). But at night, it quietly goes to work repairing itself and preparing for the next day. To support it in both functions, you need to make sure your PM and AM routines are a little bit different.

Follow the helpful tips in these examples to create the ideal skincare routines for your PM and AM skin.

PM Skincare Routine

Your PM skincare routine should focus on deep cleansing and nourishment. If you do it right, a good PM routine can help your skin repair itself and can even slow down the skin’s aging process (see ya, premature wrinkles!). Bonus: this is the time when you will want to use products that cause photosensitivity. Not only will they work double time since your skin does most of it’s healing while you sleep, but it’ll allow you to get the benefits minus the side-effects caused by the sun (hint, you will still want to wear SPF protection during the day).

Here are a few steps you should include in your PM routine for best results:

Cleanse with an effective cleanser

Apply a nourishing, age-corrective serum

Dab an eye repair serum around the eyes

Smooth on a deep-penetrating moisturizer

Each of these products plays a very specific role in the evening skincare process. When used together, they can help soften the skin and give it the nourishment it needs to remain attractive and radiant despite the harsh conditions it faces every day.

Effective Cleanser

You can use your regular daytime cleanser at night, but you will have better results if you use a gentler, night-specific cleanser. One of my favorites is Alana Mitchell Foaming Pumpkin Cleanser. It is sensitive enough for all skin types, and the ingredients help to refine my pores and give my skin a healthy glow. If you’ve had trouble finding a gentle cleanser that is free of parabens and artificial fragrances, give this one a try!

Nourishing, Age-Corrective Serum

Nighttime is the perfect time to apply an age-corrective serum, since it will assist in the natural reparation process your skin goes through every evening. For best results, find a product that has gentle exfoliation properties and can smooth away some of the roughness your skin develops during the day.

I adore Dermaquest Retinol Brightening Serum, especially when my skin is feeling particularly dry.

The gentle exfoliation properties of kojic acid and retinol will make your skin irresistibly soft. Seriously, people may try to touch your skin after you use this product. You will look and feel so incredible, though, that you won’t even mind!

Eye Repair Serum

The skin around your eyes is ultra-sensitive and fragile, which means that it is highly susceptible to damage throughout the day. Pollutants and airborne contaminants can irritate the eyes and cause them to itch, which means more rubbing and tugging on the delicate skin around them. Additionally, each time you apply makeup you potentially stretch and damage your skin even more.

Since it is impractical to avoid touching your eyes all day long, it is important to pamper the skin around your eyes with eye repair serum every night. My favorite pick is the Osmosis Refresh PM Eye Repair Serum. It contains ingredients that minimize puffiness, crow’s feet and dark circles (goodbye, Dracula eyes!)

After you cleanse each night, reach for an eye repair serum that will make the delicate skin around your eyes feel like a million bucks.

Deep-Penetrating Moisturizer

Finish up your nighttime routine with a rich moisturizer that is capable of deeply penetrating your skin and preparing it for the following day. I’m into Medik8 Hydr8 Nightmoisturizer because of the way it makes my skin feel. It’s the perfect, soothing conclusion to my PM skincare routine.

AM Skincare Routine

Your AM skincare routine should be straightforward and prep your skin to meet the challenges of the day. A basic AM routine should include the following steps:

Cleanse with a gentle cleanser

Apply eye cream

Smooth on a lightweight moisturizer

While it’s ok to add more products to your routine if you find that they help improve the health and appearance of your skin, the above is a bare-bones list of products that should always be included in your AM regimen.

Gentle Cleanser

A quality cleanser will gently strip your skin of overnight oil accumulation and nighttime products so that it literally has a fresh, clean start. Look for one that’s safe and gentle for your particular skin type. Use lukewarm water to rinse the cleanser from your skin. Hot water can irritate and over-dry the skin, so make sure the temperature is “just right” (think Goldilocks).

Eye Cream

Eye creams are specially formulated to deliver targeted results to the ultra-delicate skin around the eyes. They are typically more nourishing than your average moisturizer, and can make your eyes look more youthful and bright. To avoid pulling on the skin and encouraging wrinkles, dab the cream around your eyes rather than rubbing it in.

Lightweight Moisturizer With SPF

As the final step in your AM skincare routine, apply a moisturizer to your face and smooth it in gently with circular movements. Choose a lightweight option that will not weigh you down throughout the day, and make sure it has an SPF of at least 30. Protect your skin and it will protect you.

Now that you know why and how to switch up your PM and AM skincare regimens, put what you have learned into practice and pay attention to how your skin responds. I’m convinced you’re going to love the way it looks and feels once it is cared for properly.


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