skincare routine - evening

evening skincare routine products

An evening or night-time routine for me is quite a big deal, as I'd usually just wipe off the makeup and jump into bed, but now I'm spending 20-40 minutes in the bathroom each evening (time depending on any extra exfoliating or mask steps) and I'm loving it. I'm genuinely excited to get my skincare routine done each evening, so much so that I tend to head to the bathroom at around 8.30-9pm every night to take my time with it. It's a bonus to get it done this early too, it means I can relax with a movie or write blog posts or edit photos and not have to worry about skincare products when I'm ready to climb under the covers - and it also gives the products a good length of time to soak in before I bury my face in a pillow.

So why did I decide to start an evening/night-time skincare routine when I'd never ever considered one before? I felt like I needed to start taking more care of my skin, rather than perfecting a make-up look. I always thought that my oily skin would be best if it were covered up with foundation and powder and more powder, but it didn't make the oil go away, and so, at 31, I figured it was time to pay attention to my skin instead and hope this would bring results.

I also totally revamped my morning routine, and if you missed that you can find it here on the blog - but as for my evening routine, these are the products I've settled on...

M I C E L L A R  W A T E R 
I start my evening routine with a quick miceller water and cotton pad wipe, to remove any excess oils or dirt from the day, or to remove my makeup; and for this I use Garnier's Micellar Water for combination-oily skin. It's super lightweight, and it really does remove everything. Even though it says 'no need to wash off', I always give my face a quick rinse with warm-hot water before moving onto my next step.

[ how I do it ]
...I add a few drops onto a cotton pad, and give my face a gentle once-over to remove any dirt build up from the day. If I'm wearing makeup, I'll have to repeat this step with a second or third cotton pad - depending on the amount of makeup I'm wearing. I always take care not to pull on my face, and always work in upward motions where I can. I then give my face a quick rinse with warm-hot water and move onto the next step.

garnier micellar water
photo by thosemomentsofmine

O I L  C L E A N S E 
One or twice a week I'll do an oil cleanse on my t-zone before using my CeraVe cleanser, and this helps to remove any stubborn sebum that's clogging my pores. I always thought that using oil on oily skin would be the wrong choice, but oil attracts oil and so deep-cleansing with an oil helps to lift sebum plugs! You can use an array of oils, but I already had rose hip seed oil in my possession, and so I use this (I'll talk more about this oil later on).

I thought I had blackheads along my nose and t-zone, but after swapping from my bar of soap to a CeraVe cleanser (more about this in my morning routine), I realised that my pores were clearing each time I washed my face. As this was totally new to me, I did a little research and came across an amazing video from The Golden Rx on YouTube, and realised that what I had were sebum plugs... little strands of sebum getting stuck together and sitting in my pores. These can eventually oxidise and become blackheads if you're not regularly cleansing. Do have a peek at The Golden Rx's video, she recommends ideal oil choices for different skin types.

[ what does it do ]
Cleansing with an oil helps to remove any dirt from the day or makeup, but I use oil to deeply cleanse my skin and lift sebum plugs and excess sebum/oils from my skin. Oil attracts oil, and so as you gently massage the oil into your skin, you'll feel the sebum plugs having lifted - they feel almost gritty. If you take a peek at them, they're fine little black strands of sebum, almost like hairs. I was absolutely amazed when I first tried this! I genuinely didn't expect it to work, but I am completely converted.

[ how I do it ]
I only do this step once to twice a week, so that I don't begin to irritate my skin. I've also found this works best when you've opened your pores, so I'll add some boiled water to my sink, throw a towel over my head, and steam my pores for 3-5 minutes. I'll then pat my face dry with a towel, add a couple of drops of my oil of choice to my hand, and massage it into all of my problem areas - for me this is my nose, my inner cheeks just along my nose, my chin, and my forehead. I don't have any sebum plugs along my forehead or chin, but these are areas that get can become particularly oily for me, so I give those areas a little oil cleanse too. I generally massage the oil into my nose area for 15 minutes to really bring those sebum plugs up. Pop some music on and have a little 15 minute relaxation moment! I then wash it off with my cleanser in the next step.

C L E A N S E R 
CeraVe's gel foaming cleanser for normal to oily skin is now my cleanser of choice, and as it foams it helps to remove any oil from your oil deep cleanse, or just cleanses your face as normal if you haven't used an oil. I usually only use my hands and warm-hot water, but if I'm feeling like an extra deep cleanse then I'll pick up my facial brush. It has super fine bristles on one side, and silicone tips on the other. The one I use is fairly small and simple, you can find it here, but there are others that pulsate or rotate. It just helps to clear extra dead skin and dirt away from your face, and I maybe use it once to twice a week.

[ how I do it ]
...I wet my face with warm-hot water, then use a pea-sized amount of the CeraVe gel cleanser (a little goes a long way!). I gently rub it into/around my face for at least 60-70 seconds, then wash it off (again, no heavy rubbing) with warm-hot water. If I've done an oil cleanse, I may do a quick second wash around my t-zone just to make sure I really have washed the oils away. I then pat my face dry, and move onto the next step.

