The Order You Should Use Your Skincare Products For Day And Night Regimens

Sometimes, the order of things isn’t important. Like, how breakfast food is perfect for any time of day (shout out to brunch and breakfast for dinner). But when it comes to your skin, the order of skincare products you use can make a big difference when done right—or wrong. The last thing you want when testing out a new skincare routine is to reduce its efficacy by using it in the wrong order. By following this order for anti-aging skincare and using our recommended products, you’ll be able to set your skin up for success for lasting results.

The order in which you use skincare products can enhance or even limit their effectiveness. And when it comes to your skin health, every drop of serum or sunscreen counts. This guide will take you through the best skin care routine order for morning and night.

What is the Correct Order to Apply Skin Care?

Proper skincare order breaks down to five key components in the following order: 

  1. Cleanse
  2. Renew and Restore
  3. Moisturize
  4. Protect

You should spend between 30 seconds to a minute on each step. The entire process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your morning or evening. It’s probably less time than you put into your makeup routine (on a good day, when no one is late for school or work). 

But your morning skincare routine has different goals than your evening skincare routine. A successful morning and night routine will target the skin’s changing needs. 

Here’s what that looks like: 

ALASTIN’s Recommended Morning Skincare Routine

morning skin care routine order

Throughout the day, your skin goes through a lot. It takes in the UV rays of the sun, protects your body from air pollutants, and keeps dirt and grime from being absorbed into your system through the skin. A well-executed morning skincare routine has one job: give your skin its best defense to take on the challenges of the day. 

1. Cleanse 

Washing your face and neck first thing in the morning with a daily gentle cleanser can clear away surface-level oil and grime that your skin accumulates while you sleep. Once cleansed, your clean skin will be prepared to absorb all the other beneficial ingredients in your skincare regimen.

ALASTIN Recommends: Use a cleanser that will remove pollutants without completely stripping your skin of its natural healthy oils. Our sulfate-free and self-foaming Gentle Cleanser is calming cleansing, and ideal for sensitive skin. Plus, this gentle cleanser also helps to dislodge dead skin and other contaminants that contribute to clogged pores. No matter your skin type, using this type of skincare product is the best thing you can do to ensure clean skin day in and day out. 

2. Restore 

At this step, you’ll want to apply products that can do the following: 
  • Improve skin elasticity and plumpness
  • Support production of collagen and elastin
  • Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eyes
  • Brighten and improves skin texture
  • Calm redness

ALASTIN Recommends:
You may be wondering, “How many different creams, ointments, and unguents am I going to need to do all of that for my skin?” Well, less than you might think. You’ll need a product that can do it all while targeting the unique needs of the features most vulnerable to signs of aging: face, neck, and eyes. For this there’s:

  • Restorative Skin Complex with TriHex Technology® restorative skin care helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and evens skin tone. Its hydrating formulation can also help the skin clear out damaged collagen and elastin and bolster the skin’s ability to produce new, healthy collagen and elastin to plump and lift skin. Restorative Skin Complex is also formulated with two of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients:
  • Peptides  – Peptides are small molecules comprised of several amino acid chain sequences, which like those in TriHex Technology®, can have a lipid carrier to help them more easily absorb into the skin where they can support collagen and elastin and other important functions.
  • Antioxidants – UV radiation from the sun can cause free radicals to wreck our skin’s vitality systems daily. Think of free radicals like sugar-hyped and unsupervised toddlers in an antique shop—they can do unspeakable damage. Antioxidants are the squadron of nannies and babysitters who scoop up the tiny menaces and neutralize the threat.

  • Use one pump during your AM and PM regimen and massage it gently into your face. 

  • Regenerating Skin Nectar with TriHex Technology® – If you’re undergoing skin treatments or procedures, or just have a preference for this serum use our Regenerating Skin Nectar instead of Restorative Skin Complex. It is designed to support and strengthen the skin and can enhance procedure outcomes when used before skin-rejuvenating procedures to prepare the skin, and afterward to support faster recovery and optimal results. Plus many people fall in love with its silky texture and choose to use it every day. When using it as a daily serum, one pump every morning and evening is all you need. When using after a procedure, consult with your health care provider as post-procedure care can vary. 
  • Restorative Eye Treatment with TriHex Technology® – ALASTIN created this eye cream to decrease the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles by tightening the area around the eye. It can help to improve the skin around the eye, lift the upper eyelid, and reduce puffiness and dark circles. Dab one pump around your eye areas during your morning and night routine and gently pat into the skin.
    • Restorative Neck Treatment with TriHex Technology® – This neck and décolleté treatment can improve hydration, smoothness, tightens, and evens out skin tone on the neck and chest. Apply one pump of our skin tightener for neck treatment in the morning and at night in upward strokes. The result? Supple skin perfect for a date night dress with a plunging neckline.  

    3. Moisturize

    Food, water, and the occasional glass of wine—all required for a functioning human woman to survive (okay, maybe the wine is optional). What isn’t optional is water. Not only is it a necessity to survive, but it’s also key if you want to achieve healthy skin. 

    All skin types need a good moisturizer. Moisturizers help to lock in the skin’s moisture and prevent water-loss throughout the day. Because moisturizers tend to be thicker, they need to be applied last to seal in your other products and maximize their effectiveness.

