Beauty Rest, Amplified: My Nighttime Asian Skincare Routine
To date, I have discussed Asian skincare routines (and discussed them again) before I penned an overview of my own daytime skincare routine, in which I promised to explain my nighttime routine! I am a woman of my word, so let's begin, shall we?
A nighttime routine can get a little tedious, but I’ve found that it helps me really relax and set aside a good chunk of “me” time. Going to bed with fresh, moisturized skin and waking up feeling like a goddess helps me get through the day and essentially encourages me to take care of my skin all the time.
Sure, I might have declined a few invites to go out because I’m laying in bed relaxing with a sheet mask and watching Netflix after my long routine, but hey—my skin will be flawless in the morning and a little pampering never hurt anyone!
Step One: Oil Cleanser
For my "cleansing", I start off by using the Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil by SkinFood. Cleansing with an oil-based cleanser instead of wiping my face with makeup wipes allows me to really remove all of the makeup on my face and to help break down tough-to-remove cosmetics like waterproof eyeliner and mascara more gently.
In general, I try not to use products like wipes that will inevitably irritate my skin; my skin isn’t too sensitive, but it will chafe if I rub it too hard. Ouch!
Step Two: Gel Cleanser
The second part of cleansing is to use a foam, cream, or gel cleanser. I’ve been trying out Innisfree's Jeju Bija Anti-Trouble Cleansing Gel lately in lieu of a foam cleanser (see Part 2 of this series for more information about foam cleansers!). Using this second cleanser further cleans any debris and makeup from your skin.
Innisfree’s cleanser, in particular, is so gentle and refreshing to use, especially after a long day of work. Its pH is very low, keeping it mild, which means that it’s a great cleanser for those with sensitive skin. Not only that, it pretty much smells like Christmas. That’s a win-win in my book.
Step Three: Exfoliator
Every Sunday and Wednesday night, I use SkinFood’s Black Sugar Mask Wash Off (has my Skinfood obsession become super obvious yet?!). I leave it on for about 15 minutes and then rub in the mask with warm water before rinsing it off.
Caution: It’s best not to exfoliate more than once or twice a week! Over-exfoliating can really harm your skin and can even be quite drying and that is why moisturizing your skin is so important. Even if your skin feels squeaky-clean, it may not be as hydrated as it needs to be.
Step Four: AHA/BHA
AHA: Brightens and plumps skin, reducing fine lines, signs of aging, and dark spots. It does, however, increase photosensitivity, so you must wear sunscreen in the morning if you use this! And always, actually.
BHA: Helps fight and prevent acne, clean pores and clear up your complexion. These are very drying, so it’s great for oily skin types. Otherwise, it’s best to use an extra moisturizing step if you have dry skin if you use this. Unlike AHAs, BHAs don’t increase photosensitivity.
In the past, I used 3 separate products: AHA, BHA and a toner. However, CosRX’s product essentially takes care of 3 steps in 1.
Others, however, may like to have separate steps because they don’t need one ingredient or another, but because I don’t have significant problems with using both BHA and AHA at once, I elected to knock all of the steps out at once. Unlike the Black Sugar Mask, I tend to use this product every other day.
Step Five: Essence
I use the same one I do for my morning routine: Nature Republic’s White Vita First Essence! To reiterate, it’s quite a light essence geared toward treating dark spots.
Step Six: Repair Cream
Next I use the Mizon Snail Repair EX Ampoule to maintain my skin’s firmness and elasticity as well as to add more moisture. Sometimes during this step, I’ll switch out this one for others, especially if I’m trying to test out a new product. It can be difficult to match product compatibility sometimes, so that’s why I’ve made my life easier by getting a set – that way, I know every product won’t clash with one another and their ingredients won’t cause any pilling.
Step Eight: Sheet Mask
After the ampoule, I’ll wait a bit for everything to absorb, then choose a sheet mask of my choice. I have ones that tend to be more moisturizing, but lately, I’ve been having more fun with my choices and look forward to their scent and feel on my skin rather than what they’re meant to treat.
Like I've said before, Innisfree’s It’s Real Squeeze Sheet Masks are my go-to sheet mask. I leave masks on for 20 minutes or so, then rub the remaining essence in. Since there tends to be a lot of leftover essence in the package, I’ll either take the excess and use it on my neck or save it for tomorrow morning. I use sheet masks every other day, but that's just me. I know people who use a few a day!
Step Nine: Eye Cream
Your under-eye skin is super thin and delicate, so it’s best to keep it protected and moisturized. I usually get dark circles/puffy eyes, so an eye cream is such an important part of my routine. It helps brighten my under-eye area over time. I make the most of the aforementioned Mizon snail set and opt for Snail Repair EX Eye Cream.
Step Ten: Emulsion
Much like my daytime routine, I use Skinfood's Premium Avocado Rich Emulsion . Since I love having my skin moisturized, I added this step into my routine. For others, it may not be necessary at all.
Step Eleven: Moisturizer
This step is absolutely optional, but I’ve started adding yet another hydrating step. After enjoying SkinFood’s Avocado line, I decided to try out their Premium Avocado Rich Essence. I’ve found that my skin, at this point, is more moisturized than it needs to be, so if your skin is oily, I would definitely not use so many hydrating steps.
Step Twelve: Sleeping Pack
It whitens and brightens skin, softens and moisturizes and helps prevent dark circles (which I mentioned I had a problem with before). As you can tell, even the sleeping packs can get pretty specific with what you’d like to treat!
That’s it for my nighttime routine. It can take a pretty long time to complete, especially since I’m waiting in between layers, but it helps me be more focused and careful about taking care of my skin. Usually, I’ll do my routine as I do work but other times, my routine is just a way for me to relax after a long day.
Regardless, having a routine this intensive (and extensive!) has not only paved the way to flawless skin for me, but has also opened my eyes to how much I hadn’t been taking care of my skin. In the end, my skin has never been better and I actually have a lot of fun with developing a great routine. Clearly.
Thanks for joining me on this journey and learning all about Asian beauty!