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The Difference Between Daytime vs. Nighttime Skincare Routines

Whether you’re new to skincare or a seasoned pro, you may be wondering how your daytime vs. nighttime skincare routines should differ – and why you even need two separate routines. The difference between daytime vs. nighttime skincare is that each routine is tailored to your skin’s specific needs throughout a 24-hour time period.

Read on to learn the essential steps of daytime and nighttime skin routines, why and how they’re different, and which order to apply your skincare products.

What to Look For in a Daytime Skincare Routine

As your body’s largest organ, your skin’s main function is to protect you from the environmental stressors you encounter all day long. From UV rays to free radicals to foreign bacteria, your skin takes a beating during the daytime.

The main objective of any daytime skin routine is to help your skin defend against these stressors. There are three essential products that provide crucial support to your skin’s defenses:

  1. Cleanser – Rids skin of pore-clogging debris and impurities to keep your skin clean and calm.
  2. Moisturizer – Supports the skin’s moisture barrier to maintain hydration
  3. Broad Spectrum Sunscreen – Protects against UV rays to prevent skin cancer and premature aging

These three items serve as the essential building blocks of any daytime skincare routine and should be used in the order above. Once you get comfortable, you may wish to add a daytime treatment step – such as a Vitamin C serum – to level-up your routine and provide specific skincare benefits.

How Nighttime Skincare Products are  Different

Similar to our body and mind, our skin goes through a state of repair while we sleep every night. This process is important as our skin faces extreme, stressful conditions during the daytime which can damage its protective moisture barrier and cause transepidermal water loss overnight. This can lead to severe dryness, irritation, and premature aging.

Richer nighttime reparative treatments with replenishing ingredients are key to keeping skin hydrated and soothed throughout the night so it can effectively complete its repair process. A 2018 study published by the National Institutes of Health confirms that richer nighttime reparative treatments with replenishing treatments are key to facilitating the nighttime repair process and promoting optimal skin barrier health.

Your nighttime routine is also the best time to use treatment ingredients -- such as retinol –- that may break down when exposed to sunlight.

Your Daytime Skincare Routine for Healthy, Hydrated Skin

With all three essential products you need for healthy, radiant skin, the Protective Daytime Core Routine is the perfect introduction to daytime skincare. This set of three gentle formulas provides powerful cleansing, hydration, and protection for every skin type thanks to three clinically proven formulas. The Protective Daytime Core Routine includes:

Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser

Our bestselling cleanser digs deep into pores to remove dirt, oil, and impurities with the combined power of our proprietary amino acid complex and moringa extract. Meanwhile our shark-free superhero – sugarcane squalane – supports and replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier with weightless hydration.

Omega Repair Cream

Deeply nourish and moisturize with our ceramide-rich Omega Repair Cream. This luxurious whipped cream absorbs quickly to provide lasting hydration using restorative omega fatty acids, ceramides, and plant sterols, leaving skin smooth, soft, and radiant.

Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen

Our new and improved sunscreen uses natural zinc to provide powerful mineral with no white cast. We also packed this science-backed formula with skincare ingredients – including hydrating ectoin and protective butterfly ginger extract -- to deeply hydrate, boost radiance, and prime for makeup.

Your Nighttime Skincare Routine for Glowing Skin

Our Anti-Aging Overnight Core Routine features our most-loved PM formulas to deliver overnight results. These five fan favorites work together to visibly improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, smooth uneven texture, and deeply moisturize for radiantly healthy skin. The Anti-Aging Overnight Core Routine includes:

Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser

Powerfully – yet gently – clean your skin with Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser. This satisfying foaming cleanser uses an advanced amino aloe complex to break down impurities while moringa extract removes remnants of pore-clogging debris. Aloe and squalane soothe and hydrate, leaving your skin clean, calm, and refreshed.

Marine Algae Eye Cream

Our multi-award-winning eye cream instantly lifts and firms to reveal visibly smoother, more hydrated undreye skin. Pink marine algae, a natural source of peptides, plumps fine lines and wrinkles while our superhero hydrator, squalane, provides deep and lasting moisture.

Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum

Fans of our bestselling serum call it “nature’s Botox” for its ability to instantly plump and quench thanks in part to the water-binding properties of ectoin. We’ve paired this powerful, protective hydrator with our rapid plumping complex to deliver instant, long-lasting hydration alongside a dramatic improvement in elasticity thanks to copper peptides. Our groundbreaking super ingredient, squalane delivers skin-plumping, elasticity-boosting ingredients 40x deeper for increased and lasting efficacy.

Ectoin Overnight Rescue

Protect your skin from dehydration by strengthening its barrier and helping to repair daytime damage with our most intensive renewal cream, Ectoin Overnight Rescue. Clinically-proven ectoin binds with moisture and seals it into skin, pairing with squalane to leave the skin feeling stronger and more supple after a single overnight treatment. Sleep-promoting magnesium and peptides help calm stress-inducing neurotransmitters to optimize skin’s capacity for repair.

Christine Tusher
Christine Tusher Writer and expert
As a lifestyle writer and journalist, I love sharing my passion for ocean conservation and obsession with clean beauty. I’ve tried almost every trend and ingredient, and Biossance’s science-backed formulas are the only ones that consistently calm my reactive skin and make it smoother, clearer, and healthier. I’m so excited to be on this journey of skincare innovation with Biossance, and to share it with you!

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