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Dear Soko: Do My Nighttime and Daytime Skin Care Routines Need to Be Different?

What’s the difference between daytime and nighttime skin care routines? Welcome to Dear Soko, a series dedicated to answering your biggest skin care questions with advice from Soko Glam’s skin experts. Whether you’re confused about specific ingredients or what you need to do to achieve healthier skin overall, these experts are here to guide you.

This week’s question comes from Dodo, who has asked the following on our last Dear Soko about a skincare routine with no water:
“I’m wondering about morning and night routines. How are they supposed to differ? Do you have to have two different routines?”
Here’s Soko Glam’s skin expert’s answer:
Dear Dodo,
This may be a little long winded, but Dodo, I promise to answer your question about the difference between daytime and nighttime routines.
So you maaaybe impulsively ordered a 10 step routine or maybe you did so after much consideration; either way you’re in for some commitment—at least three weeks.
Your package arrives…but now what? You stare at all 10 products and feel slightly overwhelmed, and not really sure where to start.
You ponder, “Do I do all ten steps at once, both AM and PM?” Please don’t.
Take a deep breath. Your Skin Expert has your back and I’ll walk you through it.
Firstly, let’s pick out a short foundational 5-step to get you started. I’ll call these the essentials, and they will help your skin adjust. Also, when you have an adverse reaction, it’s less heartbreaking to do the process of elimination from five products. So, here are the five steps to start with:
One: Double cleanse (oil cleanser followed by water-based cleanser)
Two: Toner
Three: Essence
Four: Moisturizer
Five: SPF
Keep each treatment layer thin and evenly distributed; moving from lightest to thickest consistency (lowest to highest pH). There’s no need to wait between each product, your skin is much better at absorption when it’s damp.
After two weeks, if you see no adverse reactions, start introducing one to two more products into your routine.
AM vs PM skin care: (Hi Dodo, thanks for sticking around!)
Personally, I like to keep my morning routine short and sweet. Wearing makeup most days, I don’t want too much product under it. However, this depends on the season and how your skin feels.
While your skin fights serious grime in the AM, it’s the evenings when exfoliating, sheet masking, acids and heavier nighttime products (like rich moisturizers) are applied (think major TLC for your skin). While you’re sleeping, your skin repairs itself from the day’s wear and tear and is taking in all the treatments you have layered over it. Acids that cause photosensitivity (I’m looking at you vitamin C) will have the freedom to work their magic without the sun causing any issues.
Here are a couple other tips:

  • Double cleansing is effective for both AM and PM, especially for oily/combination/normal skin types—regardless if you wear makeup or not. In the PM, it gently cleanses the oil based impurities and pollutants that can clog pores and cause premature aging. In the AM, it cleanses away products that do not get absorbed and the oil you produce while you’re sleeping.
  • Eye cream is also applied in the AM and PM; that delicate eye area holds so much expression that you need to moisturize to give that area ample elasticity to emote.
  • You only need to apply sunscreen during your morning routine, but please remember to always apply it even when it’s cloudy, snowing, and even raining. And make sure to reapply throughout the day!

With all of that said, maybe an extended routine was the best thing to happen to you or you were seriously not feeling it. In that case, whatever you do, please make sure you at least cleanse, moisturize and SPF.
Your Skin Expert

+ What would you like to ask Soko Glam’s Skin Expert? Share your question in the comments and we may answer it next time!

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