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Midnight Miracles: Your 6-Step Overnight Skin Care Routine

There are 24 usable hours in every day—is your skin care routine making the most of them? With this weekend’s bonus hour with Daylight Saving Time, it’s the perfect excuse to sleep in and get your literal beauty rest by incorporating overnight skin products into your slumber. We all know that you should wash your face and remove your makeup before bed (even though sometimes we “forget”), but there’s so much more you can be doing to wake up with refreshed, hydrated skin. Sleeping is when we recharge and repair any damage done during the day—and it’s the same for your skin. Researchers have shown that new skin cells grow rapidly and your existing cells lose water while you’re snoozing, so those late hours are prime time for a solid skin care routine. And creating this routine? It’s not hard. You just need 15 minutes and a few beauty items to keep your skin glowing 24 hours a day—or even 25.

Step 1: Remove Makeup And Cleanse

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Makeup mavens, this one’s for you. Going to bed without removing makeup and cleansing your skin means you’re likely to clog up your pores, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and causing breakouts and skin irritation overnight. (Not to mention, a bronzer streak across your adorable pillowcases is no fun either.) This Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil has proven to wash away even the most stubborn waterproof mascara and the rest of your makeup, so you can go to sleep with 100 percent clean skin. Plus, with its botanical oils and evening primrose, this cleanser doesn’t strip your skin, it helps nourish it heading into the evening hours.

If you want to hop on the double-cleanse trend, save time by using cleansing makeup remover wipes for your first round and a true, 15- to 30-second wash in the sink with a cleanser for round two.

To buy: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, Birchbox, $32

Photo: Birchbox

Step 2: Tone Your Skin

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Toner is an oft-overlooked part of the skin care routine, but it’s super helpful for getting your skin ready to accept and absorb other beauty products and to balance your pH. Be sure to pat your face dry after your round of cleanser and apply just about a quarter-sized amount of toner to your face. Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner is alcohol-free—super important!—and it’s infused with real rose petals. Treat yourself!

To buy: Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, Sephora, $44

Photo: Sephora

Step 3: Apply A Mask

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During the day, applying and waiting to remove a face mask can be more time-consuming, but at night, you can just apply and head to bed! Your skin naturally dries up overnight, but a face mask like GLAMGLOW ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment can lock in that moisture with its ingredients like raw honey and ginger root. Apply to your clean, dry face—and neck and chest, wherever you need—and pat off excess with a tissue.

To buy: GLAMGLOW ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment, Birchbox, $69

Photo: Birchbox

Step 4: Target A Specialty Serum & Treatment

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You can call it a night after Step 3, and you’ll already be seriously boosting your skin care routine, but if you want to take it to the next level, target your trouble spots with a specialty serum. (Note, however, that water-based serums should be applied pre-moisturizing, while oil-based can go post-moisturizer step.) In particular, nighttime is a great time to focus on hydration, but if you’re concerned about redness, wrinkles, dark spots, or anything else, target those concerns at bedtime. We adore Skin Inc.’s blendable and customizable serums, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. If you struggle with redness or irritation, try Skin Inc.’s Licorice Serum.

To buy: Skin Inc. Licorice Serum, Sephora, $35

Photo: Skin Inc.

Step 5: Focus On The Eyes

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They may be closed, but don’t forget your eyes in your overnight skin care routine! This fan-favorite Estée Lauder eye serum addresses wrinkles and other signs of aging (or stress!) with its ChronoluxCB™ technology. Nighttime is when your entire body works to repair and regenerate, so when you’re getting a little shut-eye, it’s the perfect time for a boost with repair eye serum.

To buy: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II, Birchbox, $66

Photo: Birchbox

Step 6: Get Some ZZZs

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None of your overnight skin care routine products are going to work their best if you never actually fall asleep. Can’t stop thinking about the work you have to do the next day? Have you counted sheep up to, approximately, seven million? Try a soothing pillow spray to help you drift off to dreamland where you can enjoy mojitos on a tropical island with Idris Elba. (It’s not just us, right?) The deep sleep pillow spray from ThisWorks really earned its brand name: 89 percent of users in an independent study fell asleep faster and 92 percent felt more alert the next morning. 

To buy: thisworks® deep sleep™ pillow spray, Birchbox, $29

Photo: Birchbox

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