Morning vs Evening Skincare Routines: What’s The Difference

There are a lot of things to consider when curating your skin care routine: skin type, lifestyle, season, and any relevant concerns or targeted areas. 

But have you ever wondered if your morning and evening skincare routines should be the same? Or are specific products and steps more beneficial depending on the time of day?

Below we’re explaining the key differences between morning and evening skincare routines, and why the time of day makes a difference.

Morning Skincare Routine

Many people wonder if they need to do much in the morning. You may have just spent the night resting, but a surprising amount of dirt and oils are accumulated during sleep.

Get fresh for the day ahead by starting with a simple yet effective skincare routine. The goals are cleansing the skin, replenishing the skin barrier, and offering protection against UV rays.

Here are the essential steps you should take:


Keep your skin smooth and pores open with a good morning cleanse. Remember, your skin still needs some oils to remain healthy and nourished. Stick to gentle formulas without drying alcohols.

The best cleansers for …


  • Dry skin. Look for oil-based cleansers that contain nourishing ceramides, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin.
  • Oily skin. Stay on top of oiliness and prevent breakouts with ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid.


Treat your skin to all-day hydration with a moisturizer. It’s important to moisturize every day - not just when your skin starts to feel dry. The skin barrier is more delicate than we realize. Luckily, moisturizer helps protect it by boosting your skin’s water content and locking in moisture.

The best moisturizers for … 

  • Dry skin. Opt for rich, creamy moisturizers that contain nourishing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin to hydrate and repair the skin's moisture barrier.
  • Oily skin. Choose lightweight moisturizers that won't clog pores. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and squalane to hydrate without adding extra oiliness.
  • Combination skin. Use a moisturizer that can hydrate dry areas without making oily areas greasy. Look for oil-free, water-based formulas with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
  • Sensitive skin. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free moisturizers with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and oatmeal to hydrate without irritating the skin.


Adding sunscreen should be the last step of your routine every single day of the year, regardless of the weather. The sun’s rays are there even when we can’t see them, so you’ll need to make SPF an ongoing routine instead of just a summer habit.

Keep sun damage, signs of premature aging, and skin cancer at bay by wearing a mineral sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage.

You can supplement your routine with products like toner, serum, and eye cream before you moisturize (this ensures their ingredients get locked in).

Evening Skincare Routine

The night is a very important time for the skin. While we rest, it puts in the hard work by repairing the damages of the day.

The right ingredients can boost this process while clearing your skin from impurities, so you may want to slightly tweak your evening routine.

You’ll still want to repeat the essential steps - minus the SPF). Here’s how to tailor them for the night:


You can use the same cleanser as the morning, but you may need to double cleanse or add in makeup remover if you haven’t been going au naturel.

The best makeup removers for …

  • Oily skin. Use an oil-free makeup remover or micellar water to avoid the dreaded pore clog.
  • Dry and sensitive skin. Try double cleansing if your skin doesn’t react well to makeup removers. Use an oil-based cleanser to simultaneously remove makeup and bring extra moisture to your skin.


Opt for a specialized night cream to set your skin up for success during the night. Certain ingredients, like retinol and hyaluronic acid, promote cell turnover and collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moisturizing at night also helps replenish the skin from any moisture lost in the day.

As always, you can supplement with extra products (face oil is a popular evening routine addition). Just be sure to follow these essential steps for gorgeous, glowing skin.

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