As someone who reads and writes about skincare on a daily basis, I find myself hitting something I call “skincare fatigue.” Just when I’d mastered toner (kind of), I start hearing about serums, retinol creams, and whatever the f*ck an “essence” is. Thankfully, the concept of day cream vs. night cream isn’t new to me—but actually using a different moisturizer for morning and evening is. I’d always kind of figured that “needing” two different moisturizers was just a way for companies to sell you more products. But three weeks in to my new regime, I’m sold. Here’s why.
Night Cream Needs Time To Sink In
The purchase that kicked off this whole venture is Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Cream, a moisturizer I feel confident in calling pure magic. From the moment I got my hands on all that silky lavender goodness, I loved it so much I wanted to take a bath in it. This moisturizer has brought my skin back to life after a night out, scared burgeoning pimples back into hiding, and—praise be—NOT activated my rosacea, which just about every other celeb-approved moisturizer does. (Looking at you, La Mer. I wanted so badly to love you.)
Now that my shameless Tatcha evangelizing is out of the way, on to the real point. Because I was so excited about this moisturizer, I was using it morning and night—and quickly realized my mistake. I have a four-step routine I stick to: cleanser, toner, treatment, moisturizer. Because the sun exists, and because my skin is so dry that sunscreen alone does not moisturize it, I have to follow up that four-step routine with an SPF cream in the morning—all before adding any makeup.
Now, anyone who’s tried to quickly apply five different face products and then add foundation on top will immediately see the problem here. My beloved Tatcha moisturizer is on the thicker side, which is perfect for my dry skin—but it takes a solid 15-20 minutes to be completely absorbed. That would be fine if it were my only morning skincare step, but I also have to give my toner and treatment steps 5-10 minutes each to sink in. That gets us up to 30 minutes on pre-make-up skincare, minimum. In my week of trying to use the Dewy Skin Cream as a day cream, I don’t think I managed to put foundation on once. Since I never had enough time to let the moisturizer sink in all the way, even my sunscreen was barely getting absorbed—which means I was going out looking like a greasy, white-tinged mess.
Note: Dewy Skin Cream isn’t advertised specifically as a night cream—there’s a different night cream from that product line—but that’s how it works best for me. As a rule, night creams will be thicker than day creams, and are formulated to moisturize while you sleep.
Me, waking up post-Tatcha moisturizer:
Day Cream Protects; Night Cream Repairs
Day cream, I learned, has one major job: to protect your face from the sun, so basically to contain as much SPF as you can stand. (For reference, I use SPF 46—do not come at me with your SPF 15 liquid foundation). Like I said before, I have a special breed of lizard skin that requires me to pair said SPF 46 lotion with a second day cream—but if you have the option of combining these steps, I strongly recommend you do. I love this one from Origins (so brightening), or this SPF 50 IT Cosmetics CC cream. (No, I don’t know what a CC cream is, and my head will explode if I research further.) I own this cream, and would refer to it as somewhere between light coverage foundation and tinted moisturizer.
Scott Disick knows what’s up, a sentence I never thought I’d utter.
If you are like me, and SPF products aren’t moisturizing enough on their own, I recommend a super lightweight cream that sinks in quickly. My personal fave for this is Cerave, which makes both a day cream and a night cream.
While day cream bears the brunt of sun protection, your night cream can and should have active ingredients too. We’ve already discussed the benefit of adding retinol to your daily routine, and 2019 is heading toward being the year of glycolic acid. These ingredients are both great, because they help speed up cell turnover, AKA get rid of the dead skin and bring in the new, better skin. Very scientific, I know. However, both of these ingredients also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. I can personally attest to this—this past December, I used a retinol oil and then went out for a day of skiing. Within 24 hours, I developed dark, rough patches of sunburn on my face like I’d never seen before, and they lasted well through New Year’s Eve. Happy 2019 to me!
So, while retinol and AHAs are a good addition to night creams, they should absolutely be avoided in your day creams. On the flip side, you’re welcome to put on SPF at night—but unless you’re sleeping at a campsite, I’m not sure why you would.
Ultimately, you could just say f*ck it and use the same lightweight moisturizer with zero active ingredients for both day and night (plus sunscreen, obv). But if you have skin that’s on the dryer side, I highly recommend investing in a thicker night cream—and not making the mistake I did of piling it on in the morning, too.
Images: Tatcha; Giphy (2)
Like most people in this world, I really care about my skin. Despite my horrible attempts at clean dieting and exerting energy into anything that doesn’t involve walking to
the closest liquor store Starbucks, I try really hard to treat my skin like silk (@KrisJenner) by using only the best makeup removers, micellar waters, masks—you name it. Only the best for my prized feature. However, one of the hardest products to find that doesn’t make my face have a mid-life crisis is a face wash. It’s something we use everyday, so someone please tell me why it’s so hard to find one that’s just right for my skin type. *Sighs* Since I know firsthand how fucking stressful this can be, here are the best face washes based on your skin type. You can thank me later.
If You Have Oily Skin, Try…
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
This godsend of a face wash was made just for those who struggle to keep their faces looking shine-free all day long. Not only does it thoroughly clean your face, but it also reduces excess oil without drying your face out. Ugh, bless. It leaves your skin feeling v smooth and makeup-ready without any worries of looking oily af.
Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash
IMO, this is seriously the best and safest brand for your skin. I have almost everything from Cetaphil and have literally never been disappointed in the results. This facial wash is super gentle on even the most sensitive skin types and removes oil, so it can also control the shine on your face. It also happens to be a fab makeup remover, too.
