November 23, 2023

Morning Vs Night Skincare Routine: A Skincare Routine Order

Welcome to our blog on morning vs night skincare routines! The needs of your skin change throughout the day, so it's important to tailor your skincare regimen accordingly. When caring for your skin, what you do in the morning is quite different from your evening routine. Your AM routine should prepare and prime your skin to put its best face forward, whereas the PM skincare routine requires a different approach. A proper night skincare routine renews your skin while you sleep fully, so you wake up refreshed and glowing every morning.

In this blog, we'll explain the key differences between AM vs PM skincare routines. You'll learn why you need separate routines optimized for the unique ways skin regenerates, repairs, and protects itself on a 24-hour cycle. We'll provide tips on what to include in your night and morning skincare routine.

Why Is Skincare Routine Important?

A skincare routine is crucial because it sets the stage for a flawless and long-lasting finish. By properly cleansing, moisturizing, and prepping the skin, you can create a  clean, smooth, and hydrated surface that allows makeup to stick better and blend seamlessly.

Skincare also helps to address specific skin concerns, improving the overall texture and appearance of the skin. Skincare can reduce the need for heavy makeup by targeting issues like dark spots, acne, or fine lines. By prioritizing skincare, you not only enhance the immediate results of the makeup but also promote long-term skin health, leading to a more confident and radiant complexion.

Does Skincare Routine Order Really Matter?

The order of your skincare routine does matter in makeup application. The sequence in which you apply skincare products can significantly impact their effectiveness. 

It is recommended to start with cleansing to remove dirt, oil, and impurities to create a smooth and clean surface, which also helps in the easy application and absorption of other makeup products. This is followed by toning to balance the skin's pH levels. Along with that, apply any targeted treatments such as serums or spot treatments. Eye cream is a must to hydrate the skin around the eyes. Moisturizer should come next to hydrate the skin and seal in moisture. Lastly, remember to apply sunscreen during the day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 

By following a proper order, you allow each product to penetrate the skin effectively, maximize its benefits, and achieve the desired results.

Is There a Difference Between Morning and Skincare Routine

day vs night skincare routine

Yes, there are important differences between morning vs night skincare routines! The products you use at the start of your day serve a different purpose than your before-bedtime regime. In the mornings, the goal is to cleanse away sweat and excess oils that accumulate on your skin overnight. Harsh foaming cleansers should be avoided as they can strip the skin. Instead, use a gentle, non-drying cleanser. After washing, apply antioxidant serums, eye creams, and moisturizers specifically formulated to protect the skin from daytime attackers like UV rays, pollution, and free radicals.

At night, the skincare routine is to repair, restore hydration, and prepare skin for optimal overnight regeneration. Always remove the day's cosmetics, SPF, dirt, and impurities with a double cleanse. Skincare ingredients penetrate best while you sleep; skin renewal is fastest during nightly hours.

Morning Skincare Routine

Starting your day with a strategic morning skincare routine truly pays off when it comes to putting your best face forward. In the morning skincare routine, it's important to prioritize cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen to protect the skin barrier from environmental stress. For the morning skincare routine, follow the following order:


The first step is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any sweat, excess oil, and residue that accumulated on your skin overnight. Choose a cleanser that suits your skin type and massage it onto damp skin in circular motions. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel. You can also use a soft makeup washcloth after washing your face.


After cleansing, apply a toner to your skin. Toners help to balance the pH levels of your skin, remove any remaining traces of dirt, and prepare your skin for better absorption of subsequent products. Use a cotton pad or your hands to apply the toner by gently patting or swiping it across your face and neck. An alcohol-free toner can help restore pH balance and enhance the absorption of products applied next. Toners will also settle down skin irritation and calm inflammation.


Next, apply any antioxidant serums targeting your specific skincare concerns that provide anti-aging and protective benefits against free radicals and environmental pollutants you'll encounter during the daytime. Please take a few drops of serum onto your fingertips and gently press it onto your face and neck, focusing on areas that require extra attention.

Eye Cream

Now, it's time to care for the delicate skin around your eyes. Pat on any specialized eye creams under the under-eye area that are more prone to showing signs of aging. Apply a small amount of eye cream using your ring finger, as it applies the least amount of pressure. Gently pat and tap the eye cream around the orbital bone, avoiding direct contact with the eyes. Eye creams can help hydrate the under-eye area, reduce puffiness, and minimize the appearance of fine lines.


After applying the serum and eye cream, moisturize your face with a suitable moisturizer. Choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type, whether it's lightweight, gel-based, or more nourishing, to provide hydration and lock in moisture throughout the day. Massage the moisturizer onto your face and neck in upward, circular motions until it is fully absorbed. Choose a moisturizer that consists of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which helps to make skin flexible.


The final and essential step in your morning skincare routine is applying sunscreen. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial for preventing sun damage and premature aging and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply an adequate amount evenly onto your face and other exposed areas. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you're spending longer outdoor periods.

Night Skincare Routine

After a long day, our skin needs extra care to prep for overnight renewal. These nighttime skincare routine steps support the skin's renewal process and address specific concerns that differ from those in the morning routine:

Oil Cleanser

For the PM skincare routine, start with an oil, balm, or micellar water to remove makeup and dissolve debris and sunscreen. Massage gently before rinsing. This step preps the skin for better product absorption. Nighttime cleansing tends to be more thorough in removing all impurities, whereas the morning cleanse is typically lighter as the skin doesn't accumulate as much debris overnight.


