Step-By-Step: Our Guide to the Perfect Evening Face Routine Order

People often ask us about their evening face routine order. With so many powerful skin care products on the market, selecting the best products and knowing how to incorporate them into an effective daily routine is a challenge.

In this guide, we won’t focus too much on specific products. The best skin care products vary by person. Your lifestyle, age, skin concerns, skin type, and environment all factor in, so your best bet is a consultation with a professional.

However, an effective skincare routine typically involves several steps and multiple products. Using them in the correct order helps ensure that you get the best results.

Step by Step: Your Perfect Evening Skincare Routine Order

As with your morning skin care routine, the order that you apply your skincare products matters just as much at night. Nighttime is when your body and skin heal and recover from the day’s stress. It is also the right time to apply photosensitive products.

Keep in mind the ideal skincare routine varies depending on your needs. Consult with a professional like the team at The Skin Care Center by CPS if you are unsure which products best meet your needs.

You may not need all of these products, but the following regime makes it easier to understand the order when you use a range of skin care products and treatments.


Your first step is to clean your face before retiring for the night. The best cleanser depends on your skin type, age, and lifestyle factors.

 If you wear makeup, you may need a makeup remover before using the cleanser. Both water-based and hydrating cleansers may work well depending on your skin type. If you live, work, or exercise in a dusty environment, you may need a more potent cleanser than someone who doesn’t.


During exfoliation, you remove the top layer of dead skin cells and any accumulated dirt, oil, and other impurities your cleanser missed. Exfoliation can be done either manually or with an exfoliating product.

  • Manual exfoliation is done with a skin brush, cleansing cloth, washcloth, or home dermabrasion device
  • Product exfoliation involves a product that loosens the dead skin without scrubbing, rubbing, or manual exfoliation

 Benefits of exfoliation include:

The best exfoliation option depends on your skin type and sensitivity. A young adult with oily skin and acne would respond better to different products than an older person concerned about developing wrinkles with dry, thinner skin.


Toners may be one of the most controversial skin care products. For people who struggle with oily skin, the right toner can make a difference. If you have sensitive skin, be cautious about toner products that contain alcohol or other products that may irritate your skin. The best toner is specific to your needs, whether you need a mild astringent or a moisturizing hyaluronic acid toner.

Serums and Spot Treatments

Serums are lightweight treatments used to address specific needs. For example, many people interested in harnessing the power of antioxidants opt for Vitamin C, Vitamin A, or Vitamin E serums. The best serum or combination depends on your skin type and needs.

Ideally, seek advice from a skincare professional, plastic surgeon, or dermatologist since some serums may contraindicate other ingredients in your skincare routine. For example, if you use a retinol or prescription Retin A, you would want to be extra careful to use an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen daily since Vitamin A increases sun sensitivity leading to sunburn.

If you use acidic exfoliants, acidic serum products like Vitamin A might irritate and sensitize your skin. Spot treatments may include products that address acne or hyperpigmentation. Be sure to carefully follow any instructions from your skin care professional for the best results and to reduce the risk of harmful side effects.

Eye Cream

Sometimes people ask why they need a separate moisturizer for the skin around their eyes. This skin is thinner and more sensitive to the skin on the rest of your face and neck. Also, it is more sensitive, and since the eyelids and under the eye are so close to your eyes, you want to avoid ingredients that may harm or irritate your eyes.

Eye creams are lighter in weight, allowing them to penetrate the skin; formulated expressly for the eyes, they help address issues specific to the delicate eye area like dark circles, puffiness, or bags. In addition to using the right products, be careful to avoid tugging and rubbing the delicate skin around the eyes.


The moisturizer may be the crowning touch of your evening skincare routine. These products are used to keep the skin hydrated and soft. Various options exist depending on your skin type and how dry it is. Moisturizers come in various forms, including lotions, creams, gels, and oils. Texture, scent, consistency, and formulations also vary widely.

Like serums and exfoliants, you may have the best results if you consult a skin care professional to help select the best moisturizer for your needs. Otherwise, the choices are overwhelming, and you can waste a lot of money trying a moisturizer only to learn it causes you to break out or isn’t hydrating enough for your needs.

Quick Guide

morning vs evening face routine order

Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation

The Skin Center by Charlotte Plastic Surgery has been helping Charlotte area residents look their best and live their best lives with healthy skin. We are part of the Charlotte Plastic Surgery family, a trusted name in the region for decades. Whatever your skin goals are, our team is here to help you achieve the best evening face routine order. 

In addition to offering the latest non-surgical cosmetic treatments, we sell professional-quality skincare products. Among our specialized products, we offer various services including DiamondGlow®, Chemical Peels, Injectables, and more.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.