While it is crucial for me that my daytime skincare routine remains simple and concise since I often find myself in a scramble to get out the door on time most mornings, my nighttime routine is less time dependent and is able to incorporate a few more aspects beyond just cleansing and hydration, such as treatment and nourishment.
If I am wearing makeup that particular day, I will start by removing it with my Shu Uemura Fresh Cleansing Oil. This is the best makeup remover I have ever used, and it is the only thing I've ever tried that completely dissolves and removes my waterproof mascara with ease (meaning, without taking my lashes off with it).
Although the oil can also be used as a cleanser on its own, hence the name, I prefer to complete my second cleanse (or first, if I'm not wearing makeup) with the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm, which I reviewed the other day. The Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil succeeds at removing all of the makeup that is visible on my face, but I always have traces of foundation left over that do not end up coming off until my second cleanse.
After patting my face dry, I apply about one third of a pipette full of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum to my entire face and neck, carefully avoiding my eyes. If I have any breakouts or am anticipating any breakouts (that time of the month), I'll generously apply the Kate Somerville Anti Bac Acne Treatment Lotion only to the areas that I need it, typically my forehead and chin. It contains 5% benzoyl peroxide, and I find it works quite well at healing and preventing breakouts without drying out my skin much in the process.
Once the serum has sunk in and any necessary acne treatment has been applied, I apply a hydrating serum, such as the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Fortifying & Soothing 24 Hr Hydrating Concentrate or Indeed Labs Hydraluron (not pictured). Reviews on both are coming soon. Once the serum has fully absorbed into my skin (it takes only a few seconds), I seal in the moisture with a moisturizer, because let's not forget: a serum is a serum, and a moisturizer is a moisturizer. They are not interchangeable. A hydrating serum works to increase and maximize the amount of moisture provided to the skin, but the key is that the moisture must be provided somehow, and this is where a moisturizer comes in. The one I'm currently using after running out of my Kate Somerville Goat Cream (R.I.P.) is the Embryollise Lait-Crème Concentrè. I've been using it for less than a week, but so far, I'm impressed. (Thanks for the recommendation, Jessica!)
The last step in my nighttime routine is eye cream, and I use my ring fingers to pat the Pai Echium Anti-Ageing Eye Cream under and around my eyes. Despite being a fairly light consistency, it is incredibly moisturizing.
Of course, once everything is typed out and explained, the routine seems ridiculously long and time consuming, but in reality, I have everything down to around 10 minutes. And let's be honest, if there's anything in a beauty routine that is deserving of more time and attention, it's the skin. Period.