Throughout the day, your skin goes through a lot. You face things like stress, pollution, natural elements, and ultraviolet (UV) rays that put wear and tear on your skin. By the end of the day, your skin deserves some much-needed rest, and a nighttime skin care routine is essentially a reset. This is especially true when it comes to a night skin care routine for sensitive skin.

If you have sensitive skin, you know you need products that not only address your most pressing skin concerns, but are gentle enough for daily use. To figure out what works best for sensitive skin at night, read on below for the best tips.

Give Sensitive Skin the Care It Deserves

It's been proven time and again that sleep plays a vital role in your skin health. When you get eight hours of sleep, that's when your restorative functions are put to work. In other words, your skin is finally given a chance to rebuild collagen, increase blood flow, repair cell damage caused by environmental aggressors, and increase skin cell turnover. Having a skin care routine that encourages all those restorative functions will only help your skin stay healthy and look its best.

A night skin care routine for sensitive skin only differs in the types of products you'll want to use. Focus on products containing super gentle ingredients that aren't common causes of irritation, like Niacinamide and ceramides. These ingredients are known to be anti-inflammatory, soothing, and overall good options to calm redness and irritation.

Once you have your product lineup confirmed, simply follow these five steps before bed so you can wake up feeling confident with healthier-looking skin.

1. Gently Cleanse Away the Day

By the end of the day, your skin is covered in layers of makeup, dirt, oils, and debris that need to be washed off; otherwise, clogged pores and acne will take hold. Start your nighttime routine with a gentle cleanser, like the EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser, which is a thick, creamy, cleanser that will balance your skin.

2. Deep Clean with Toner

If you're trying to figure out how to repair sensitive skin that may be damaged or lackluster, don't skip toner. The EltaMD Skin Recovery Essence Toner is a gentle blend of amino acids that soothes, repairs, and strengthens your skin barrier.

3. Brighten and Tame Redness with Serum

Have sensitive skin? Serum should be your new best friend. The EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum is packed with nourishing ingredients that target the skin damage, redness, and irritation common in those with sensitive and acne-prone skin. After toner but before moisturizer, apply a small amount of serum and gently rub it in with your fingers, or pamper yourself by rolling it on with a jade roller.

4. Even It Out with Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is especially sensitive because of how thin it is, so a little extra TLC is needed when practicing a sensitive skin care routine. Eye creams contain active ingredients at a lower concentration, so it's gentle but effective. This product renews the sensitive skin around your eyes and targets concerns like crow's feet, dark circles, and puffiness.

5. Combat Dryness with Moisturizer

A moisturizer not only hydrates your skin but also locks in all the products you used prior. For sensitive skin, ultimate hydration is the goal—and a night mask definitely delivers on that front. As the very last step of your routine, apply EltaMD's Skin Recovery Night Mask and let it work its magic while you snooze. It contains antioxidants and a special complex made of amino acids to fortify the skin barrier, help protect against environmental aggressors, improve dullness, and even out skin tone and texture. Plus, the mask soaks into your skin completely while you sleep, so unlike other face masks, you don't have to worry about washing it off. All you have to do is wake up to bright, glowing skin the next morning.

Make Nighttime Skin Care Part of Your Routine

Make nighttime skin care a part of your wind-down routine and pamper yourself with a few other before-bed tips, so you can catch some zzz's in peace. It's important to limit screen time and give your brain a chance to relax and get you into a restful mindset. Add a little luxe with a silk pillowcase—a cotton pillowcase can be rough on the skin as you sleep and may cause premature wrinkles and breakouts—an eye mask, humidifier, and dimmed lights. Your evening ritual should be a time for you to relax and find a sense of calm before getting a restful night's sleep. Then, you can wake up fresh and ready to face the day full of confidence.


  • Audrey Noble

    Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.

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