How to Build a Morning & Night Skincare Routine

A guide to glowing skin, perfect for online classes and video chats!

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We all know the struggle of building a personalized morning and night skincare routine. The products are endless and everyone’s skin is so different, it can be hard to know what will work for you and where to begin.

I’ve done my research to save you the trouble of trying to figure it all out on your own, because this can be overwhelming.

I tried to find affordable products that work with a wide range of skin types, but please know that this is just a starting point. Everyone has different skin standards so you may need to do some digging beyond these in order to find the exact products that work for you.

{See related: A Minimalist’s Guide to Skincare}

Before we get to the shopping guide, here are a few simple tips to always keep in mind when it comes to skincare.

Skincare 101

Listen To Your Skin’s Needs

It’s only natural to be excited when you get a bunch of new skincare products to add into your morning and night routine.

While you may be eager to test them all out, be mindful that you must ease into it. Start by adding one new product every few days. If your skin responds well in two weeks, slowly begin to use it more frequently.

Don’t overwhelm your face with products you’ve never used before, take it day by day, and listen to how your skin reacts to each product!


Hydration is key to healthy, good-looking skin. We know the benefits from drinking plenty of water are far-reaching, from sleep quality to cognition, and mood.

The same goes for your skin! Staying hydrated keeps your skin’s elasticity and fights all of those dreaded wrinkles.

Your body requires adequate hydration to carry out essential functions so invest in a quality, insulated bottle if you’re struggling to drink enough water each day.


This one might be the hardest to do considering we’re, you know, college students.

What you may not know is that your skin works on repairing itself from all the damage done during the day while you’re sleeping.

The science is there, now all you need to do is find a schedule that works for you that allows you to get those recommended 8 hours.

Your skin (and whole body!) will thank me.

Where To Begin

If you haven’t the slightest clue of what products you should be using when and in what order, look no further!

I have created a morning and night graphic for your skincare routine which lays out the correct order of operations.

There is a method to this madness. It is important to apply the products in a certain order to increase absorbency rates.

Generally, just remember: thinner products first (toners & serums), then work your way up to the thicker stuff (moisturizers, sunscreens).

Pro tip: try organizing the products on your bathroom counter in this order, or print out this chart to stick to your mirror!

day and night skincare routine steps

Morning and Night Skincare Product Guide


The first thing you should do, morning or night, is wash your face to get rid of any makeup, grime, or particles your face has picked up.

This foaming facial cleanser perfect for that refreshed feeling and it helps balance and clean your skin.


Toner addresses many issues and is going to be a key ingredient in your morning and night skincare routine, including dryness and dullness.

This one is tailored for variety of skin needs and is quite versatile.


rosen paloma serum

Serum is important to apply early on in your morning and night skincare routine as it will activate many of the ingredients from the previous products.

Serums dig deep into your skin, so a thin layer is important to allow the product to get the job done.

Eye Cream

This product is probably the most important on my list only because the stress of a long day at shines through the bags and darkness under my eyes.

You should always pat in your eye cream rather than tugging at the skin under your eyes, so you don’t further pull at the delicate skin there.

Pro tip: use your ring finger (the skin is the softest and gentlest) to apply by soft tapping.


Moisturizers tend to be a little heavier as they do the job of hydrating and sealing in hydration, so leave them for the last step before you put on sunscreen.

If you’re ever worried about moisturizer clashing with your makeup routine, try to stick to a lighter product in the morning and a denser one in the evening.

Face Oil

Oils are sort of like a topcoat on top of your morning and night skincare routine. They prevent any moisture from escaping throughout your busy day.

Any other product besides sunscreen can be deemed useless as it likely won’t get through due to the strength of the face oil.

Whatever you do, do not overdo it. Oils can clog your pores.

In this particular step, a little goes a very long way and you should always start with less and gradually add a few more drops if you feel your skin needs it. Typically, two to three drops should do the trick.


The *single most important product* of the whole bunch, sunscreen, should be applied every day, no matter what.

Of course, there are sunscreens for every need (mineral vs. chemical), but the most important thing to remember is that even if you think you won’t be stepping outside, apply it anyways.

UV rays are extremely harmful to your skin so if you’re thinking about skipping any steps, this is not the one to leave out.


Whatever the case may be for your skin, retinol is going to accompany you the entire way. The benefits are numerous, and you won’t want to miss out on all the advantages.

Since retinol is such a strong ingredient, you must always be cautious when adding this product into your routine. Start twice a week, max. Slowly build up if your skin will allow it.

If your skin can’t handle a retinol product, there are numerous retinol-like products out there that are less potent.

What is your morning and night skincare routine?

I’d love to know what you think in the comments below, including what products and tips you use for your own daily routine!

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