Entertainment Fashion & Style The Perfect Nighttime Skin Care Routine Share PINTEREST Email Print Fashion & Style Skincare Advice Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Outerwear Lingerie & Swimwear Do It Yourself Shoes Makeup Hair Fragrance Tattoos and Body Piercings Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Hanah Tetro Contributing Writer Hanah Tetro is a writer, esthetician, and skin care expert who has been sharing her expertise with readers for nearly 10 years. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Hanah Tetro Updated January 31, 2018 01 of 07 How to Set Up a Nighttime Skin Care Routine Creative RF/PeopleImages/GettyImages Following an easy and effective nighttime skin care routine is a must in order to have healthy skin. While we sleep, our skin repairs and rejuvenates itself. Oxygen flow increases to the skin and you also have an opportunity to treat your skin so it looks great when you wake-up. You can treat skin care issues like pigmentation and acne at night, and of course moisturizing your skin is a must before going to sleep. First of all, start off with a clean slate. Removing your makeup and cleansing your skin is the first, and the most important, step in your nighttime skin care routine. 02 of 07 Remove Makeup Creative RF/Image Source/GettyImages Before you go to bed you absolutely must remove your makeup. Letting it sit on your skin clogs pores and irritates your skin. And if you don't properly remove eye makeup before bed, you can wake up with swollen eyes. The best way to remove makeup at night is by doing a double cleanse. The first step is makeup removal and the second step is cleansing your face. There are many different ways to remove your makeup. You can use a micellar water, like Simple Micellar Water, or a cleansing balm like Banila Clean It Zero Sherbet Cleanser. There are also cleansing oils and facial wipes that all work as makeup removers. Most eye makeup needs a separate remover to make sure you get all of that makeup off. 03 of 07 Wash Your Face Creative RF/Amana Images Inc/GettyImages After you have removed your makeup, it is time to wash your face. Which cleanser you use depends on your skin type and the weather outside. During the winter even people with oily skin might want to use a milder cleanser instead of a foaming, anti-acne one. Check in with your skin. Your face should never feel squeaky clean after cleansing. If it does that means you over did it and washed off all the good oil your skin needs in order to be healthy and function properly. When you are finished cleansing, your skin should feel soft and even a little moist. This step in your nighttime skin care routine is not negotiable. 04 of 07 Exfoliate Creative RF/Fuse/GettyImages Once your face is clean it's time to exfoliate. How often you exfoliate depends on which exfoliation product you are using and your skin type. Exfoliation is the key to beautiful, smooth, even-toned skin. You need to get rid of the build up of dead skin cells in order to help your skin function properly and look its best. When dead skin cells clog pores, blackheads form and if bacteria is present in the skin, pimples will form. In addition, your skin will look dull if you do not exfoliate on a regular basis. Regular exfoliation can make fine lines and wrinkles less visible. You could use a scrub to exfoliate, but facial acids are usually a better way to exfoliate the skin. Try one like First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads or Paula's Choice SKIN PERFECTING 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant. 05 of 07 Treat Creative RF/Peopleimages/GettyImages After exfoliation you have a chance to treat specific skin care issues such as acne or dark spots. Figure out exactly which skin issues are bothering you and find a product that will address those problems. If you have acne, use a product with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, like Murad Acne Spot Treatment. Dark spots can be treated with a product like Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer Dark Spot Corrector Serum. If anti-aging is your thing, using a retinol product at night is the way to go. Retinol smooths fine lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen production, and can lighten pigmentation spots. It's a must-have skin care product for almost everyone. Try RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. 06 of 07 Moisturize Creative RF/jeffbergen/GettyImages After cleansing your face, exfoliating, and treating it (if necessary), it's time to apply a moisturizer. During the winter you will probably want a creamier and thicker moisturizer, while during the summer a gel moisturizer may be enough. Some night creams come with added ingredients that are anti-aging or brightening. Figure out what is important for your skin before buying your moisturizer. CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion PM is a great choice for almost everyone's skin. 07 of 07 Optional Steps: Mask, Eye Cream Creative RF/zoranm/GettyImages If you have the time and like to indulge, consider applying a skin care mask once a week after cleansing and before your other nighttime routine steps. If your skin is on the dry side, consider using a hydrating mask once a week. Or if your skin is oily, use a clay mask once a week. Using eye cream is also an optional nightly step. If you have specific concerns about your eye area, then using an eye cream each night is important. You can treat fine lines just in that area of your face with an eye cream with retinol, like La Roche-Posay Redermic R Eyes Anti-Aging Retinol Eye Cream. If you want to treat dark under eye circles, choose an eye cream like Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller.