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How Your Skincare Routine Should Differ Day vs. Night

By: Grace Gavilanes

If “refine my skincare routine,” is on your list of resolutions, you’re in luck. We’ve got tons of resources to help you achieve that goal. But first, you’ll want to answer this very important question before embarking on any type of skin-perfecting journey: Is your morning skincare routine different from your nighttime routine? The correct answer is yes, because they should vary A.M. to P.M. If you answered no, you’re not alone.

skincare routine

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Chances are most of us have grown accustomed to a singular regimen – and we don’t blame those who’ve chosen this route. It’s easier to remember one step-by-step process instead of two. But following more than one routine every day doesn’t need to be arduous. It is an important daily to-do, however.

We enlisted the help of Chicago-based esthetician Hannah Hartz and Maria Gomez, Wander Beauty Community Manager and Client Experience Associate and Brand Educator. They're here to help us break down why we need a different skincare routine in the daytime vs. nighttime. The truth behind this recommendation might surprise you. 

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Our Skincare Routine in the Daytime vs. the Nighttime

“Your skin faces different struggles on a daily basis,” Hartz tells Lively. “Going out during the day, your skin is accosted by toxins, pollutants and UV rays.” This is why adding on a layer of SPF moisturizer underneath your makeup (or on a bare, makeup-free face) is super important.

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“While you sleep, your skin spends all night regenerating itself, leaving behind dead skin cells and excess oils on the surface. Additionally, you will have accumulated foreign oils from your pillow and hair products,” Hartz continues.

These differing skin types require products to help stimulate the skin’s collagen production as well as aiding in its regeneration. “For your nighttime routine, you will want to remove all traces of these toxins with the help of retinoids and nourishing hydrators,” she says. “This allows your skin to go back to regenerating itself as much as possible while you sleep. This is the glorious cycle of attack and repair.”

Gomez shares her own morning and nighttime skincare routines with Lively

“My morning routine is usually only half the steps of my nighttime routine for several reasons – two of which are time and exposure to the sun. In the nighttime, I will indulge in active ingredients (like acids and retinoid), rich moisturizers and cleanser," says Gomez. "Skincare with active ingredients such as chemical exfoliants and retinoids should only be worn at night as they can make your skin sensitive to the sun. A great treatment that has many wonders for my skin is Wander Beauty’s Do Not Disturb Overnight Concentrate. It is formulated with 1% retinoid to repair and smooth skin while you sleep. In the morning, keep it as simple as possible! A non-negotiable is SPF as it is super important to protect the skin from sun damage. Also opt for a lightweight moisturizer that will efficiently hydrate skin without the stickiness.”

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