A natural physiological shift—to put it in scientific terms—happens in skin, taking it from daytime protection to nighttime recovery. So, it makes sense for a skincare routine to adopt a similar approach.

Daytime needs are likely a little more intuitive, but at night your skin can also benefit from dedicated skin care steps and products. Keep reading to learn how your daytime—and especially nighttime—skincare routine can cater to your skin’s shifting needs.

Up close macro image of a black woman confidently looking off to the side while applying skin care to her cheek

Skin Behavior during the Day

Skin performs many vital functions, acting as a barrier, regulator, producer, and retainer. While it performs all of these 24/7, when it comes to being a barrier, skin must work a lot harder during the day. That’s why skin has its greatest protection and thickness during the day.1 But day after day your skin is exposed to skin-damaging free radicals caused by environmental stressors (like UV rays, blue light and pollution) that can overwhelm its natural defenses and speed up visible skin aging. That’s why protective daytime skin care with SPF should be a staple.
Up close macro image of a brunette woman confidently looking into the camera while applying skin care to her cheek

Skin Behavior at Night

The good thing is, just like your mind and your body, your skin gets a chance to recuperate and recharge at night. Turns out beauty rest is more than just a saying. Nighttime is when the process of skin repair and production peaks.1 Make the most of the time you’re asleep with skincare that supports and enhances skin’s natural rejuvenation process. With makeup-free skin and less exposure to environmental stressors, your skin can take a deep breath and calmly absorb the goodness of your skincare routine while you sleep.

Skin That Reflects Your Best Life

So, while skin has natural defenses to help protect itself and recover from damage, the daily bombardment of environmental stressors along with lifestyle factors (like lack of sleep, stress and diet) can be overwhelming. That’s where skin care can help fill the gap. With the right skincare routine, you can live your best life knowing your skin has the reinforcement it needs during the day and at night.

TimeWise Miracle Set daytime routine including a cleanser, moisturizer and SPF product shown on a light pink background

Daytime Protection

Daytime skincare doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple, three-step skincare routine designed for your skin type—dry skin or oily skin—is the basis of what your skin needs for daily protection. Clean, fresh skin is the perfect start followed by moisturizer and broad-spectrum SPF 30 or more every day no matter the weather. For even more comprehensive care, you can opt to also add an eye cream as your final step.
TimeWise Miracle Set nighttime routine including a cleanser, nighttime treatment product and moisturizer shown on a light pink background

Nighttime Rejuvenation

Now for nighttime. No matter how tired you may be, you’ll always thank yourself for sticking to a nighttime skincare routine. Like daytime, it doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are some steps beyond cleansing and applying night cream that are worth considering if you want to keep your skin looking its best.

Product texture image showing TimeWise 4-In-1 Cleanser fading into suds
Cleansing at night is essential whether you wear makeup or not. Cleansing helps remove what can impede skin’s overall health and prepares skin for the benefits of your next skin care steps.

Starting your nighttime routine with a thorough cleanse using a cleanser designed for your skin type—or double-cleansing using micellar water as your pre-cleanser step to help break down face makeup—helps remove the day’s impurities and stress away. To ensure all your makeup is gone, consider incorporating a dedicated eye makeup remover into your cleansing routine.

Product texture image showing the gel formula of TimeWise Moisture Renewing Gel Mask
At the end of a long day, making time to pamper your skin—and yourself—is a great way to unwind. Masks are a common choice to deliver benefits to skin while providing a relaxing and indulgent experience. Though not all masks are designed exclusively for nighttime use, nighttime is the perfect time to work a mask into your routine since you’re less likely to be in a rush or worried about the day ahead. Apply, indulge, then rinse your skin clean before applying any leave-on products.

Product texture image showing the up-close formula and beads suspended in TimeWise Nighttime Recovery
Nighttime can be an especially effective time for treatment products because they can help replenish skin’s reserves in harmony with its natural rejuvenation cycle and go to work when environmental stressors are less of a threat. In fact, there are products designed specifically for nighttime use due to unique or active ingredients like chamomile extract known to help bring a soothing calm* to skin while you sleep or retinol which recommends you avoid sunlight while using. The key is choosing products designed to address your specific skin needs.

Product texture image showing TimeWise Antioxidant Moisturizer
Another essential step is hydration. Since skin is about 60% water, keeping it hydrated—whether you have dry skin, oily skin or sensitive skin—helps ensure proper balance and function and keeps things like fine lines looking plump. Everything from cold weather, heat and air conditioning systems, wind and not drinking enough water can deplete skin’s moisture, making it important to replenish at the end of the day. A night cream is a perfect choice, but it’s not the only option. Choose any moisturizer based on what best suits your skin type, preferences and needs, which can be the same SPF-free moisturizer you use during the day. The goal is to lock in the previous step(s) in your routine and help keep skin hydrated while you sleep.

Product texture image showing TimeWise Antioxidant Moisturizer
It’s also important to give special care to the delicate eye area with an eye cream. The skin around your eyes is thinner and often first to show signs of skin aging like fine lines in addition to dark circles and under-eye puffiness. Finding an eye cream specifically formulated to address the unique needs of your eye area is a key step when it comes to achieving your best skin. And if you spend all day looking at screens, gently massaging in your eye cream as you apply is a great way to relieve strain and truly revitalize.

Light pink silky sleeping eye mask laying on a darker pink background
Though it’s not typical skin care, sleep plays an important role in the appearance and function of your skin regardless of your skin type. While you sleep, skin is repairing, rejuvenating, and regenerating new skin cells. Getting enough sleep—ideally around eight hours a night—can contribute to brighter, clearer, less inflamed, healthy-looking skin. So, you could say beauty rest is real, and a good night’s sleep should be the final step in your nighttime skincare routine.

Build Your Skincare Routine Today

Curate a collection of nighttime skincare products today and wake up to your best skin in no time with the help of your very own Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant!