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Use a cleanser that gently, yet effectively, removes dirt, oil, and residue from nighttime products without stripping skin of its natural moisture. A gentle, water-based formula that rinses clean and contains little or no fragrance is your best bet.
Toners treat skin to a multitude of ingredients to replenish and improve the look and feel of the skin.
|Apply antioxidant serum
Antioxidant serums, such as Vitamin C, provide powerful anti-aging ingredients directly to the skin to reduce free-radical damage, while boosting the effectiveness of sunscreen.
Apply anti-acne medications, eye creams, and so forth as directed before applying sunscreen/ moisturizer.
|Moisturize & Protect
A moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF of 30+ should be applied every morning. Using sunscreen daily is the single most important thing you can do in fighting the anti-aging battle. Sunscreen provides a protective barrier to the skin and should always be the last product applied in the morning.
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A quarter-size amount of cleanser will do the trick. A dime-sized dollop if you have sensitive skin.
|A pea-size amount of retinol cream or a dime-sized amount antioxidant serum is all you need to cover your face and neck.
A quarter-size amount of moisturizer with SPF of 30+ is sufficient for covering your face and neck.
A nickel-size portion of night cream or lotion should have you covered.
You shouldn’t need more than a dab the size of a peppercorn of acne gel or cream for each blemish.
If you wear waterproof, long-wearing formulas, or very heavy makeup, use a makeup remover prior to cleansing.
(The same cleanser used during your morning routine can be used in the evening.) This would also be the time to apply occasional-use facial masks, chemical peels, or other products that need to be rinsed afterward.
Toners remove all traces of makeup and work to replenish and repair your skin. Follow with a BHA exfoliating treatment to shrink pores and reduce future blemishes in your T-zone.
|Apply retinol/retinoid product**
Retinol and retinoids are the superstars of anti-aging ingredients. Unless skin is so sensitive it can’t tolerate even the lowest concentration of retinol, use daily or as often as tolerated. Retinol has also been proven beneficial in treating acne and unclogging blocked pores.
Apply leave-on facial masks, acne treatments, eye creams, skin lightening products, and similar products as indicated.
|Moisturize & Repair
Nighttime moisturizers are typically more emollient and help minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Even those with acne-prone and/or oily skin should use a well formulated moisturizing gel or lotion.
|*Exfoliate: (as needed) Exfoliants work to remove dead skin cells, while improving skin tone and texture. Exfoliate once or twice a week after removing makeup/cleansing.|
|**If your skin tends to be sensitive, you may find that applying retinol products after moisturizing (or mixing with moisturizer) minimizes irritation.
(Click here for tips about introducing retinol into your skincare routine)
A word of caution: When using a product formulated for occasional use only, you may need to adjust your usage of other potentially sensitizing products (such as retinol, AHA’s) to minimize irritation