Beauty Smasher

A Guide to Building Your AM and PM Skincare Routine

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Skincare Routine – We wouldn’t wear slippers to work or jeans to bed, so why do we dress our skin in a single set of products, no matter the time of day? The reality is that what we use on our face should vary depending on the environment at hand, and our bedrooms have much different characteristics than the office, park, or grocery store. That’s why we’ve got to think through our products layer by layer and make sure they make sense.

 AM and PM Skincare Routine

In this guide, we’ll go over how to build your perfect morning and evening routine using our favorite skincare products. Luckily, there are tons of products out there that do double and triple duty, so you don’t have to drain your savings account or clear out a whole drawer in your vanity to achieve gorgeous, healthy skin.

Before You Buy: Know Your Goals

In the morning, your skincare goal should be to rid the skin of sweat and impurities accrued while sleeping as well as to prepare the skin for the day. You want to prep your face for makeup application or make it look fresh, radiant, and healthy for going bare-faced.

Accounting for the environment where you’ll spend most of your day is important, too. Hours spent in a dry, air-conditioned office might call for extra moisture. Of course, sun protection is critical in morning applications, even if you don’t plan on spending more than an hour or two outside.

In the evening, you want to choose products that rid the pores of the impurities—makeup, sweat, bacteria, dry air, dirt—that build up throughout the day. At the same time, you can look at your p.m. regimen as a time to repair, heal, and address any lingering skin problems that may require special treatment.

Plus, since you won’t be in public, evening is the best time to apply those thick, heavy products and spot treatments that need time to work.

Try Different Products

Be patient with the product selection process and, assuming you have normal skin, try lots of options to figure out what works for you (those with more acne-prone and sensitive skin should target a smaller, gentler selection of products) . Signing up for a vegan beauty box and sampling various formulas is one of the best ways to settle on the right products.

You don’t need to be an avid reader of the best vegan skincare blogs to know that going cruelty-free is your best bet morning, noon, and night. Plant-based ingredients are also big players in achieving clear skin.

Source: WAYHOME studio/

Building a Morning Routine

A good morning regimen should be a little bit simpler than the one you follow at night. And that’s by design. You’ll do much of the hard work at night and sleep shouldn’t set you back too much. Your skin regenerates while you sleep, and using certain products at night can help with cell turnover rate while you’re catching your zzzs.

With that said, you need to start off the day with some much-needed prep work. Note: You may want to add exfoliation to your morning routine and skip it at night if you have dull or oily skin.

  • Step 1: Cleanse

  • The first step in your daily skincare routine should be to remove all impurities using vegan, cruelty-free skincare Cleansing in the morning rids the pores of sweat, which can contain dirt and bacteria that can get trapped in the pores and lead to blemishes.
  • Step 2: Hydrate

  • Choosing your morning moisturizer comes down to your specific goals, but in general, you want to choose something that’s lightweight and easy to combine with other products or makeup. If you want to prime the face for foundation, choose a non-greasy, fast-absorbing serum or moisturizer with no colorant. If you plan to go bare-faced, choose a lightweight option that leaves a dewy glow and makes you look well-rested.
  • Step 3: Apply SPF

  • The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day if you’re planning on mostly staying inside, but you should use SPF of at least 30 if you’re planning on spending any time outside. Make sure to choose a daily sunscreen that completely absorbs into the skin and leaves behind no residue or grease that might interfere with makeup application. While some sunscreens take the place of moisturizer, not all can. The important thing is to find one that you like and will actually use.

A Guide to Building Your AM and PM Skincare Routine

Building a Nighttime Routine

At night, you need to focus on getting rid of the impurities of the day and restoring them with healing, restorative ingredients. If you have particularly dry skin, you may also want to enhance your evening regimen by running a humidifier while you sleep.

  • Step 1: Cleanse

  • At night, you need to start your skincare routine with a thorough cleanse. Start by removing your makeup with a double cleanse to remove makeup and dirt and oil before washing. Follow up by cleansing with a deep-cleaning formula made with plant-based oils such as calendula, camellia, castor, olive, and jojoba, which help remove impurities naturally.
  • Step 2: (Two or Three Times a Week) Exfoliate

  • Only include this step two or three times per week or once a week for those with sensitive skin, as too much exfoliation can dry out and damage your skin. Exfoliating rids the skin of the top layer of dead skin cells to help encourage regeneration and prep it for moisturizer and spot treatments.

You can choose either a physical exfoliant that removes dead skin cells with a physical agent such as sugar scrub or walnut shell powder or a chemical exfoliant such as salicylic acid to achieve this.

If you have sensitive skin or experience redness easily, nighttime exfoliation is best because it gives your skin a little extra time to recover. However, if you tend to wake up with dull or oily skin, morning exfoliation may be best.

  • Step 3: (Optional) Apply a Mask

  • Is there anything more indulgent than settling into a cozy evening with a luxurious skincare mask? Applying your mask at night gives it plenty of time to work and prevents you from rushing through the process.

Make sure you use the proper mask for your skin type. Clay masks are ideal for acne-prone skin and those prone to clogged pores, especially if you wear a lot of makeup. A lightweight gel hydrating mask is great for those with dry or sensitive skin.

Apply a super-hydrating, clarifying mask or wear a brightening eye mask and let it work its magic while you read, scroll through your phone or meditate. Rinse or cleanse and pat dry before moving on to the next step.  

  • Step 4: Apply Spot Treatments

  • If you need to address particularly problematic spots, now’s the time to do it. We recommend leveraging some plant-based acne-fighters for a clean, healthy way to banish acne without the drying effect of typical harsh chemicals or alcohol.

A little bit of tea tree oil, for example, has been proven to help treat mild to moderate acne. Products with salicylic acid can also help. Applying it at night gives it time to work. Now is also a great time to apply your eye serum or cream to address under-eye concerns.

  • Step 5: Apply Serum

  • Next, apply a serum that suits your skincare goals. Choose a bakuchiol product if your goal is to address fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. This kind of product, as well as products with alpha hydroxy acids, can also help unclog pores and treat acne.
  • Step 6: Hydrate

  • The final step in your evening skincare routine is to apply a good-quality moisturizer that sinks deep into the layers of the skin and works while you snooze. Now’s the time to slather on those ultra-rich, buttery creams that can do their best work when worn for hours at a time.

You can also use a face oil on top of your moisturizer, especially if you have dry skin. These can also be used on their own if you’re looking for a more lightweight option than a thick cream.

A Guide to Building Your AM and PM Skincare Routine

Remember, there’s no one-routine-fits-all approach to building a morning or evening skincare strategy. The truth is that we all have our own unique skin types and concerns, so designing a routine based on your specific needs is super critical. However, using the above formula can serve as an excellent baseline no matter your specific skin goals.

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