F A C E  M A S K 
I don't have any in my possession right now, I have a few on order from YesStyle that should shortly arrive with my Korean SPF, but this is where I would apply a face mask in my evening routine. I personally don't think I need to currently use one every evening, so I'll probably only add this step in once a week, on an evening where I've done a deep cleanse.

N I A C I N A M I D E 
I have a pretty oily face, with ample amounts of extra sebum, and so I thought I would give Niacinamide a go from the point of view that it's said to control sebum production. I opted for The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - it's a budget friendly option, and during my research on Niacinamide I found that so many people recommended The Ordinary's version. It's said to take a good 7-10 weeks to show any signs of change, and I genuinely am seeing a reduction in sebum around my face. My nose however is still a pretty oily zone, but the pores are definitely minimising, and other areas that once shone with oil (my forehead, temples, chin, inner cheeks) are now looking fairly matte throughout the day. I do think this is helped by the combination of products I'm using, but I absolutely wouldn't skip the Niacinamide step, it really has made a difference! 

I use it in the evening, every evening, as I don't feel the need for it during the day thanks to my day time moisturiser (you can read about this in my am routine), but would probably add it to my morning routine when wearing makeup for big days out/events/parties - any occasion where I really do want my makeup to last, just for that extra sebum control. 

[ what does it do ]
Niacinamide's most popular function is that it regulates sebum production, and in turn helps to minimise the look of your pores. As it helps to regulate sebum, and has some anti-inflammatory properties, it would therefore also help to prevent acne. Niacinamide also helps to combat fine lines and hyperpigmentation, and helps to repair and soothe your skin barrier. It's a pretty great product!

The Zinc helps to support your skin structure and barrier by encouraging collagen and elastin production - so all the plumping, hydrating things we naturally begin to lose with age. 

[ how I do it ]
...after cleansing and rinsing off with warm water, I pat my face dry with a towel. As my pores are somewhat open from the warm-hot water, I immediately apply the Niacinamide. I gently rub it around my face, then pat the excess into my skin. I leave it to soak in for a few moments before moving onto my next step - I find the Niacinamide soaks into my skin very quickly, and a little definitely goes a long way.

the ordinary niacinamide and zinc serum

M O I S T U R I S E R 

Past-me would absolutely never consider wearing a moisturiser to bed, unless my forehead was particularly dry in the colder winter months, but having realised that a moisturiser's main purpose is to seal all of your products in and protect your skin from free radicals, I now add this to my routine every night. I don't use the same moisturiser that I wear in the day time, I use a heavier cream. For my evening routine I use Nivea Soft. It's not too heavy, but you know it's there, and it does soak very well into the skin, my face laps it up. It does have a heavier feeling to it than I'd want in the day time, and this is why I use it as a part of my evening routine. I've always loved Nivea Soft, it's great for sensitive, dry, and dehydrated skin; it really does help to hydrate and lock in the moisture. I always use it on the backs of my hands in winter.

[ how I do it ]
...after letting my niacinamide serum soak in, I pat the Nivea Soft moisturiser into my face and neck. Easy!

nivea soft moisturising cream

R O S E  H I P  S E E D  O I L
I know that you're 'supposed' to use oils before your moisturiser, but I tried that and really didn't like the way it sat on my skin. I even combined it with my moisturiser as I was adding them to my face, but again I didn't feel like either really soaked in. For me personally, I feel that my moisturiser is lighter than the rose hip seed oil, and so this is the order I apply them! My evening moisturiser soaks in so well that it doesn't block the rose hip seed oil from working and soaking into your skin. I use The Ordrinary's Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, and I'm absolutely loving it. As it's already in my routine, right for my skin, and pretty affordable, I also use it for those deep oil cleanses that I mentioned at the start of my evening routine.

[ what does it do ]
Rose hip seed oil does so many things, it's a real power oil. Firstly it's a naturally rich in vitamins c and e, as well as the fatty acids that you skin needs to repair itself and stay strong. Rose hip oil is also a natural, non-irritating (though please always patch test), retinol. With all of it's fabulous properties it's great for brightening skin, resolving hyperpigmentation, reducing signs of ageing, reducing fine lines and wrinkles... honestly, it does a whole host of things. I've noticed that it soothes any irritations, and it definitely has vastly reduced the redness I have around my cheeks, it's also reversed a darker area that I had around one of my temples. It can also help to protect against the sun, but as it's such a heavy oil I use it in the evening, and if you use a suncream during the day you really don't need to double up.

[ how I do it ]
...a little goes a long way with The Ordinary's version. I add a few drops to my forehead and cheeks, then gently pat the oil into my skin and around my face. I don't put it on my nose, as I'd rather the niacinamide monopolised that area, but I do make sure it covers the rest of my face and my neck. I do let it soak in for a while before I head to bed, rather than rubbing it all off on my pillow.

the ordinary rose hip seed oil

...and that's my evening routine! 
What does your morning routine look like?! Let me know which products you're using, I'd love to check them out.
Claudia xo

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  1. I swear by Micellar Water, it shifts EVERYTHING! And I think you're right about using your oil after your moisturiser if that's what feels best to you. You know your skin and products so your routine has got to suit you. Beautiful photos BTW! Lisa x