    ALASTIN Recommends: The best anti-aging moisturizers have peptides. Peptides are the building blocks that power up your skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin1 . Put a little peptide in your step with ALASTIN’s Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology®. A little goes a long way with this moisturizer, so just apply a pea-sized amount to the face and gently massage into the skin each morning and night. 

    4. Protect

    When it comes to your arsenal of skincare products, there is one product that rules them all. In an action movie, this product would be a giant asteroid-destroying laser beam that saves the day from total destruction—it’s sunscreen. Sunscreen absorbs and protects your skin from the dramatic aging effects of UV radiation. 

    Apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to finish off your morning routine.

    ALASTIN Recommends: Sunscreen products have evolved from their early days of greasy and smelly white ooze. The new generation of all mineral sunscreen is lightweight, grease-free, reef-friendly, won’t sting your eyes, and can even hide blemishes. Use products that are formulated without oil and tinted for a smooth CC-cream effect, like the HydraTint ProMineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36 Sunscreen

    Bonus Skincare Tip: Before you jet off to your busy morning, be mindful of your body! Apply TransFORM Body Treatment with TriHex Technology® to areas that need a little enhancing. If you’ve undergone a skin treatment, this formula can help to accelerate the results of body contouring procedures and heightens the effects of skin tightening. You can also use this product as daily treatment (without a procedure) to improve skin texture, laxity, and even to address crepey skin

    ALASTIN’s Recommended Evening Skincare Routine

    evening skin care routine order

    Good news! Your night skincare routine will look a lot like your morning regimen with a few exceptions:

    1. Unless you’re nocturnal, you won’t have to worry about UV radiation from the sun while you sleep—so there’s no need for sunscreen.
    2. As you sleep, your cells go into repair mode. Take advantage of these healing processes by adding renewing formulas to your skincare. It can help amplify the effects of dermatological healing2 .

    Here’s what your evening routine should look like:

    1. Cleanse

    After a day of natural air pollutants, microscopic dirt and grime, and the oils pooling in your pores, your skin needs a good scrub. Don’t forget to use a cleanser that won’t strip your face and neck of its natural oils, like ALASTIN’s Gentle Cleanser

    2. Restore

    You’re cleansed, toned, and prepped—now it’s time to restore nutrients to your skin before you hunker down for sleep. In the evening, just repeat your morning restoration routine:

    3. Renew

    While the body sleeps, your dermatological systems are in repair mode. Retinol can put the collagen and elastin processes into overdrive to help create firm, plump skin by morning (great product to help combat orange peel skin). Now that’s beauty sleep.

    However, some retinol products can be a bit drying and you may experience skin purging (which isn’t a bad thing). Use retinol products two or three times a week to start. See how your skin reacts to the ingredient, then slowly up the dosage. And don’t forget, just use a pea-sized amount every evening (PM only).

    ALASTIN Recommends: To help combat the potentially drying effects of a retinol product, look for formulas that hydrate as well as heal. Try ALASTIN’s Renewal Retinol—it’s packed with hydration and can help smooth away wrinkles, improve skin texture and skin tone. 

    4. Moisturize

    Finish off your evening routine with a cool drink of water for your skin. Moisturizer is especially important after exfoliation or applying retinol. Exfoliation and retinol can dry out your skin if you’re not using moisturizing agents. 

    You’ll only need a pea-sized amount of ALASTIN’s Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer in the AM/PM to give your skin hydration and a healthy dose of peptides before sleep. 

    ALASTIN Recommends: Right after your morning shower and again in the evening are great times to add two or three pumps of TransFORM Body Treatment to any part of the skin. This formula will help to boost your body’s nightly healing, resulting in tightened and smooth skin.

    How Do I Find My Perfect Skincare Routine?

    By understanding the best order of skincare products, you can get the most out of your skincare routine. But a perfect skincare routine requires you to be patient and consistent. A regular skin regimen practiced over time will always give you the best results.

    Don’t forget—skincare is self-care. The time and attention you give to your regimen is the time and attention that’s just for you. So be kind to your skin (and yourself) with a regular skincare practice, morning and night. 


    1. Ganceviciene, Ruta, et al. “Skin Anti-Aging Strategies.” Dermato-Endocrinology, Landes Bioscience, 1 July 2012,

    2. Sundelin, Tina, et al. “Cues of Fatigue: Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Facial Appearance.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Sept. 2013,

    Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
    Wendy Johnson//

    Vice President, Marketing

    Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.

    After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.

    In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.

    Other pages you might like

    How to Tighten The Skin on Your Face

    How to Tighten The Skin on Your Face

    As we age, our skin naturally loosens and can begin to sag. This is especially true of the skin on our faces. Aging skin appears to lose its volu ...

    Understanding Types of Chemical Peels for Different Skin Types

    Understanding Types of Chemical Peels for Different Skin Types

      Everyone loves having healthy and happy skin. It can make you feel more confident, optimistic, polished, and ready to take on your day. Thanks ...

    What Is Dermaplaning and Its Benefits?

    What Is Dermaplaning and Its Benefits?

    Wondering what is dermaplaning all about? Read on to learn about the procedural benefits of dermaplaning and how the treatment can improve your skin health.