If You Have Dry Skin, Try…
Estée Lauder Soft Clean Moisture Rich Foaming Cleanser
Created specifically for those with super flaky skin, this moisturizing face wash adds a ton of the hydration you need while also preserving your skin’s natural moisture. Since it’s a foaming cleanser, it goes on with ease and leaves your face feeling amazingly soft afterwards.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
This shit is formulated with five conditioners, so that’s when you know it’s luxurious af. The creamy gel cleanser soothes uneven textures, softens super dry patches, and clears up your pores ASAP. It’s like, apparently made with some sort of ingredient that’s also in contact lens solutions, so you can def use on your eyes for that mascara that doesn’t gtfo.
If You Have Combination Skin, Try…
Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
If you’re kind of on the dry side but somehow a bit on the oily side as well (HOW THO??), this foaming cleanser gently removes a day’s worth of grime, as well as the makeup you’ve been wearing for hours. It’s totes refreshing and makes your face feel like it can breathe again without drying it out or making you feel moist. Ew.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser
Designed for all skin types, the best-selling Philosophy cleanser works well on those whose skin may be super dry and extremely sensitive, too. It’s gentle on the eyes for removing your gothic makeup and gives your pores a much-needed deep cleanse. It’s a fab toner and source of hydration, if your skin is suffering a bit come the colder seasons.
If You Have Normal Skin, Try…
Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel
The sulfate-free cleansing gel easily cleanses clogged pores and helps prevent future breakouts. It helps your skin retain natural moisture, as well as controls oil, so you’re looking radiant in all the right ways. Plus, it reduces annoying inflamed areas and gets rid of buzzkill breakouts before you can even freak out about it.
Origins Checks And Balances Frothy Face Wash
This face wash is ideal for those who have an equal balance of dry *and* oily skin types (lucky, betch)—hence the name. Since it’s v gentle on the face, you can easily use just little, and it goes such a long way. It’s only an added bonus that it functions as a makeup remover and leaves a refreshingly cool sensation when you’re finished.
I think I speak for everyone when I say there’s nothing worse or more embarrassing than visible sweat. It’s obviously gross, very inconvenient, and like, literally so annoying. Sure, maybe it’s a bodily function to keep us from overheating, but it’s really so extra and unnecessary. Like, yes, thank you for letting everyone in my vicinity know I’m fucking hot as balls by making my face melt. Love that. By noon each day, my face is on its way to looking like a fugly greaseball, and although it feels like I’ve exhausted most remedies, I’m running out of patience to deal with this oily face bullshit. As much as it sucks to have the occasional oily face, it also blows to have to deal with dry skin, even after you’ve gone through bottles on bottles of moisturizers. Since winter is never going away, apparently (on the east coast, at least, so don’t jump down my throat, west coast betches), those of you with mostly dry skin will need a savior ASAP, aka me. Below, I give you everything you need to prevent oily hot messes and dry af cracked faces.
If You Have Oily Skin, You Need: A Good Facial Cleanser
Good skin starts with the shit you’re putting on it. Fucking duh. First things first, check to make sure you’re using the right face wash for your skin. If you’re prone to oiliness, be sure to opt for a cleanser with at least 2% salicylic acid, like Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser With Saw Palmetto And Mint. This helps maintain a little oil (but in a good way) so that your skin at least keeps the natural stuff and you don’t end up looking flaky.
If You Have Dry Skin, You Need: Intense Hydrating Masks
Washing your face is great. You’re doing amazing, sweetie, but if you’re prone to ultra flaky skin, you need a hydrating mask to lock in all of that moisture you’re putting on. Not just any hydrating mask, but a super intense one that works immediately and has long-term results, such as Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque. Make sure to focus on extra sensitive and thin areas of your face like the eyes, nose, and chin.
If You Have Oily Skin, You Need: A Cooling Facial Mist
Blotting papers are great and all, but going through millions of packs and growing pissed off at how much oil sits on your face clearly doesn’t actually fix anything. To reduce shine throughout the day without ruining your makeup, buy a cooling facial mist or setting spray like Urban Decay Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray. Cooling your skin down throughout the day obvs minimizes your pores, which results in far less oily grossness.
If You Have Dry Skin, You Need: More Water
And I don’t mean just chugging it on the regular. I mean, more water-based products, too. Since your face is clearly struggling to keep itself hydrated and moisturized, you’ll need products that are full of good ol’ H2O and designed to lock in necessary oils and hydration, like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream so, you’re not cracking say crack again by lunch everyday.
If You Have Oily Skin, You Need: Oil-Free Everything
This is probs the most obvious of the bunch, but you’d be surprised and utterly disgusted to find out how much of your everyday skincare and beauty products rack up on oil. So goddamn rude. These are the reasons I have trust issues. Make sure you’re using oil-free *everything* such as Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, BECCA Cosmetics Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, and Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Liquid Makeup to ensure you’re not contributing to the hot mess that is your face.
If You Have Dry Skin, You Need: To Exfoliate Like It’s Your Job
A big reason why your face is probs dry af is because your outer layer sucks, to say the least. All of your time and efforts aren’t actually getting absorbed as well as they should to last, so be sure that you’re exfoliating twice as much as you regularly would with a gentle scrub like the La Roche Posay Ultra Fine Scrub. This healthy route helps uncover new layers of skin and exposes the new, better layer to the much-needed moisture, water, and hydration you’re putting on it.