Daytime vs. Nighttime: How and Why Your Skincare Routine Should Differ

India's top dermatologists share the best products to include in your daily skincare routine, and the order of application. 

01 March, 2021
Daytime vs. Nighttime: How and Why Your Skincare Routine Should Differ

Glowing, nourished skin doesn't come easy—it often results through the adoption of healthy skin care habits, followed consistently over a period of time.

Three months into the new year, if you're ready to take the plunge and are planning to build a systematic skincare routine, make sure that you have all the intel required. Besides picking the right products for your skin type and texture, it's important to follow the correct order of application—using the right potion at the right time will maximise the benefits you can draw from each product in your regimen. 

While a morning/daytime skincare routine primarily focuses on protection and preservation against elements such as pollution and dirt, a nighttime skincare routine aims to repair, replenish and rejuvenate.

"Nighttime interventions are all about preventative and therapeutic skincare, with the purpose of nourishing the skin with essential nutrients overnight," explains Dr Kiran Lohia, Isya Aesthetics. "A nighttime routine should deal with re-energising your skin as regenerative processes take place while you are asleep," adds Dr Pooja Chhabra, co-founder of Nuskay. "On the other hand, a morning skincare routine should chiefly focus on shielding the skin against the sun and free-radical damage," she adds.

Dr Simal Soin, Aayna Clinic, further explains that since your nighttime skincare routine aims to address skin issues before the process of sleep begins, the order in which you apply the products should be in sync. "One must be aware that the skin is exposed to entirely different articles during the day and at night. Hence, both the routines can be independent or conjunctive, as they vary, in order to serve different purposes. Moisturisation and application of sunscreen are the chief requirements during the day, while a deep cleanse and nourishment are the need of the hour in the evening. To experience visible results overnight, serums and eye creams should be included in your nighttime routine", she puts forth. 

"A typical daytime skincare routine follows the 3-step CTM ritual—cleansing, toning and moisturising, along with the application of sun protection. Whereas, a nighttime routine includes a double-cleanse, with the incorporation of sheet masks, chemical exfoliants like AHA/BHAs, retinols, vitamin C, leave-in masks etc. Typically, your nighttime routine is laden with heavier products that can work their magic overnight," informs Dr Geetika Mittal, Isaac Wellness.

Here's a derm-approved full-day skincare routine:

"Your skincare routine must begin with basic cleansing in the morning. Use a salicylic acid-based face wash for oily, acne-prone skin, and a gentle soap-free cleanser for dry skin. This must be followed by an essence that contains volcanic water-rich minerals that penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, providing rejuvenation and improving its overall texture. Apply a light moisturiser and top it with a sunscreen which gives both UVA and UVB protection. The sun's UV rays can cause serious sun damage, skin allergies, tanning, pigmentation and skin sensitivity. Hence, it is essential that you apply and re-apply sunscreen repeatedly throughout the day," states Dr Jaishree Sharad, celebrity dermatologist. 

"Before hitting the bed, make sure you remove your makeup. Next, use a cleanser to deep cleanse and remove all the excess oil, dirt and grime from the skin’s surface and pores. The same cleanser that was used in the morning can be used again. Remember to apply a night cream; for acne-prone skin you should use an anti-acne cream prescribed by your dermatologist, followed by a gel-based moisturiser. Dab a vitamin C enriched serum under the eye to prevent dark circles," she adds. 

In order to experience holistic skincare and be fully skin-prepped, you must indulge in a credible daytime-nighttime skincare routine that promises protection from sun damage and other environmental stressors, followed by replenishment and rejuvenation at night.