The market is flooded with moisturizers, with many being marketed towards AM or PM use. But do you really need to use different moisturizers for morning and nighttime use – or can you get by with just one? Here’s everything you need to know about using moisturizers in your day vs. night skincare routines.
Understanding Your Skin's Needs
While you can use many of the same products both morning and night, there are certain goals you’ll want to target in each routine.
A good morning routine focuses on keeping the skin protected against damaging environmental aggressors through antioxidant-rich leave-on products (like serums and toners). Before applying these products, you can prep your skin by cleansing with a gentle face wash or scrub.
After applying any serums and/or toners you may be using, you’ll want to seal them in with a high-quality moisturizer. This will not only improve moisture levels, but also support barrier strength and enhance overall skin function for a complexion that not only looks good, but also feels comfortable and healthy. Defending your skin against the harmful effects of the sun is also crucial, so be sure to apply sunscreen as the final step in your morning routine.
As you sleep, your skin is renewing and repairing – so your evening routine should support this process. First, it’s key to wash away the impurities that have collected on your skin throughout the day with a purifying cleanser. Once your skin is fresh and clean, you can focus on using serums and treatments that target your specific concerns.
While some treatments can be used morning and night, formulas made with certain ingredients – such as retinol and alpha hydroxy acids – should be reserved for nighttime use. These ingredients can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun (and in the case of retinol, it can degrade when exposed to UV rays), so it’s best to save them for your evening routine.
Just like in the morning, it’s important to layer a moisturizer on top of any serums and treatments you’re using. This will lock in hydration and support the evening regeneration process to ensure your skin is supple and healthy when you wake up.
Purpose of Daytime Moisturizers
A daytime moisturizer needs to strike the perfect balance between giving your skin the moisture it needs without feeling too heavy. Creating the perfect base is especially important for makeup wearers – you don’t want your foundation to look greasy!
Daytime moisturizers come in a variety of different forms, but the majority tend to have a gel or lightweight cream base. Many are also made with SPF. That said, you’ll ultimately get better protection from using a separate sunscreen on top of your moisturizer.
Role of Nighttime Moisturizers
A product that is specifically marketed as being a nighttime moisturizer may have a bit of a richer consistency compared to daytime moisturizers. Many PM moisturizers are also made with active ingredients that can target signs of aging and other concerns. With that said, it’s important to make sure your nighttime moisturizer doesn’t contain ingredients that may not work well when layered with other treatments you are using in your evening routine.
Customizing Your Skincare Routine
Whether or not you use a different moisturizer will depend on a variety of factors. You will want to customize your routine to fit not only your skincare goals, but also your preferences and lifestyle.
You certainly don’t need to have separate morning and nighttime moisturizers. In fact, there are products that are specifically made to be suitable for both AM and PM routines. This is especially ideal for anyone who wants to simplify their routine (and have less clutter in their medicine cabinet!).
If you’re looking for the ultimate multi-purpose moisturizer, you’ll want to check out the Freedom Day & Night Moisturizer. The formula is loaded with clean, plant-based ingredients that help improve firmness and elasticity while reducing visible signs of aging. It also gives the skin the moisture it needs both morning and night without feeling too heavy for daytime use.
This anti-aging moisturizer is suitable for all skin types, and is made to be safe to layer with other serums and treatments. This means it will work with the products you use in both routines.
Tips for Optimal Skincare
On a final note, here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a moisturizer:
- Look for formulas made with ingredients that target your specific concerns
- For the best results, use a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type
- Ensure your moisturizer is made with ingredients that play well with the active ingredients in your other products
Ultimately, you can use different moisturizers in the morning and evening if you’d like to – but you can still get amazing results with a single all-purpose moisturizer! This all comes down to the other clean skincare products in your routine, as well as what works best for your specific needs.