Applying toner helps balance the skin's pH levels after cleansing and allows better absorption of heavier night skincare products. Like the morning routine, toner use remains consistent, but it focuses more on preparing the skin for upcoming treatments and serums at night.


Nighttime is ideal for using more intensive treatments, such as retinoids-targeted serums that work on specific concerns like fine lines, acne, or pigmentation. These ingredients work more effectively overnight than using Vitamin C in the morning.

Eye Cream

Applying eye cream at night targets fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. Night-time ingredients often focus on hydration and repair for the delicate eye area. The purpose of eye cream is similar to the AM routine, but nighttime eye creams may have richer textures or contain more powerful ingredients.


A richer, more nourishing moisturizer helps lock in hydration and supports the skin's repair process while you sleep. Night creams or moisturizers are typically heavier and more focused on providing deep hydration and repair than the AM routine.

Face Oil

Applying a facial oil can provide additional hydration and nourishment. It helps to restore the skin's barrier function and promotes a glowing complexion. While some people may use face oil in the morning, it's more commonly used in the PM skincare routine due to its repairing and deeply moisturizing properties.

Morning Vs Night Skincare Routine (Side by Side Comparison)

AM and PM skincare routines play distinctive roles in nurturing and maintaining healthy, radiant skin. Let’s look at the key differences between morning and evening skincare routines step-by-step and product recommendations for day versus night.

 Aspect Morning Skincare Routine Night Skincare Routine
Cleansing Apply gentle cream or gel cleanser to wash away light oil & sweat from overnight. Avoids stripping skin. Apply oil or balm cleanser first to remove sunscreen, makeup & impurities from the day. Follow with a gentle water-based cleanser to deep clean.
Toner Use pH balancing toner to refresh skin & enhance absorption of next products. Use hydrating toner to prep skin & boost absorption of richer night treatments.
Serum Use light antioxidant serums with Vitamin C and green tea extract to neutralize free radicals & protect from daytime pollution/UV exposure. Use Retinoids, peptides, and hydroxy acid exfoliants to renew skin cells and reverse visible aging signs while the skin repairs itself overnight.
Eye Care Apply light gel creams targeting puffiness, dark circles, or wrinkles in delicate under-eye areas. Apply richer eye creams to nourish & hydrate eye area skin overnight deeply.
Sunscreen Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30+) in the AM skin routine. Sunscreen is not necessary for the PM skincare routine
Importance The importance of an AM skincare routine is protection from UV damage and environmental stressors. The importance of your PM skincare routine is repairing, regenerating, and replenishing your skin.

Morning Vs Night Skincare Routine: Do You Need Different Skincare Products?

Morning and night skincare routines can have some differences, and it is often beneficial to use different skincare products for each. In the morning, focus on protecting and preparing the skin for the day ahead. This may involve using a gentle cleanser, toner, antioxidant-rich serum, lightweight moisturizer, and sunscreen. In the evening, the emphasis shifts to repairing and rejuvenating the skin. This may involve using a makeup remover, a more thorough cleanser, exfoliating treatments, hydrating serums, richer moisturizers, and targeted treatments like retinol or facial oils. Tailoring your skincare products to the specific needs of your skin during different times of the day can help optimize the benefits and address any concerns effectively.

How do we decide which routine works best for you?

Deciding on the best skincare routine for you involves considering your skin type, concerns, and lifestyle and concentrating on your skin's reactions. By understanding your specific needs and experimenting with different products, you can find a routine that addresses your concerns effectively. It's essential to be adaptable and make adjustments as needed, and seeking professional advice can provide further insights. Ultimately, finding the proper skincare routine is a personal journey that requires attentiveness and a willingness to tailor it to your unique skin requirements.


While it may seem like a lot to keep up with a multi-step skincare routine morning and night, each step plays a vital role in achieving healthy, glowing skin. The main difference between the morning vs night skincare routine application is in the morning, cleansing and prepping with antioxidants and SPF protects your skin against environmental aggressors, while in the night, it’s time to cleanse away the buildup from pollution, makeup, and dirt so treatment ingredients can better penetrate overnight.

Understanding why you do each step in your routine is really helpful. For example, using sunscreen in the morning protects your skin from the sun, while using creams at night helps your skin heal. Also, it's important to stick to your routine and choose the top-quality makeup products that work well for your skin type. If you notice changes in your skin, you can adjust your routine to make it better for you. The most important part is doing it daily consistently till your skin gets used to it. Train your skin morning and night, and you’ll wake up to young, fresh-looking skin every day.

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FAQs on Am Vs Pm Skincare Routine

Is it better to do your skincare routine in the morning or at night?

It's good to do both! Morning skincare helps protect your skin from the sun and dirt, while night skincare helps your skin repair and improve while you sleep.

Why do I need different skincare routines for morning and night?

Morning routines help protect your skin against daytime environmental damage, while night routines focus more on repairing skin and active treatment. The ingredients used in AM and PM skincare routines target different needs.

Can I do my whole routine at night?

While it may seem easier only to do one longer routine at night, the antioxidant protection in the morning routine plays a crucial role in defending against daily pollution and sun exposure.

Why should you avoid taking vitamin C at night?

Vitamin C works better with sunlight. If you use vitamin C at night, it will go to waste and not work either. Using it at night could make your skin more likely to get irritated when exposed to sunlight the next day.

Is vitamin C serum better in the AM or PM skincare routine?

Using vitamin C serum in the morning is usually best because it helps protect your skin from the sun's effects and works well under sunscreen. It's like giving your skin a shield against daytime damage.

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